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Readers' Comments on "Dharamshala shouldn’t send out mixed political signals: Speaker Tsering"
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Penpa Tsering has said that Dharamshala, the Tibetan exile headquarters, should not send out mixed political messages, days ahead of the second Special Meeting of the Tibetan people....
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9 comment(s) found You are on page 1 of 1

Location: MT
Subject: Confused mind, confusing words- confusing messages
Oct 01 2012 03:38 PM

Hello Penpa Tseing la, dont make confusing statements!!

Since my school days, I have been listening our Chithus using two key words whose meaning is still not clear to me. As a " good boy" I never bothered to seek the real meaning these 2 words.

1. Tsadon ( Root Objective)?
2. Lhaksam - ???

Lately while interacting with some foreigners where I happened to "quote' these 2 words off handely as if I knew their meaning. I was caught " bluffing".

Is "Tsadon" ( root objective) Rangzen or Lam Uma?

Also: What is meant by "Lhaksam" ? A friend says it means " patriotism" ? in which is case, what is " Gyal-Che" ( nation loving", "Sem-shook" etc.

My Geshe la told me " Lhaksam is drawn from Buddhist concept of Buddha's teaching having some " Lkapa" or (extra features) than Hinduismn - hence " Extra Mind" . What is that " extra mind " are advised to posses.?

Being a CST product , my command over Tibetan language , I can say proudly is, well above average. But I have difficulty to understand 20% of Tibetan political documents.


Location: nz
Subject: more confusion
Oct 01 2012 10:22 AM

Here on 24 Sept. The Speaker adamantly talks only of autonomy, not independence. Yet on 28th Sept LobsangSangay states"We will not tolerate the continued occupation of Tibet, which is saying we want our country back. Autonomy will not change how China and Tibet is ruled. Mining, land grabs, black jails, continued migration of Han into Tibet, pollution, severe environmental damage.Perhaps the Kashag should clearly define the word Freedom, as that is a word that all Tibetans seem to agree on. Once defined, then see which of the 2 ideals, autonomy or rangzen, the word freedom is encapsulated in. His Holiness has also remarked a similarity to the position in Burma, seeing that if Burma can reform, there is hope for China. Burma is quite different. They have been saddled with global economic sanctions for years, rendering them impoverished, Burma is not occupied by a foreign force, and An Sang Su Ky did not leave as she feared of not being allowed to return

Location: Dharamsala
Subject: The Issue at Hand
Sep 30 2012 01:32 AM

(Final version)

The issues at hand here are:

One, Speaker Tsering is himself sending out mixed political messages, by saying that he stands for democracy while continually using the rationale of "I am in line with HHDL's wishes, and so you should be too", that is, the rationale of authoritarianism, group think, and an appeal to the old theocracy which HHDL has abandoned.

Two, the name-changing of the Tibetan government and its top official is sending out mixed political messages by making it look like there is something wrong with the previous titles, or some kind of appearance of a lack of confidence. While there might be good reasons for it, generally speaking, it doesn't look too good.

Three, in terms of the societal and cultural stuff at play here: The kind of thinking that the Speaker is using and is appealing to is basically the same kind of thinking that arguably led to Tibet's downfall in the first place, and which has made it so unsuccessful in gaining freedom. This kind of thinking is an obstruction to democracy and for a skillful handling of Tibet's political position in the global geo-political context.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the Tibetan people is that overall they are still very unaware of the cultural and societal habits and problems which led to their political failure and occupation by the Chinese in the first place. These problems include: xenophobia, racism, ethnocentrism, isolationism, provincialism, classism, authoritarianism, theocracy, autocracy, lack of democratic process, lack of openness to new ideas, distrust of anything new or foreign, over-emphasis on loyalty, lack of emphasis on free speech and asserting one's opinion regardless of the consequences, group think, etc.

For the average Tibetan, many of these social habits are still quite strong. His Holiness has tried his best to antidote these cultural and societal problems, but when he gives talks, the majority of Tibetan people are at best indulging in pure faith-based mentalities and at worst just holding a picnic or showing off their chubas. While most Tibetan historians and Tibetan political analysts may realize the extent and depth of these social problems, the average Tibetan doesn't seem to have a clue. And even some Tibetan politicians, apparently.

In fact, it almost seems that Tibetans are conditioned to not be even slightly critical of their own culture or society, so strong is the defensiveness and resistance to examination of most Tibetan norms, whether they be social, political, or otherwise. It seems that many Tibetans have simply accepted the bad parts of Tibetan society as "just the way it is", as if nothing could be done to change it.

The cultural habit of not criticizing others for fear of disrupting harmony has its benefits, but it is one which, in the modern context, often hurts the Tibetans more than it helps them.

