22
Apr
08

On-Air : An honest debate

Have a read of this and then tell me if you think we should do what Grace was villified for : get Chinese students from outside Tibet and students from Tibet to sit down and talk to each other
We’ve decided to try for this. We’ve made contact with Grace, who is- through an intermediary- weighing it up.

The role of students and the young generally in both sides of this dispute has been fascinating so there are other reasons why we’d like to hear from students on either side.

Get your questions in…

 
UPDATE

Here’s the Duke protest on YouTube. The music stops around 3.30 in and Grace appears after five minutes or so.


 

 

 


94 Responses to “On-Air : An honest debate”


  1. April 22, 2008 at 11:44

    I think that would make for a very interesting program. If it could be arranged that would be fantastic.

    Might i suggest not having the leaders of free tibet protest groups or representatives of the communist party on each side of the debate. Prehaps real lay people would be better even if they would disagree.

  2. April 22, 2008 at 12:37

    Wow, that story is wild! I really feel for the author 😦

    Why not get them together to talk? Of course the dialogue will depend largely on who it is speaking on the show and their willingness to understand and give time for the other person or side to respond. You had Israeli and Palestinians get together on your show before. That worked out better than I had envisioned.

    It would make for an interesting programme. I’d sure be in for the listen.

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  3. 3 Mark Sandell
    April 22, 2008 at 13:02

    Thanks Brett and Hannah, we’re doing our best to get students on both “sides” to debate, and we’ve made contact with Grace too- so fingers crossed.
    If it happens, let me know what you think we should ask…

  4. 4 Xie_Ming
    April 22, 2008 at 13:17

    Thank you for posting that article link, Mark. It is important for showing the effect of ideology on conduct.

    There is also the claim of chaos theory that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil may evoke a tornado in Texas. The mental lemmings who respond to the “cause of the week” are unable to see things in their relation to other things.

    It also shows the the activity of the Secret Police continues among Chinese Students studying abroad.

    My response to your proposed debate would be a resounding “NO!”. Some reasons are:

    a) The “Tibetan” protesters in this report were not Tibetans, but rather students who had been psyched into the “cause of the week”.

    b) Real Tibetans are of Chinese stock, the same as across the border in Sichuan. As do many, they speak a non-Mandarin dialect.
    Minorities and conflicts of this sort have happened in China for millenia- would we be qualified to intervene?

    c) The “protest” movement is not spontaneous, but media-potentiated and possibly CIA-generated as as a part of realpolitik.

    d) The PRC has evidently decided to respond in kind- something that “cause of the week” lemmings are not used to.

    e) One would only put students in peril but stepping into what appears to be a realpolitk battle by those who would advance the “Great Game” of cutting off Tibet from China.

    Tim Sebastien had several weeks of great discussion between Israeli and Palestinian KEY PEOPLE wherein they agreed on the eventual terms of a settlement.

    You could attempt something similar. However, it seems to me that it is more a matter of realpolitik than of minority rights.

  5. 5 selena
    April 22, 2008 at 13:18

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20generals.html?em&ex=1209009600&en=3ee3387c020a7f71&ei=5087

    Wow! I just lost a post. So, as I won’t remember a thing of what I wrote, will just say that it is a good idea to try to get everyone together.

    Oh yes, I think I said, people will always try to intimidate you, if you go against your group.

    As Hannah says, forget the leaders. They are only spouting the usual garbage. Ordinary people are the key to change.

    I am posting a link that I feel is relevant but some may not.

    Anyway, the only thing to fear is fear itself, as others have so eloquently said before me.

  6. 6 Xie_Ming
    April 22, 2008 at 13:28

    If you must do it, here are some questions:

    1) Are you a student?
    2) Are you Tibetan?
    3) If you are studying here at Duke, what do you personally know of the trouble in Tibet?
    4) How much of the history of Tibet are you aware of?
    5) Has this trouble always existed in Tibet during your lifetime?
    6) What are the root causes of this trouble?
    7) Has the trouble been continuous or have there been ups and downs?
    8) What do you see as the principal actions required to relieve the tensions?
    9) While in Tibet, whom have you observed as agitators?
    10) Did you observe any government actions that you viewed as positive?
    11) Who is paying for your travel here and study?

  7. 7 John in Beijing
    April 22, 2008 at 15:08

    As a teacher living and working in Beijing, I think that this is not a good idea,

    The Chinese are not willing to talk or discuss this topic. Most people have made up their minds and that is it. They will answer every question or comment with the following”

    “You do not understand our China!”

    This is pure nationalism and we should all understand it is impossible to convince a nationalist otherwise. Xie Ming is a perfect example of the nationalist rhetoric I have been hearing for weeks.

    One thing Westerns need to understand is that there is NO public discussion of such topics in China. There is a party line and everyone agrees. If you do not, it is very dangerous.

    Look at the protests at Carrefour recently and how people stood up to mediate and talk sense to the mobs. Most were shouted down and chased away.

  8. 8 gary
    April 22, 2008 at 15:21

    No one is perfectly informed about any controversy, the Tibetan – Chinese one is no exception. Politics runs on opinions of one-sided reports of poorly observed events, not upon universally accepted facts and common ethics. The former makes it easy to cede control of political life to unknown conspirators; the latter case would make debate unnecessary.
    Honest debate, that which proceeds openly and includes admissions of ignorance on both sides, is remarkably useful. The participants will likely not solve the problem, nor perhaps even befriend their opponents; but all will increase their understanding. An advice for the sullenly silent, the paths to peace and understanding are the same, and progress toward each requires movement in the same direction. We are a collection of us. Our individual progress becomes our collective progress.
    g

  9. 9 Ros Atkins
    April 22, 2008 at 15:26

    I was very horrified when i heard about what is happening to the chinese student mediator and her family. If chinese students are reacting this way to request for a dialogue, then i dont see anyway forward over the tibet issue with the chinese government. The same student that wil not entertain dialogue on tibetan sovereignty wants the world to hear their calls for a more free china.
    Kwabena in Ghana

  10. April 22, 2008 at 15:30

    tibet , burma, west timor ,north korea ,israel and numerous other states are practicing the same oppression we are blaming on china ,the colinisation and oppression of the poor commoners by an elite

    we are attacking china but what about indonesia ,and usa support for israel ,no pressure what so-ever yes china is oppressing tibet [but tibetans were long oppressed by the ruling elites [the monks]

    i am discusted by all the oppression [look what they do to natives in usa , and australia] genocide one oh one ,our natives were poisened and exterminated intregated and out numbered [the same game as tibet]the same global elites with great wealth live like kings , while the indigenants get prison camps like palistein

    yes its time for china to make changes but changes to what , we are picking on china [not israel ,doing its appartheid elitism ,just like south africa or the natzies of old]each seeking their own fiefdom homeland, stealing others homes

    we have many tin pot exploiters in africa ,and so many other states recall marcos , idi amin [or mugabi [or yeltson ,and numerouse others stealing others lands and resource while oppressing the indiganent natives

    that they do to the least they do to god [if your not part of the solution your part of the problem]first see the problem

  11. 11 Rachel in California USA
    April 22, 2008 at 15:39

    It is a great idea to encourage dialogue between ordinary people of differing points of view. I agree that it is a good idea to engage ordinary people, staying away from those Grace Wang describes as “fen qing (angry youth)” on either side. A basic qualification would be that people are able to ask questions and listen to the answers.

