Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu
Mon Jul 6 13:19:14 PDT 1998

Getting in on this thread rather late, but: 1) A point that I have not seen mentioned (or maybe I just overlooked it) is that the Chinese are carrying out a cultural, if not demographic (massive immigration by Han Chinese and forced intermarriages), genocide of Tibetan culture. This attracts sympathy, lots of it. Although the Indonesians are clearly oppressing the East Timorese, I have heard of no claims of genocide there of any sort. 2) I think that it is unclear how "forced" the serfdom of the traditional Tibetans was. But the former regime certainly was a poor theocratic hierarchy with many repressive elements, not something worth reviving in its original form. 3) Much of the appeal of the Dalai Lama must be traced to him personally. Perhaps he is a Machiavellian manipulator. But he comes across as a kindly, wise, humorous, open-minded individual leading and speaking out for an oppressed people and an endangered culture. (I should admit that I know well one of his personal translators who worships the ground he walks on; I am more skeptical). I also note that he was quite young when he fled from Tibet. It is unlikely that he can be held personally responsible for either hauling out gold (if he did) or past repressive practices in traditional Tibet. 4) I strongly suspect that if Tibet were granted autonomy, as the DL has proposed, that we would not see a restoration of the previous regime in all its oppressiveness. But then one cannot rule that out, I suppose. 5) The major incoporation of Tibet into China, despite some allowance for local autonomy, came in the 1700s under Emperor Qianlong (Chi'en Lung). It was he who invited/forced the second-ranking Panchen Lama to live in Beijing and had a major Tibetan stupa built in Beijing. In the major Tibetan Buddhist temple in Beijing one finds a museum dedicated to Qianlong. Barkley Rosser

-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu

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