Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Tibetan speaks out!

Introduction: The following statement is taken from the "comments" board of the anti-CNN website that was established to expose the fabrications of the Western media in its reporting on the issue of Tibet. It is written by a Tibetan who describes his treatment as a citizen of the People's Republic of China, and his dismay that several of his overseas relatives have joined the Dalai Lama clique and have made comments supporting Tibetan separatism. The statement has been translated into English and I have kept the translator's comments and notes within the body of the text.


I am a Tibetan Chinese, but I feel shamed by some of my compatriots!

I am from the Aba County in the Sichuan Province of China, and in my home county, most inhabitants are ethnically Tibetan, Qiang, or Han. I am a Tibetan. Should you have any doubt about my identity, please feel free to look me up by my identification: 51322219*****0473.

(Translator’s note: that identification is similar to social insurance number, so for security reasons the author does not publish the complete identification on a public forum.)

I would love to see some of my Tibetan kinfolks repent about their actions when they read this article.

How alluring is the concept of freedom! It is surely glorious and right to seek one's freedom. However, I do not understand why we have to seek this freedom when we already have it. The actions of some of my Tibetan kinfolks are bringing shame to our brother ethnicities, as well as our government. Yes, it is right for us to value our own history and our own beliefs to continue the majestic spirit of King Gesar. When I was at the Seda Buddhist College, I learned the full Epic of King Gesar from the scriptures, and King Gesar brought pride to all of us Tibetans and us Chinese. King Gesar is a hero, he has brought good lives to all of us, yet is H.H. the Dalai Lama capable of such? I would like to compare the accomplishment of our hero and the Chinese authority. I would not like to talk about the Dalai, because he shames me too much to make such comparison on his behalf. 1. We Tibetans are grateful. Senor, Zhuoda, and Dunzhu*, You often come to this forum, and it appears from your speeches that you have already forgotten the teachings of your parents: when you receive, you give back.

(*Translator’s Note: These are the names of the author’s relatives whom he is addressing. )

Do you still remember the stories the Dedideng Grandpa* told us? In case you forget, I shall remind you: he tells that we Tibetans are grateful.

(* Translator’s note: The author refers the Grandpa as A-Mi in his mother dialect.)

Grandpa said that when the Chinese took over Tibet, we Tibetans were truly liberated. We were no longer suppressed by those aristocrat slave owners, and we were no longer their slaves or serfs. The government gave us livestock and farms, and they even let us share the aristocrats' mansion!

Then the authority sent their troops to build us the road to Lhasa. They really did it, and Grandpa clearly recalled the horrendous hardship while building that road! They had to make their own gun powder to bomb the boulders, and on that day 17 people sacrificed their lives for us. They were buried by the fallen rocks.

The authority transported salt and tea for us, but they did not ask anything in return, and replied that it is given by the government. The villagers carried their own barley to feed the trucks, and said: “It is tough for the trucks to carry so much to us!”

Then the central government left two of those trucks for the village, and asked nothing in return. After the road was built, we could really go to Lhasa on automobiles!

Later on, we had a drought that strained the grass field, so the livestock did not gain enough fat. In the same year, the winter was exceptionally harsh, and countless livestock froze to death. We were hopeless, but right at the time, the authority informed us that the central government was sending us resources. We could not believe it initially, but in two days, the trucks truly brought us food, duvet, and all that we need. Our fathers performed the long prostration on the grass field out of appreciation: they were not thanking the heavens or the Dalai Lama. Instead, they were grateful for the aid from the government, and the support from the rest of China.

2. To the Separatists:

When it comes to the time of our generations, we have experienced the real progress brought by the central government.

Senor, could you please tell me who has installed electric lights to your home, and who has implemented the satellite TV receptor for you? Could you also tell me who has built the hospital for our village, and where the doctors are from? On whose budget do we have a free way, and who has built telephone system for our village? Who pays the tuition for our younger siblings, and who takes care of us during natural disasters? Do you recall that year of landslide? Your uncle's* house was destroyed, and who built him a new house? That is right, you are now distinguished because you study abroad, but do you recall Dr. Zhang from Sichuan University? He supports your studies, but what are you doing while you are abroad? What have you done to our country? Do you care about how your family and Dr. Zhang, your benefactor, thinks about you?

(*Translator’s note: here the author refers to his acquaintance’s uncle’s wife as Mi-er. Mi-er means mother’s brother’s wife in his language.)

Now that we also have the railway, do we still live under poverty? You know we are not impoverished, but Dalai Lama still leeches from us. His adherents sit in the temple, and are inaugurated as Living Buddha’s at his will. Yet all they do is to touch the foreheads of villagers, and our village folks become obliged to send piles and piles of hard earned money to their temple. The central government has helped us Tibetans so much, yet they do not even charge tax from us. They consider our situations difficult, so they cancelled our taxation. We give our money to the temple, and then we go to the government for financial aid. Did the government say anything? No, all they say is that: “We respect the religious feelings of every ethnicity.”

Those who want to separate Tibet from the rest of China, are you really suppressed? Who is slaughtering you? No body does that. Making up such stories will make you despicable to the entire humanity.

3. To International Friends:

I know you are friends with my brothers, and they suggest you to come to this forum, so I would like to a few words to you in the following passage.

In China, we Tibetans enjoy equal rights as every other ethnicity, and in addition we enjoy the minority welfare. I am sure you have heard rumors such as that the Tibetans are ethnically cleansed by the Chinese, or the Chinese government brutally suppresses the Tibetans’ protest. You may have also heard that all Tibetans are protesting for independence, or that the Chinese government does not support actual construction for Tibetans and all they do is for colonization. My friends, those rumors are simply what they are: rumors! Let me tell you what is happening in my homeland. I believe I have more authority to talk about my home than anyone else.

The central government has been supporting Tibet ever since it implemented the “Open Door Policy”, and the following are what I find to be some of its most substantial aid:

1. Tibet is one of the first minority regions where the central government cancels the taxation.

2. It is not true that Tibet lacks freedom. Tibet is one of the autonomous regions of China, and we Tibetans have been ruling Tibet with our own hands.

3. We also enjoy various aids from the central government. The central government gives national funding to encourage college graduates to come to Tibet, and help the construction in education, manufacturing etc.

4. The central government has built a railway for Tibet in order to help Tibet’s economical growth. Meanwhile, during natural disasters, the central government always aids the Tibetan people with all of its power.

I also want to make a few other points:

1. We Tibetans are not discriminated. The other ethnicities treat us as brothers, and we enjoy all the rights and welfare applicable to other Chinese citizens.

2. We Tibetans are truly grateful for the rest of China. It is not true that all Tibetans are protesting for independence. In my hometown, the population is 70% Tibetan, but there are only a few carry ambitious schemes. They are only one out of four thousand, and those people are scorned as trash in my hometown. My friends, you are educated, and freedom embracing individuals, please do not be fooled by those who are despised by even their own people.

3. We Tibetans are not impoverished: Tibet has a higher mean household income level than most of China. In my hometown, on average each household has 40 cattle and 100 goats. The average household’s profit from cattle, wool*, and medicine trade is approximately 100,000 RMB (14,271.44 USD**), while an average person has annual income of 20,000 RMB (2,854.289 USD). Yet because most people choose to donate much of their earning to the temples, they do not appear as well off as their income indicates.

(Translators Note: * The author suggests in the article that in his hometown, cattle wool is also traded in addition to traditional wool from lamb or goats. ** The currency exchange rate is quoted on April 11, 2008)

4. The Tibetans are not suppressed during the recent riot. The illegal protesters are constrained by the different levels of police according to international charter, and only the violent protesters who attack the officers are forcefully arrested. I wonder if the situation is treated any differently in your country. I believe my brothers will not deny the above statements, so please ask them for further clarification.

4. To the 14th Dalai:

Dalai, what have you done? You take our money from cattle trade, and now you are also trying to take away our happiness.

There is a riot this year! Dalai you tell us that we need freedom, we Tibetans need freedom, and that is why we need independence.

Your Holiness, I am referring to you by name* now. I believe you will see my article, because your adherents will show it to you. I would not like to discuss whether the Communist China is right or wrong here, instead I would like to give my analysis of the consequence of Tibet's independence.

(Translator’s Note: * In most traditions to the north east of the Himalayas, one only refers to people of equal or lower rank, generation, or social class by name. )

First of all, Tibet will face economical disaster after independence. You know that Tibet’s principal is from the trade of livestock, their by product, and medicine. Once Tibet declares independence, the rest of China will become politically hostile, and will stop its economical relationship with us. There are 2.62 million* people from Tibet and surrounding areas, yet we can no longer have cattle trade with Lanzhou, Chengdu etc. or with the rest of China proper. In that case who shall we trade with? Perhaps we can trade with India, but India itself is a major agricultural country. You also realize that China can easily employ its present power to force India to stop international relations with us. When that happens, Tibet will be the next Mongolia, and be sandwiched by two major powers without a port. Even if the United States wants to help us, it will not be able to do so directly. Without an economical backbone, will Tibet go back to the theocratic serfdom it used to be?

(Translator’s Note: the author has made a mistake here and quotes the population of Tibet to be 3,000,000. I have corrected it with reference to the 2000 population census. )

In addition to the economical disaster, Tibet also lacks the military power to defend itself. I am sure you are aware that Tibet does not have its own heavy industry, hence unable to construct its own military equipment. Without a reliable economy, what can we use to trade for weapons? Perhaps the U.S. will give us some weapons, but that is far from enough. When facing the tanks and airplanes of the People’s Libration Army, do you plan to defend the “state” with mere infantry? Without our own army, what should you employ to gain that independence? Will India give you aid? Do you recall your last visit to India, and the Indian Prime Minister’s response? He does not support the Tibetan Government in Exile, because he is unwilling to be hostile to China. Our neighbor Pakistan is in alliance with China, and it is extremely difficult to build an international relationship with it, while all the other neighboring countries are in alliance with Russia. Do you really think Russia would give up its relation with China to side with you?

Meanwhile, please do not over estimate the support you have from the Tibetan people. Do you really think that all Tibetans are united under your leadership? If so, you are mistaken. The Tibetans are capable to think for themselves, and to judge which party treats them better. The recent riot fully demonstrates the situation. Your have less than thousands* of loyalists in the entire Lhasa, and you hardly have any ten thousand* adherents in the entire Tibetan region. Let us take the upper bond, and assume that you have ten thousand supporters in Tibet. That will give you the support of one out of three hundred (1/300) Tibetans. If you take away the wage you pay those people, perhaps only 1000 will still be loyal to you, and that gives you the support of one out of three thousand (1/3000) Tibetans. There are rumors that you compare yourself as the Tibetans’ Mao Zedong, yet the brutal fact is that you do not have the people’s support Mao has had**.

(* Translators Note: in Chinese language, the terms like thousand and ten thousand are used as estimate like how in English language we use “hundreds” and “thousands”.
** Historical Note: It may appear impossible to the Western readers for Mao to have the support of the people, yet one needs to realize that without the people’s support it is impossible for the communist government to establish in China in the first place. The fact was that the capitalist government had the support from the U.S., while the communist government lacked analogous support from any external body. Some might claim USSR had supported the Chinese communist part, but the fact remains that the USSR itself was devastated after WII, while the U.S. mainland was literally untouched by the war. )

You are gradually losing on the religions frontier as well. It may appear that you still have the people’s support because your temple still receives donation, yet the fact is that only the older generation gives to your temple. It is advisable for you to count how many of the new generation donate to your temple, and there are not many. Most of the younger generation stops believing in you, because your international actions appear like a circus performance to us. Your Holiness, how much have you earned from that kind of international performance?! How should we believe in you when you lack the proper dignity of a Living Buddha, and when your actions bring shame on us?

(Translator’s note: While the Dalai Lama may be losing on the religious frontier, it does not mean the waning of Buddhism in Tibet. In fact, Tibetan Buddhism has several properly recognized spiritual leaders other than the Dalai Lama.)

In short, Your Holiness, Tibet lacks both the economical and the martial resources to be an independent nation. Further more, you lack the support of the Tibetan people, as well as the religious backing at home to be the leader of the independence movement. *

(This short conclusion is inserted by the translator to make the article more logically comprehensible.)

5. To My Cousins: Senor, Zhuoda, and Dunzhu*,

I would like to inform you that your actions are already violating the legislation, as well as the moral baseline. Despite that the government has laid no charge on you, we as your relatives will not forgive you this easily. If you keep up with your actions, I will be waiting for you in Chengdu, and I look forward to having a really serious discussion with you. Your parents have contacted me, saying that they have lost contact with you for more than a year, and they are concerned for your safety. I did not tell them that you have become adherents to the Dalai Clique, because I fear that they might kill you once they find out. Perhaps you can still contribute to the real progress of our country, but if you keep up with your action, you will be in physical danger from our relatives. I, your cousin, is not a coward, I am simply rational. I understand who is really fit to lead us Tibetans towards abundance.

You have changed your phone number, so I cannot contact you anymore. I know you often come to this forum, so I hope that after you read this article, you will stop your wrong doing. Please do stop. Other wise, our village folks will not forgive you, your parents will not tolerate you, and neither will your close friends. You have brought shame to all us Tibetans.

Nowadays whenever I see reports such as the “The Tibetans so and so”, or “The Tibetans Riot”, I feel like to find a corner and weep. I long to explain that we Tibetans are also one of the many Chinese ethnicities, but who would listen to me? All I can do is to explain to all my friends that we Tibetans are not anarchists as you may perceive us to be.

My cousins, my blood kin, please stop giving the others any more reasons to fear us like that.

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