    Often in dialogue of this sort people have a lot they want to say, things they need to get off their chests before their hearts can open to genuine listening. But if people can listen, even a little bit, it’s worth a try.

    It seems to me that Grace Wang, as a freshman in college, has a future ahead of her in communication and conflict mediation. It is often uncomfortable to be in the middle; people who are threatened by communication may see you as a threat or a traitor. Grace already knows how important the ground of communication is, and she will hold that ground with increasing authority. Best wishes to her, and best hopes to her family in China.

  12. 12 John in Beijing
    April 22, 2008 at 15:51

    What people don’t understand is although the things that many countries have done are horrible, there is a public dialog about it and they can be discussed and debated in a free society

    Yes Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and a million other bad things have been done or created by the west, but we are able to talk about it. Teachers are able to tell students what has happened.Newspapers are able to report different opinions. Here there is none on that.

    There is no debate here. There is no BBC-like media here where both sides are being presented in China.

    It is a mob-rule and it is much like I imagine the Cultural Revolution might have been. Those that want a dialog or want to move on or sue for peace are treated like Grace Wang. It is seriously getting to the point where I believe they will do something to escalate the situation and it might boil over and seriously effect the Olympics. Who would want to come to China right now if they know they are at risk of being attacked for having a different opinion.

  13. 13 Will Rhodes
    April 22, 2008 at 15:53

    The Chinese have had ‘historic’ dialogue with Taiwan, does this open the route for dialogue with Tibet in the future?

    China is a slow moving beast – that is the only way she can move due to the bureaucracy that she has. But that said, isn’t the same said of many western nations?

  14. 14 Nick in USA
    April 22, 2008 at 15:54

    Xie MIng,

    1) Why don’t you want to have the debate? You really haven’t given a single solid reason not to have it.

    2) I’m not sure why you think your qualifier questions are necessary. If you saw aliens on Jupiter being treated poorly, it doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it because you’re not a Jupiterian.

    3) All protests are media potentiated, but what evidence do you have that this situation involves the CIA? Why would the CIA want to be involved?

    4) Why do you think the term realpolitik applies in this situation? It seems to be a human rights issue to me.

  15. 15 steve
    April 22, 2008 at 16:00

    When I hear stories like this, I take them with a grain of salt. Is there independent verification that she was called a traitor rather than just people disagreeing with her? Has her family really faced death threats and went into hiding? I ask this because there has been a rash of incididents in the US where people would fabricate stories so they could get national attention. There have been many fake hate crimes, in NY, in DC, and Baltimore, where the accuser admits they fabricated the story, or were caught on surveillance tapes putting up the noose, or drawing the swastika on the door. It’s the 21st century way of getting national attention, so I hate to say it, but I tend to not believe stories like this, especially when she obviously sought out the media.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,314579,00.html

    http://www.nbc4.com/news/14516979/detail.html

    Attention seekers are mentally ill people.

  16. 16 Ros Atkins
    April 22, 2008 at 16:05

    Just one question for those defending China’s actions.

    They blame western media for being biased against China, but in a country where the media is heavily censored and heavily biased itself to align with the party line, how can they make an informed decision when they do not have the facts and how can they make a decision when often nothing is said on a topic other than propaganda?

    I have heard so often the line, “In the west… the west…” That is no defense or an answer.

    Andrew

    Australia

  17. 17 Nick in USA
    April 22, 2008 at 16:10

    One Under God,

    If we had a magic wand that we could wave and wipe out all injustices, then we would. Since we don’t, it’s necessary to address one problem at a time. We americans have come a long way since the time of cowboys and indians, so comparing us to the Chinese is not at all accurate. Also, I don’t know why you think we are so much more supportive of Israel than China. Last time I checked, our stores weren’t filled with Israeli products. We keep them safe, but nobody has ever supported their poor treatment of palestinians.

  18. 18 selena
    April 22, 2008 at 16:41

    It is interesting to read the comments about this issue.

    Some people believe every word of Grace’s story is true, without giving it a moment’s consideration; others believe we shouldn’t debate the issue because we might offend one group or another.

    Still others believe that because we can talk openly in the West (which is not exactly true), it’s somehow better when we carry out atrocities. Debate doesn’t amount to Humphrey Bogart’s hill of beans, when one is on the receiving end of torture.

    Not only should we have this debate, we NEED this debate. The reason being to see ourselves more clearly.

  19. 19 Xie_Ming
    April 22, 2008 at 16:42

    Well, Nick:

    I have said all that I wanted to say above.One should always read carefully.

    If it is true that protest has been intitiated among “cause of the week lemmings”, and that one wishes to mediate a more peaceful situation in Tibet, then one should have Tibetans speaking for Tibet and not manipulatred student lemmings.

    There was some documentation of CIA involvement in the China thread. The BBC should try to find out more.

    We may recall than CHEN’s comments on the China were met with an avalanche of of criticism.

    It now is evident that the reaction was exactly as he predicted!

    Suggestion: try to get CHEN on the air, too!

  20. 20 VictorK
    April 22, 2008 at 17:21

    I hope that something comes out of this debate but it strikes me as the equivalent of the BBC late in 1939 getting together German and Polish students in London to debate recent developments concerning their countries. When the facts are well-established – if not well known – what exactly is a debate supposed to be about? Finding a solution? Very well, if talking is going to change the position of a totalitarian regime that has made clear that it means to hold onto the territory it’s conquered forever. And since most of the German students are loyal to the regime, and those who aren’t would be wise not to dissent in public for fear of what the Nazi authorities would do to their families back home…I hope I’m wrong but it seems futile.

    @ Xie Ming: far from being the ’cause of the week’ Tibet has been an issue for more than half a century following its invasion, conquest and occupation. I recently picked up a book by Iris Chang, ‘The Rape of Nanking’. Your post reminded me of how the Japanese treat Chinese grievances about that episode in the history of the two countries much like you treat concerns over Tibet: with dismissive contempt. I think that you and the Japanese who think like you are both mistaken.

    You seem poorly informed about many aspects of Tibet and it’s history. Your claim that ‘Real Tibetans are of Chinese stock’ is only partly true . They are principally of mixed Chinese and Turkic ancestry, with Dardic and Indian strains in the west of the country, and incorporate a blend of Mon tribes in the eastern Himalayas. Even if your claim had been true, it would have been a red herring (something to add to the list of informal fallacies you’ve been treating us to recently): common ethnic origin is irrelevant to the current political question, and your implied argument that if they are Chinese then they are a part of China has as much weight as saying that if Canada and Australia are Anglo-Saxon countries then Britain has a right to invade and annex them. No, not in the real world or as a matter of logic.

