On air: Is there ever a right time to give up a struggle?

Hi, it’s James here, i’ll be presenting this evening’s show. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, has announced that he’s abandoning his struggle to persuade China to grant greater autonomy for Tibet. Here’s what he said on Saturday:

“I have been sincerely pursuing the middle way approach in dealing with China for a long time now but there hasn’t been any positive response from the Chinese side … As far as I’m concerned I have given up …”

It’s not clear at this stage what this means for the issue of Tibetan independence – the Dalai Lama says a meeting of Tibetan exiles will be held in November to discuss the way forward. China insists that Tibet is part of China, but the Dalai Lama has been a charismatic figurehead for the cause of independence, winning it much support throughout the world, and his announcement is a blow to supporters of that cause.

What do you think of the Dalai Lama’s decision? Do you think there’s ever a right time to give up a cause? These questions are relevant to lots of current issues:

Hadijatou Mani was sold into slavery aged 12. Today, after a long struggle, she’s won a landmark court ruling that the government in Niger failed to protect her.

Was the leader of the Kadima party in Israel, Tzipi Livni, right to give up her struggle to form a coalition, and opt for fresh elections?

Some US and NATO leaders have suggested moving from a purely military campaign against the Taleban in Afghanistan, and holding talks to bring them into some sort of power sharing deal. Is that giving up, or a practical solution?

Nepalese soldiers who fought for Britain as part of the Ghurkas took their battle for the right to live in Britain all the way to the high court and won.

What do you think? Is it better to draw a line under some things and move on, to concentrate on practical benefits rather than big change? