Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Turn Off The Dalai Show

The Dalai Lama has been at the European Parliament today. Here are a few facts that I doubt were mentioned.

Before 1959, Tibet was not an independent state ruled benignly by the Dalai Lama and given over almost entirely to the pursuit of spirituality.

But Tibet was certainly ruled by the Dalai Lama, by the lamas generally, and by the feudal landlord class from which the lamas were drawn.

“Dalai” is a family name; only a member of the House of Dalai can become the Dalai Lama.

Well over 90 per cent of the population was made up of serfs, the background from which the present rulers of Tibet are drawn.

That system was unique in China, and existed only because successive Emperors of China had granted the Tibetan ruling clique exactly the “autonomy” for which it still campaigns from “exile”.

Life expectancy in Tibet was half what it is today.

There has never been an independent state of Tibet.

Likewise, there is nothing remotely new about the presence in Tibet of large numbers of Han, who are ethnic Chinese in the ordinary sense, and of other Chinese ethnic groups.

The one-child policy never applied in Tibet, so the Han majority there is the ethnic Tibetans’ own fault, if they even see it as a problem.

It is totally false to describe the Dalai Lama baldly as “their spiritual leader”. Relatively few would view him as such.

In particular, Google “Dorje Shugden” for, to put at its mildest, some balance to the media portrayal of the present Dalai Lama.

Or read what remains the greatest hit of The Lanchester Review. Beyond that venerable journal, we never hear from Dorje Shugden practitioners.

Just as we never hear from the loyally Chinese Hui Muslims; I have tried, repeatedly.

Moreover, the Dalai Lama has never condemned either the invasion of Afghanistan or the invasion of Iraq. 

For more on Buddhism as no more a religion of peace than Islam is (no less so, but no more), then see Sri Lanka, Burma, Mongolia, Japan, Thailand, and beyond.

In fact, an examination of the relevant texts shows that violence in general and war in particular are fundamental to Buddhism. Tibet is particularly striking for this.


  1. “Dalai” is a family name; only a member of the House of Dalai can become the Dalai Lama.

    Like any monarchy then. What's wrong with that?

    The Tibetans are brutally suppressed, tortured and imprisoned under Chinese occupation with monks burning themselves alive in protest.

    It's that that is the problem.

    1. What do you think that the rest of China is like? Yet they are still better off before 1959. Think on.

  2. Well, precisely-that's why I oppose the Chinese occupation.

    No they are not better off. Their ancient culture and all representations of it are being systematically destroyed and they are tortured and imprisoned in their thousands whenver they dare to dissent.

    Monks didn't burn themselves alive in protest under the previous dispensation.

    1. They didn't have to. Their feudal landowning class was in charge.

      You can't "occupy" yourself.

  3. They didn't have to because they weren't living in a Chinese prison state at the time.

    They were occupied by China in 1951, after a protracted battle and after they were forced to sign an agreement drawn up by the Chinese without the consent of the Tibetan authorities, as you well know.

    1. You cannot "occupy" yourself. Tibet is not singularly oppressed within China (very far from it), and the feudal-lama class is hardly the most sympathetic section of Tibetan society.