    Your claim that the Tibetans speak ‘a non-Mandarin dialect’ seems pointless. A dialect is a regional sub-form of a language. It should not come as news to you that the Tibetans speak…Tibetan. There are – of course – dialects of Tibetan; and they have no more to do with Mandarin than have Burmese or Thai.

    Your statement that “Minorities and conflicts of this sort have happened in China for millenia- would we be qualified to intervene” is irrelevant (and who exactly do you mean by ‘we’ since you seem to be putting the Chinese party line anyway?). And the point being insinuated is in any case false. No one cares to intervene in China’s internal minority conflicts. The point that the Tibetans make, and that few Chinese seem willing to grasp, is that they are a separate nation, they are not historically a part of China, and they are only a part of China now as a result of military aggression. There is nothing in the least unusual in the Tibetans wanting to recover their stolen nationhood: the countries seized by Nazi Germany longed for the same thing, as did the nations forcibly incorporated into the former Soviet Union. In those cases, too, the issues were clear and there was nothing to discuss except ‘how are we to liberate the conquered’?

    Back to the pending debate: it’s always a pity when national chauvinism and ethnic solidarity by those who need to give an account of their past action and present conduct pre-empt honest debate (or so my crystal ball tells me). Hope I’m wrong.

  21. April 22, 2008 at 17:23

    I’m no student lemming. I’m close on 50 and have studied the Tibetan situation for many years. This includes research into the remote historical events on which China’s claims to sovereignty over Tibet are based, and reaches all the way to the current situation. In the process I have also examined many Chinese documents and policies; at least, as many as are available for scrutiny outside China. I remain convinced, on the basis of these researches, that the Tibetan people have for 60 years been deprived of many basic human rights, including the right to self-determination, and that grave abuses of human freedoms and dignity have occurred and continue to occur in Tibet.

    One need not be Tibetan to understand and support the Tibetan people, especially when they are in no position to do so for themselves.

    On the other hand, the gravest mistake a supporter of the Tibetan people could make, would be to embrace an anti-Chinese mindset.

    My own protests are directed against the Chinese government, and very often against western governments who flout human rights and the rule of law.

    The problem in China seems to be either that the government is always right, or that no one inside China can criticise that government. The first proposition is simply untenable, the second is a human rights abuse in itself.

  22. April 22, 2008 at 17:42

    I wish to congratulate Grace for taking such a bold step to serve as a mediate in her own country. It is up to her colleagues students to join her to bring the continuous confusion in their country to normalcy.

    George in Tarkwa, Ghana

  23. April 22, 2008 at 17:42

    I think the fact that Grace Wang fears she cannot return to China without repercussions says it all. However it would be beneficial to go over the history of Tibet and China’s claims to it as territory. It is not as cut and dried an issue as it seems I believe and Tibet was at one time in the fairly distant past considered part of China and the Dalai Lama’s predecessors were a blood thirst bunch who did their own share of suppression. But then again large junks of France were at one time considered English territory and we did our own version of suppression and the Romans etc etc. However autonomy for Tibet is the way to go, why do the Chinese want it so much? Next stop India? Pakistan, The Gulf?

    Tallents

  24. 24 Mohammed Ali
    April 22, 2008 at 17:54

    Discussions between students from both ends is just for intellectualizing, but it is not going to play any role in resolving the problems.

  25. 25 Xie_Ming
    April 22, 2008 at 18:07

    Donovan:

    Yours is the first post that claims some knowledge of the Tibean situation historically (excluding the usual nonsense assertions to which this blog has become accustomed).

    Do you have knowledge of the human rights situation within Tibet concerning Han Chinese vs. non-Han?

    Is there a “basic human right of self-determination”? If so, we can think of many areas that might want it applied!

    Your concepts of “human rights” are worthy of exposition in their own right-a worthy topic.

    If you have this knowledge of Tibet, you should get on the program.

    Certainly, facts would be better than assertions from the uninformed or partly programmed. Again, one could wish that the BBC had or would present some experts on the background of Tibet.
    _________________________________________-

    Concerning lemmings and manipulation, why are these not more
    worthy of those who would act to improve the World:

    (1) Darfur?
    (2) Zimbawe?
    (3) Palestine?

    Could it be that youthful enthusiam is being directed?

  26. 26 steve
    April 22, 2008 at 18:11

    Still not convinced. The more I hear her, the more I think she’s seeking out her 15 minutes of fame. Notice how she said at the beginning “I think most of you have heard of me” means I think she’s really, really enjoying the attention she’s getting from this.

  27. April 22, 2008 at 18:13

    I just wonder how long after the olympics will all of these protesters forget about Tibet?

    Ari in the US

  28. 28 James
    April 22, 2008 at 18:14

    Grace,

    Can you explain why you changed your name in order to go to the U.S., after you were rejected with another name one year before?

    James

  29. 29 Anthony
    April 22, 2008 at 18:21

    I would like to know if these young people think that their youth would be willing to eventually die and kill for their beliefs?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. 30 selena
    April 22, 2008 at 18:21

    Quote: I think the fact that Grace Wang fears she cannot return to China without repercussions says it all. Unquote

    What does it say? To me it says that one person feels fear. I know people who will not travel to the US or China or any Arab country because of fear.

    Much of what we feel as fear is manufactured in our own minds. That is not to say we won’t run into bureaucracy. But that can happen anywhere, anytime. Heaven forbid if any one of us runs foul of authorities, in our own countries.

    Yes, China is trying to frame an agenda. But all countries frame agendas according to the flavor of the moment. The Dali Lama’s group is lusting after power.

    The sooner we realize that what governments do has always been out of the control of ordinary citizens, the sooner we will take measures to try to understand why we let tyrants lead us into situations for which we have little taste.

    Perhaps the way to go is not autonomy. Perhaps the way to go it look at why we need borders and countries and separation. Isn’t is only the few at the top that encourage separation and then only for their own benefit?

  31. 31 John via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:22

    It is unfortunate, but the bullying reaction Grace faced is exactly the sort of thuggish reaction promoted by the Chinese government and its education system. It is the violent reaction of an authoritarian system that knows it is ethically in the wrong and can respond only by seeking to destroy those willing to point it out.

    The Chinese people are as much victims in this situtation as Grace, because they lack real information and are presented only with the distorted pro-government propagnda and the slogan that “Tibet is a part of China.” No matter how many times the Communist Chinese government says so, Tibet and East Turkestan are not a part of China any more than stolen property belongs to the a thief.

    Thank you,
    John

  32. 32 Preston
    April 22, 2008 at 18:22

    It is incredibly frustrating to hear Han Chinese sharing their feelings on Tibetans. They sound like White Americans in the 1960s talking about Black Americans. The dominant group feels no need to understand the realities of the minority. Here in San Francisco, as elsewhere, we saw the Chinese officially organize large groups to shout down protesters during the Olympic torch run. The majority shouting down the minority is not civil society.