And perhaps that is the real problem for Tibet: Widespread lack of self-reflection in terms of one's culture and society, and a unique stubbornness for upholding the outdated ways which stopped serving the Tibetans over 63 years ago. "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" unfortunately seems like an apt description of the Tibetan socio-political landscape.

The real elephant standing in the room for the Tibetans is: What is wrong with Tibetan society that Tibet was taken over so easily and has been so unsuccessful in its attempts to gain autonomy? And the real question they should be asking themselves is: What social, cultural, and political problems led us to be so easily taken over by China? And how much have we really improved on those things since then? How much are we still doing the same things which got us in this mess in the first place?

The mirror must be a very difficult thing to look in, in this situation, but it must be done. And on a large scale.

Of course, the answer is education, and an education which is not only nationalistic and ethnocentric (such as the one which seems to be promoted in exile) but which is self-reflective, and encourages true critical thinking, historical analysis, and trans-cultural debate. This education must be not only for young Tibetans but for people of all ages.

The Tibetans need a revolution, but it must first take place in their heads and minds. Speaker Tsering's recent comments are a good example of this.

Location: Chennai
Subject: Syikhong
Sep 28 2012 09:44 AM

Respected Speaker,

We can't bring all the Tibetans together under the "Middle Path" umbrella nor we can achieve anything out of it. Its better to fight for complete independence rather than genuine autonomy. How many times did we try to convince China.....? No response.

Also, Syikyong doesn't have any modern democratic sense since it is more of appointed ruler than popularly elected one. Syilhone is even better terminology to use than Syikyong. Are our MPs moving back to feudal age?

Location: Canada
Subject: annoying speaker
Sep 26 2012 10:01 AM

I wonder who is sending mixed political signals when Dharamsala is seen as head, mouth, and heart of the Tibetan people?

Who doesn't love the silky Sikyong? I'll shoot that person myself.


Location: NY
Subject: What are self-immolators are dying for ?
Sep 26 2012 02:37 AM

That's the big discussion we had here before our delegation to the Dharamsala meeting. Some say they die for religious freedom, some say for His holiness, and some say they are not happy, while there are few who said they die against the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese. I quote from Sikyong Lobsang Sangay la has said today. "The fact that Tibetans after 50 plus years are still protesting and in the drastic form of self-immolation clearly indicates that they are protesting against the occupation of Tibet and repressive policies of the Chinese government," Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the government-in-exile, said after Tuesday's session. If they are dying for this reason, then I don't understand what and why Chitu speaker is sensoring delegates to discuss about occupation and repressive policies in Tibet and how the current our policy has failed to stop more from self-immolation.

Location: NY
Subject: Sikkyong ? Is this not a mixed signal?
Sep 26 2012 02:13 AM

We have elected Kalon tripa (prime minister) and not a Sikkyong. And what is that equivalent in a modern political term? Should we have to refer Kalong tripa Sangayla as Sikkoung Sangay la? Then why not called him Rading? the regent sounds more continous in our history contest. Well, Dharamsala has been busy for changing names before getting our country back. Other nations change their names and titles after gaining independence. Forward thinking I guess. Speaker Tsering under you are spreading a mixed political signals not only to the Chinese but to the whole world.

Location: virginia, usa
Subject: Speaker Tsering
Sep 25 2012 05:10 PM

Dear Mr. Tsering,

More than likely, you are a charming and nice Tibetan man. If I were in Dharamsala and you had a brief break in your schedule, I'd buy you a cold Godfather and have a great chat in Hotel Tibet.

That said, don't you think that understanding China's INTENTIONS is more important than understanding His Holiness' WISHES. Please consider this.

His Holiness, for example, wishes that no sentient beings will ever be killed. However, sometimes we face choices. A Maoist regiment opens fire on Kundun's contingent during his 1959 escape. If we listen to Kundun begging "don't shoot," Kundun dies in less than a minute! So, the Maoist threat gets exterminated. Please consider the implications of this brief, historical note.

Tibetans don't agree. Why pretend that they do? No other modern, democratic nation urges feigned compliance at the national level! Most of the time,, we're marching in the street to voice our opposition to our own government's wars, taxes, or whatever. I'm sure you have BBC, and you could learn about that reality by occasionally viewing the international news.

Anyway, good luck. The Maoist Chinese have played your government for decades. What you are doing is status-quo silly, but it's not new or interesting enough for me to blame you, or be upset. We're all victims of the flaws of the cultures we were raised in, and each and every culture has unique flaws.

Good luck getting China to negotiate earnestly without an ounce of leverage. I'd be laughing, except I am crying to know that your approach will seal death for the Tibetan nation at the most critical juncture in modern Tibetan history.



Location: nz
Subject: Feb. 2013
Sep 25 2012 06:32 AM

Where does this leave the planned official stand for independence, scheduled for Feb. 2013?
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