  33. 33 Lei Chen
    April 22, 2008 at 18:24

    Grace,
    Do you have any background in Tibetan history? What qualifies you as a mediator in this discussion? Have you read Goldstein, Suatman, Grunfeld? Your display is nothing but an attempt to fast track your green card application.

  34. 34 Bob via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:24

    the people of china know only what they are told! grace is a good example, tibetans are tibetans!

    bob

  35. April 22, 2008 at 18:26

    Ross, u described your guests as all chinese, surely that is the problem. They are not and that is why Tibetans want the country back the chinese invaded and took control of.

    Mark Southport, England

  36. 36 Anthony
    April 22, 2008 at 18:27

    Also, does the average person from China really think the Dalai Lama is evil? If so, why?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  37. 37 Mark via text
    April 22, 2008 at 18:30

    Ross, u described ur guests as all chinese, surely that is the problem. They are not and that is why tibetans want the country back the chinese invaded and took control of.
    Mark in Southport, England

  38. 38 Brett
    April 22, 2008 at 18:33

    C’mon guys and gals! We have 30 minutes left!!! Lets get some proposed solutions to the issue. Communication is great, but lets get some concrete ideas ladies and gents 🙂

    Grace mentioned civil rights being denied to tibetans which were not denied to Chinese. Can we get some instances of these instead of a generalization?

    The abuse of the resources in Tibet was a very good point.

    Lastly, Grace; You go girl!

    Regards,
    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  39. 39 Dmitry via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:33

    In China, there is no human rights at all and I understand why. Tibet shows us an example, that can happend if you are not agree with ‘big guys’ in China.
    Dmitry in Riga

  40. 40 Bob via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:34

    how can one talk with a government that says the negative things about the Dalai Lama. the world has recognized the Dalai Lama as a man of peace! china will not listen.

    bob

  41. 41 Frank via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:36

    Frank in Italy
    China gained the games after promising to improve human rights records time has come to put this pledge into action!

  42. 42 Jana via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:37

    Hi,
    thank you fro talking about this sensitive issue!

    I would like to know your opinion about this picture which I found on the internet – it shows chinese soldiers in Lhasa carrying buddhist monks clothing. I cant think any other reason than that the soldiers dressed as monks pushed the violence in Lhasa, so that Chinese government has a reason to act.

    Until Chinese government keeps using lies to change the public meaning, nothing will change.
    I think it’s time that Chinese government shows that China is ready to become one of the world top countries by acting peacefully. Respecting human rights and an open dialogue with His Holiness The Dalai Lama who only wishes REAL Authonomy for Tibet. Europe should be the one who will present at the meetings helping to find a solvation. Just as Grace does.

    Thank you
    Jana
    Czech Republic

  43. 43 James via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:39

    Haven’t civil rights for most tibetans increased under the current chinese regime? At the end of the 2nd world war most tibetans were serfs.
    james in Portland

  44. 44 Bob via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:40

    there is a stone pillar in lhasa, that says china and tibet are separate countries and recognized by both as such.
    bob in Portland

  45. 45 gary
    April 22, 2008 at 18:41

    Ms. Grace Wong; I am proud of you. I am proud of your parents for having raised such a brave and wise daughter. Your efforts to facilitate communication are dangerous; but must continue. Be careful! Keep talking!

  46. 46 Ben
    April 22, 2008 at 18:41

    Just watch the video from a HongKong media recorded in Lasa on 3/14/08, this is what so called “peaceful demonstration” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROTyGOJ2ZZI

  47. April 22, 2008 at 18:42

    The Tibetian issue has become one riddled with vaguery. The Tibetians are not being specific in what their needs are. This allows the Chinese government to continue to muddy the issue further. Just saying that you want freedom is not enough. I’m tired of hearing about bias and not understanding the Tibetian/China issue. I know that there is a problem and it takes both China and Tibet to solve it. I also know that it is either the Chinese or the Tibetians that doesn’t want this problem to be solved.

  48. 48 Al via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:47

    Where is the Panchen Lama? Who was arrested by the Chinese in 1995 shortly after haven been choosen when he was only 5 years old and hasn’t been seen since?

  49. 49 Ken via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:48

    Cheers to the Tibetans that are asserting their modest nationality for their peaceful and noble culture. I am hopeful that Tibet will be free in the near future. Your voices are a step in the right direction.

    Ken in Cleveland

  50. 50 Kevin via text
    April 22, 2008 at 18:49

    TO YOUR TIBETAN GUESTS,HOW DO U EXPECT REAL HELP FROM THE WESTERN WORLD THAT HEAVILY DEPENDS ON CHINA 4 ITS CHARMED EXISTANCE WITHOUT THE PROTESTERS LOOKING LIKE HYPOCRITES?
    KEVIN IN TRINIDAD

  51. 51 John via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:50

    I have not heard the Chinese ‘side’ in this debate describe why it is necessary to ‘contain’ Tibet or Taiwan for that matter. When there are people anywhere who would like to be some sort of discreet nation or organization (and perhaps good neighbors) I don’t understand why this is offensive. I do understand why if Taiwan or somewhere like it was to become a US outpost this would be unnerving to a greater China.

    And as to bringing economic opportunities or development to somewhere, this usually contains selfish motive and people should be ‘helped’ as they would like to be helped and only when they request to be helped.

    john
    san francisco ca usa

  52. 52 Helen Hill
    April 22, 2008 at 18:51

    No one is mentioning Britain’s role in the imperial aggression in Tibet and the resulting instability and deterioration of the autonomy of the country. Britain invaded as early as the 1700’s, exiling Tibetans, and in 1904 invaded again in order to have a strategic base near Russia.

  53. 53 Phaedra
    April 22, 2008 at 18:52

    I am of European descent, but was raised in a family that practices Tibetan Buddhism. I may not be Chinese, but I think that any person has some say when discussing the heartland of their faith- at least, Jews, Christians and Muslims think so in Jerusalem. Tibetans can only ask for greater autonomy within China because if they ask for more, they will be crushed. So what if Tibet has “historically” been a part of China? The United States has “historically” been a part of Great Britain, and Kosovo was, until VERY recently, “historically” a part of Serbia. Where is the U.S., so eager to support “emerging democracies and young independent nations” when they have oil, but not when said emerging nation goes against one of the U.S.’s greatest allies? H.H. the Dalai Lama wants only the best for his people and the world.

  54. 54 David via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:52

    It is clear that intelligent chinese students have suffered their whole life from hearing one story only – that of the communist government. Here in Auckland a large group of angry students have recently stolen newspapers to suppress an advertisement for a dance event they suspected to be linked to Falun Gong because they were angry that the newspaper published the advertisement. Call me if you wish – it is quite a story
    David in Auckland NZ

  55. 55 Diwakar via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:53

    If you flee from your country and asked from independence from outside, it is the stupid idea. This lessening the number of Tibetan people, it will be easier to repress the Tibetan protestors. Next, why surrounding countries will support you independence voice because the upcoming government (Tibetan) will be fully influenced by Indian policies. It’s better to recon ciliate with the Chinese and preserves your left cultural heritage. You cannot ask for independence where the population from outside province is 1500000 and native 150000. Didn’t you see the strategy implemented by the Chinese, they even consider the autonomous demand as a separatist movement because they know autonomous will lead finally to separate country.

    Diwakar in NEPAL

  56. 56 James via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:54

    who resisted the communists the serfs or the landlords? Of just serfs forced to fight by landowners
    james in portland

  57. 57 Anthony
    April 22, 2008 at 18:54

    This conversation is way to good not to continue it. Please please keep it going another day! 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  58. 58 Bob via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:54

    how can anyone say life has improved in tibet, when holding your fist in the air and saying free tibet, lands you 7 years in prison!

    bob in porltand

  59. April 22, 2008 at 18:55

    The Carolinas, where Grace is being harassed, were once described as too small for a country and too large for an insane asylum, Perhaps the Tibetans and Chinese at Duke caught the vibe. Let us hope that Grace gets to be herself in peace, and the dialogue upen even more.

  60. 60 Henry via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:56

    Hello,

    Recently I tried to carry out a rational conversation with a group of Tibetans here in the US. Like Grace, I was shouted down, but I don’t harbor any hard feelings. I understand that this is a sensitive issue and Tibetans are certainly justified in having very strong feelings. What I can’t accept is that many of the Tibetans I spoke with are just as close-minded as they accuse the Chinese as of being. For instance, every time I brought up images and accounts of violence perpetrated by Tibetans, they automatically respond that I have been brainwashed by Chinese media (much like one of your guest just did to a caller). Even when I explain that I only sought out third-party sources like James Miles, the reporter for the Economist, their only response is that Miles is a Chinese agent.

    Sorry for the rambling, but here is my question. Could you please ask the Tibetan participants what they wish to do with all of the ethnic Han now living in Tibet. I know of several families who migrated there over the past 40 years, out of their own will, to pursue economic opportunities. So far, all Tibetans I have spoken with have declared that these families must be forced out. Some have even said that Tibet is for “pure Tibetans,” as much an endorsement ethnic cleansing as I have ever heard.

    Thank you.

    Henry

  61. 61 Jeff via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:56

    Two points:

    1) I guess China is trying to clean up its image by making a peaceful gesture on the world stage– that’s why they’ve sent a shipful of weapons to Zimbabwe– isn’t that what Africans have been clammoring for?

    2) Here in the United States, if a legitimate part of our country, which Tibet is not of China,… say a state like Mississippi, wanted to secede from the union, do you think the rest of us would object? In fact, there are some who would send notes of
    encoragement and offers of assistance.
    union

    JEFF, Oakland, California, USA

  62. 62 Kipsang via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:57

    Why Tibet?!
    We got horrible abuses of human rights in The West Bank, Zimbabwe, uganda….poverty, food crisis and lots of problems.
    is BBC TOO NARROW IN FOCUSSING EXHAUSTIVELY on the many world problems or does it have a political dimensions to its choice of whys TOPICS?
    Are ‘other’world problems not worth talking about?
    IS China the only problem afflicting the world & the only one worth talking about too long too much?

    I have been a keen listener of world have your say, and I must say lately, Bbc has been setting their NEWS AGENDA poorly.
    For a media House that aims to provide it’s listeners with the best in information at this age, this insistence on Tibet is suffocating & too narrow….. DARFUR, palestine ZIMBABWE, SOMALIA, Ethiopia and cameroon are burning.
    BE WIDE IN CHOICES OF WHYS TOPICS!
    KIPSANG in Bomet KENYA.

  63. 63 Swamana via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:57

    Dear BBC,
    Please advise these young Chinese to divorce politics from sport.If Grace is saying that Tibet is part of China,then why do they want an autonomy?Or even if it is actually the case that Tibet is not part of China,why can’t they use another forum to get their independence rather than the olympics.Whatever happens,this olympics must hold in China and these talented sports men and women will not be deprived of their medals,afterall,countries with more worse human rights records have hosted this same game,which most of these western countries had attended,why China?
    This is mere politics.
    Swamana
    University of San Diego
    California

  64. 64 Mark via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:58

    The south African guy should concentrate his efforts on countries in his own continent and theur freedom, ie Zimbabwe.. shame on Africa and South Africa in particular.
    With regard to Tibet. It is part of China .. Historically, factually. The rioters who were causing damage in Lhasa and other places would have been dealt with like any other group of volent thugs.
    Mark
    UK

  65. 65 Jay via email
    April 22, 2008 at 18:58

    What I’m hearing today has been about whether Tibet is part of China.
    It’s not the business of the rest of the world to judge this issue unless there’s serious oppression. I haven’t heard anything about the oppression that the pro Dalai Lama protesters have been using as a reason to cause trouble with the Olympics.

    Jay
    Portland, OR 97204

  66. 66 Amanuel via email
    April 22, 2008 at 19:04

    Hello,
    It is obvious that China violates the Human rights Act but whoelse did not? Cuba, Eritrea, USA, Ethiopia, England. I would go in detail if my call get through.
    Protesting now it is not going to affect china. Why can’t we protest about the injustice in America over black people, the middleast, Darfur.

    Amanuel

    calfornia

  67. 67 Anonymous text from UK
    April 22, 2008 at 19:06

    Compare mongolia to tibet today. Who’s richer? Do mongolians even have enough food to feed their family? Tibetans most certainly do.

  68. 68 Tashi via text
    April 22, 2008 at 19:09

    China talks development in Tibet. But we have to count resources they have extracted n extract. In fact is China lies n people die. I don’t blame Chinese people but the Govt. is Monster.
    Tashi, Tibetan in Nepal

  69. 69 Mark Sandell
    April 22, 2008 at 19:14

    Kipsang, if you are as keen a listener as you say you will have heard how many times we’ve covered Zimbabwe recently and the food crisis.

  70. 70 Simon via text
    April 22, 2008 at 19:17

    Simple tibet is not was not a part of china. A thing called history will confirm this. The only time tibet was a part of china was when the tibetan aristocracy tried to sell it to china, the rest was mao’s fantasy imperial dream and paranoia. The chinese communist party does not brook dissent or deviation from the party dream.
    Simon, Italy

  71. 71 Mark Sandell
    April 22, 2008 at 19:17

    and Lei Chen, we explained this no fewer than 4 times on air.
    Grace tried to mediate at her university but was shouted down by both sides.
    So we asked her on to the programme to help moderate a debate between two sides who would actually listen.
    Ihave to be honest i didn’t ask her for a list of the books she’d read..

  72. 72 Kenna via text
    April 22, 2008 at 19:21

    I think china should just let go off all the small states that it’s currently “colonising”Tibet being one of them.
    Kenna-NAIROBI

  73. 73 VictorK
    April 22, 2008 at 19:22

    The programme was much better than I expected. The guests ‘who called themselves Tibetans’ (!) gave a very good account of themselves and their cause. The Chinese guests…hmmm. Grace: a fine young woman struggling – and successfully too, it seems – to escape from the indoctrination and misinformation that the Chinese education system has indoctrianted her with about Tibet for years. But no meeting of minds.

    @ Al: as you know, the Panchen Lama and his family have not been seen since they were kidnapped. The Beijing dictatorship are thugs capable of any crime that advances their interests. We should assume that the Lama and his family have been murdered, until the Chinese can produce evidence that they are still alive.

    @ Xie Ming: you are perfectly reasonable in challenging people to comment based on a knowledge of the history of Tibet. I accepted that challenge from you some months ago, and asked for your response to my account of Sino-Tibetan history over 800 years (which also corrected some historical illusions that you laboured under regarding Tibet). Did you ever respond to that, and if you did could you please refer me to your response? If not, please stop questioning (and in gratuitously insulting terms) other people’s knowledge of Tibetan history until you are able to demonstrate some of your own.

    @ Helen: what’s your point? That it’s all Britain’s fault (and your history is wrong anyway – British involvement, and aggression, is a brief 20th Century phenomenon)?

    @ John: you wondered why the Chinese were so determined to hold onto Tibet. You may be interested in the following list of mineral resources to be found in that country: gold, radium, iron, titanium, emery, lead, arsenic, serpentine, borax, shale, asphalt, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, molybdenum, antimony, salt, soda, Glauber’s salt, sulphur, alum, mica, barite, gaphite, talc, gypsum, jade, china clay, and coal. and I almost forgot to mention: oil. The only thing needed to complete the picture is a mention of ‘Halliburton.’

    There is no mystery why China invaded or why it won’t leave: pure greed, from a country whose civil religion is materialism.

    @ WHYS team: Hillary Clinton’s insane comment about Iran and Israel must surely be high on the agenda for tomorrow’s debate. Way to show yourself unfit for high office: starting a nuclear war in defence of another country’s national interest. Go, Obama, Go!

  74. 74 Anonymous text from Ghana
    April 22, 2008 at 19:28

    Hello there!
    We are all talking so much about tibet and china. Sincerly speaking let us all leave china and tibet to themselves, instead let all the world leaders talk very friendly to chinese and tibetians to find a diplomatic solution, on the issue. Dalai lama is not talking about independence but wants more autonomy.

  75. 75 Michelle via text
    April 22, 2008 at 19:33

    HERE IN KENYA WE GET CCTV AND AFTER DA PROTESTS THEY ALWAYS SHOWED GRAPHIC PROPAGANDA PHOTOS AGAINST TIBETANS SO AS 2 INDOCTRINATE AFRICANS
    MICHELLE IN NAIROBI

  76. 76 Xie_Ming
    April 22, 2008 at 19:41

    I LOVE this set of comments!!!

    This what WHYS should be!

    Jana: your are a bit idealistic. I would hope that young people could come to be a bit more sceptical of what the older folks are feeding them.

  77. April 22, 2008 at 20:18

    Firstly, a brilliant post VictorK – the best in this debate by far.

    To all students from mainland China out there – please stop and ask yourself these questions;

    Is it possible that a lifetime of hearing nothing but Chinese Communist Party propaganda over Tibet has dulled my thinking faculties and embedded a received “truth” in my consciousness?

    Is it possible there are two sides to the story?

    Am I an independent thinker or a mindless recipient of other people’s conclusions?

    Am I a victim of propaganda as practiced by such luminaries as Lenin and Goebbels?

    “A lie told often enough becomes the truth” (Lenin)

    “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” (Goebbels)

    Lastly, if I was one of 6 million Han Chinese and there were 1,000 million Tibetans, would I mind that my Han culture and languages were being destroyed while Tibetans made all the major decisions that affected my life?

    In Auckland, New Zealand recently I was stunned over the following series of events that demonstrated to me that at least some Chinese students do not have the remotest idea of the pillars of democracy.

    A dance group organised an event and wished to place an advertisement in Craccum, the Auckland Student’s Association Newspaper to promote it.

    A group of Chinese students DEMANDED that Craccum not publish the advertisement because they maintained the dance group had links to Falun Gong.

    Of course Craccum refused to undertake such an act.

    The response of our non-thinking Chinese guests was to STEAL as many of the newspapers as they could in order to suppress this dance event.

    Such an action was monstrous and despicable and indicates that an expensive university education is wasted on minds that are incapable of independent thought and do not “get” democracy.

    All this while the benefiting from the fruits of education offered by a liberal Western democracy.

    The Craccum story can be verified on the major television network website page at
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/410965/1676964

    Tibet, Falun Gong, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Uyghurs – they are all victims of the CCP hegmonic behemoth.

    Either China has to change its actual treatment of minorities or it will disintegrate in the same way all other empires have.

  78. April 22, 2008 at 20:41

    I’d like to reply to Xie Ming. First, I want to repeat some information that I’ve posted before. There are very good impartial studies on the history and recent history of Tibet.

    The first is the 350pg document which emerged from the International Commission of Jurists, a group of experts in human rights and international law, and who hosted a conference on the Tibet situation in 1997. Representatives of the PRC were invited to attend, but declined to do so. Much effort had therefore to be made to uncover evidence tending to favour the Chinese side of the argument, and this evidence was carefully collected, collated and considered. The document is entitled “Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law”, and is well worth studying. The ICJ acts in a consultative status with UNESCO.

    The second is the document of the Committee of International Lawyers, who carried out a study of evidence relating to the status of Tibetans as a people entitled to the right to self-determination (within the context of established international law strictly). Again the Chinese govt was invited to send their representatives to present evidence in support of their position, and again they declined, this time with a rude rebuff to this group of experts and the demand that the conference be called off. Their document is: Tibet: The Position in International Law.

    With regard to whether the right to self-determination is a fundamental human right; it certainly is that in terms of the UN Declaration of human rights, to which the PRC subscribes.

    But one of the most telling documents is the 17-point Agreement which China under Mao Zedong concluded with the Tibetan people, and which guarantees, among other points, Tibetan autonomy, no change in traditional Tibetan government, non-interference in Tibetan religious practices, and so forth. None of these terms of China’s own agreement with the Tibetans was ever honoured by China.

    There is, of course, much more, including documents and records kept by the PLA, the PSB (Public Security Bureau), and the records of CCP activity in Tibet, all of which indicate ongoing human rights violations in Tibet from 1949 to the present.

    There was, of course, a reprieve for the Tibetans when that decent and humane General secretary of the CCP, Hu Yaobang, was in office (1981-1987). During his term of office, many freedoms were restored to the Tibetan people, and China was steered on a course of openness and transformation. But Hu Yaobang, whose image I always carry in my mind, was purged in disgrace from the CCP in 1987. Immediately thereafter, a hardline campaign, including the imposition of Martial Law, was pursued in Tibet, leading to immense suffering throughout the 1990’s. This crackdown and its policies were instituted by Hu Jintao, who was then CCP Secretary for Tibet, and who also defended the Tian An Men Square massacre.

    In 2005 the memory of Hu Yaobang was redeemed from disgrace, under pressure from influential members of the Chinese CCP. Wen Jiabao objected but was overruled. A ceremony was held in Beijing, attended by 300 influential members of the Chinese leadership. Hu Jintao was not among them.

    My hopes for Tibet and for China rest squarely on those 300 supporters of Hu Yaobang, and all others in their camp. In the image of Hu Yaobang, a man of courage, vision and integrity, I perceive the strongest possibilities for restoration, not only of the Tibetan people, but also of China.

  79. April 22, 2008 at 21:16

    I suggest that Eric Berne’s “Transactional Analysis” is a relevant tool for understanding the type of impasse described. Additionally, far too little credance is given to the animal genesis of clashes over difference; I refer to the animal in all of us.

  80. 80 len from vancouver
    April 22, 2008 at 21:17

    TO
    Jana
    Czech Republic
    In regard to the picture you commented, it turned out to be movie shot in 2000 . If you google that, you can find some poster of the movie. Now soldier’s uniforms already changed and are different with the ones in the pictures.
    This is very good example of biased media. Unfortunately you are just one of the victims.

  81. 81 len from vancouver
    April 22, 2008 at 21:19

    the name of the movie “THE TOUCH”

  82. 82 Monsoor, Minority from China
    April 22, 2008 at 21:50

    This trouble is about TRUTH and LIE.

    Gentlemen, Please Ask Yourself at first,
    Do you really know the truth, can you convince other people your arguments are real.

    Please understand opinion is opinion, truth is truth. If you knows, don’t confuse others.

  83. April 22, 2008 at 22:01

    And, I’d like to add, for the benefit of those people who don’t believe Grace’s story: my own computer is under regular attack from the Chinese side. Together with other members of the SA Friends of Tibet, I regularly receive virus-laden attachments from Hong Kong, often with pornographic labels. In addition we’ve had hate-mail. Recently I received one which read: ‘You are a big jerk. I hate you. If you dare to continue troubling me you will be sorry. You know what I mean.’

    Just today I received two virus-laden attachments with the legend: ‘Another Chinese Girl Who Supports Tibet.’

    Since all Tibet supporters receive exactly the same mal-ware, there’s no way this can be coincidental.

    I keep these on my computer for anyone who might want to verify them.

    It’s very trying.

  84. 84 Xie_Ming
    April 23, 2008 at 00:11

    Again, Donovan, you should get on the program.

    You have established yourself as a complete partisan and the best informed of our posters so far.

    One difficulty that I foresee is that the PRC will probably not debate.

    ___________________________________________

    A related problem that has been puzzling me is the reality of “principles” written within the UN.

    My personal view is that sovereignty SHOULD gradually be surrendered to a supranational organization.

    However, at present, “international law” is entirely consensual and a state may effectively withdraw from any provision or body that that it wishes.

    The veto exists in the Security Council at the big power level.

    Doubtless there are many peoples who would like to have self determination, many of which we have never heard of or could not find on a map. Some of the better known:

    Darfur
    Basque Country
    Catalonia
    Palestine
    parts of Morocco
    ” Ukraine
    etc.etc.

    Should these be handled in the same fashion that you propose for Tibet?

    As the USA has most recently attempted, a supranational body need not be a UN.

    Generally, what future do you see for international law?

    For a UN-type supranational organization?

    Can you suggest related debates?

  85. 85 michael
    April 23, 2008 at 01:39

    “get Chinese students from outside Tibet and students from Tibet to sit down and talk to each other We’ve decided to try for this”

    May be a good idea. But, for common sense, it needs right time, right place, and right approach.

    Grace was disqualified for acting as so called mediator of this proposed talk by her actions on April 9. From her own story, she already picked side at the very beginning and offended the other side by writing pro-Tibet independent slogan on someone’s body. She did not take a neutral position as a mediator should do.

    No matter how good her initial intention was, she did not do a good job at April 9.

    Her pro-Tibet independent actions betrayed her country.

  86. April 23, 2008 at 05:00

    That there can be anybody trying to justify China’s presence in Tibet blows my mind. You do not invade and occupy another country, end of story. If you want someone to controll you and come an save you from yourself you can ask them to do so, and if they are very kind they will . I can imagine the debate 60 years after the occupation of England by Germany that the British are so much better off under German rule, some will actually comment on what good nazis the Germans have made of the English, they are financially better off, they ‘ve been rescued from a feudal system etc.
    We can now just helplessly watch this tyrant committing unspeakable attrocities on the Tibetans and know that shortly, when the O;ympic games are over, the world would have forgotten and nothing will change.

    Merriel Roebert.

  87. 87 Xie_Ming
    April 23, 2008 at 12:15

    In the overview:

    The discussion was not about mediating the situation within Tibet.

    It was about cutting Tibet off from China.

    Was it really for “human rights” or for realpolitik?

    The history of Tibet has still not been presented. That history would make a good BBC forum subject for informed academics.
    (Utter nonsense, linguistic and otherwise, has been asserted here).

    Some post-WW II facts are known by posters. For this, the argument has paralleled Will Rhodes’ defense of the British Empire “we gave as good as we took”.

    Donovan (not Merriel) Roebert has raised issues of international law and human rights standards in today’s world that are seriously worthy of consideration. Our planet is facing the issue of superpower force vs. supranational law and government.

  88. April 23, 2008 at 12:29

    In reply to Xie Ming:

    Of course there are many other instances of groups seeking self-determination, but my involvement is specifically with the Tibet issue. It is also true that international law is toothless, and is violated by most countries, especially the so-called ‘superpowers’. Still, in seeking to redress human rights violations we must appeal to laws which most countries at least subscribe to.

    At best, of course, we appeal to the sanity of our common humanness.

    The political philosophy of supranationalism may or may not eventually be the most workable. That’s a matter for conjecture.

    What isn’t up for speculation is whether a nation or , if you prefer, ‘a people’, should be abandoned to another ‘people’ who, having asserted highly contestable claims to sovereignty over the territory of the first, proceed to commit a series of atrocities over a period of 60 years.

    It’s just logical that abused people should be rescued from the abusers.

    as you point out, and as we well know, the PRC won’t debate this question…yet. And as I have pointed out, that’s no reason to let the matter drop. The solutions to Tibet will in the end have to be found in China. Those who support the Tibetan people must continue to do so until that solution is found.

    Whatever political angle one espouses with regard to China and Tibet, one cannot sit back and offer no comment on the suffering of the Tibetan people, unless it is to prove that the Tibetan people are actually not oppressed and not suffering.

    In that case, we appeal to China to allow impartial observers into Tibet to assess the situation so that we can all finally know the truth.

  89. 89 parth guragain
    April 23, 2008 at 13:51

    i think the whole matter in this debnate is to degrade china and demonising china .i dont think that western media is baised but what i think is that western media is surely spreading message of hatered toward china.

  90. April 23, 2008 at 14:14

    Thanks Parth: Beats me why an unbiased media would bother to spread messages of hatred towards China.

  91. April 23, 2008 at 15:19

    andrew wrote

    Just one question for those defending China’s actions.

    They blame western media for being biased against China, but in a country where the media is heavily censored and heavily biased itself to align with the party line,
    how can they make an informed decision when they do not have the facts and how can they make a decision when often nothing is said on a topic other than propaganda?

    Australia
    ok im an aussie as well [the west dosnt have a free media] i have often written letters to the editor [to our ‘free’press”none ever got published [ok that dosnt prove anything]

    but what about media concentration, the disappearance of multiple daily news papers ,the intro of high definition instead of multichanneling free to air, the right wing talk back radio, dumbing down of the abc, the introduction of sport into news programing [in a half hour of news]
    rudd had to go see rupert in new york to make sure his editorials didsnt take side [john laws didnt quite his exposure to influence politics till john howard lost the election[what of the likes of the right wing media , the farmers lobby ,

    the whole media game is loaded with bias pushing this or that line [all media has been subverted ,we just dont see it in our own media[look at fox for gods sake ”it dosnt prove anything?’

    indeed how can we make an informed decision has long ago become subverted ,by those who know to buy out media’s ability to inform us of govt act and the true facts of those we are allowed chose between to lead us

    [all pre-selected to conform to the party line]there is no real informed choice here either bro,only right wingers have any real voice [all day saterday is sports[in china who knows.[we know only what our media tells us

  92. 92 Tenzin
    April 23, 2008 at 18:19

    Dear friends,

    As a Tibetan, I didn’t find some of the answers from the UK tibetan students very satisfying. Some people mentioned muddled answers, yes I agree, let me try to clarify it from what I believe most tibetans want:

    1. Tibetans want the rights which are stipulated in the Chinese Autonomy Law.

    2. Tibetans want Tibetan language to be the prioritized language in the Tibet Autonomy Region. If someone write a tibetan letter to the government office,
    he or she have a right to recieve an answer in tibetan language. It doesn’t matter if you are tibetan or han-chinese, but If you work in the government you must be able to speak both tibetan and chinese language.

    3. Tibetans want to decide how the school education system is organized.

    4. There should not be any restrictions on religious education.

    5. Regarding what will happen with Han-people in Tibet Autonomous Region, I think they should be allowed to stay, but in the future, there must be restrictions on how many people can settle each year in Tibet, both to preserve tibetan culture, language and the vulnerable environment on the tibetan plateau which is the source of almost all major rivers in Asia.

    I think if these five specific issues are granted to Tibetans, tibetans will be very happy, there will be stability and real prosperity in this region (not subsidized growth), and the survivial of a great culture and religion which can benefit China in the future.

    Regarding the issue that Tibetan has prospered so much thanks to China, it is true that Tibet has developed during the last 50 years. But which country hasn’t developed during the last 50 years? If you look at countries such as Mongolia, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, you might see what could have happened to Tibet, if the world geopolitical situation had been different in the 1950’s.

    Finally, if you look at the education system that Dalai Lama has created in exile, it is also quite impressive, and it is a fact that many tibetans in Tibet send their children to these schools at great risk, because it will give them a ‘tibetan’ education, where they learn about their culture and language.

    Thank you,
    Tenzin

  93. 93 hello
    April 24, 2008 at 01:08

    Since Communist party took over china, the country became a mad nation, because during the cultural revolution young people had to beat their parents and people had to destroy their cultural sites. They had to kill birds and rats for taxs. The Tibetans really became serfs under Chinese rule as everything was confiscated. Also at this time, monks were forced to married nuns. If there were any objections they would be sent to prison for ten years. After the criminal Chairman Moa died people were forced to cry for him. The so called Open Door Policy started. People got their land back but still everything belonged to the Communist party. When they decided to destroy your house they would without any compensation. In Lhasa Tibetans who worked for the chinese government were not allowed attend religious events. The same went for Tibetan Students.
    The “Patriotic Re-Education Campaign” began in 1996. It’s policy was to force people to denounce their identity and beliefs. The Chinese government is a fascist government. They want everything to follow party lines and be the same. This has led them to simply refuse to acknowledge the beauty of other cultures and people’s, such as those from Tibet.
    Today remains much the same as before. Although on the surface the Chinese treatment of Tiebtans may seem more relaxed compared to Mao’s time, deep under the surface of politics the real story is still one of immebse suffering. The Tiebtna people are simply marginalised in thier homeland. And the Chinese Population both in Tibet and in mainland China really haev no opportunity to open thier eyes. These are a people led by a highly oppressive government and have little chance of really seeing the true story.
    The chinese Givernment has made China rich and successful ove rthe last few decades. No one will dispute this. But one must ask, who are the real beneficiaries of this wealth and more importantly, at what cost – especially what human cost.
    It is now that we must open our eyes. We must try to get those who have their sight clouded by deception and propaganda, those that have the means to see clearly and perhaps make a differnce within China proper.
    Any real change that we outsiders wish to see for Tibet and the Tibetan people an dthe millions of native Chinese, we must try for change within China. We must try to hit at the source.

    Tasam

  94. 94 nksood
    May 1, 2008 at 21:46

    Apparently participants in the debate have either tried to talk about history of Tibet so as to justify the Chinese invasion in 50’s and subsequent agreements with the Dalai Lama that were never honored and rather forced him to flee Tibet & seek asylum in India.Some monks remained there to see how far things will go but in 90’s(?) the karampa also had to flee Tibet & sought asylum in India.Although the asylums were given,India had been badly humbled in a war in 1962 and chose to play as subdued a role as diplomatically possible.This has been re described just to show that China’s growth is inorganic and the Govt.over there cites historical or other vague reasons to justify its actions as any autocratic regime will do.Of course China has its eyes glued on the mineral and water resources of Tibet,not to talk of its strategic position.
    With this introduction,it appears that the demands presented by Tensing are quite legitimate but keeping in view the great stakes involved it will most likely fall on deaf ears of the Chinese Govt. as is apparent from the fact that even though a dialogue has been agreed upon with an emissary of the Dalai Lama, a vicious propaganda is also being propagated by the Chinese Govt. against the fellow.Thus it will go to the credit of how such dialogue is managed that at least some concessions are extracted and got implimented .This will be no mean achievement of the President Bush.and the world press.
    To stress another point ,major rivers with origin in Tibet must not be allowed to be diverted to the Chinese mainland to the detriment of South Asia and far South east Asia,for its consequences will surpass any imagination.I say this keeping in view experimentation on the river Sutluj through the Peerchu Barrage in Tibet.
    Only such meaningful steps may lead to some sort of autonomy .


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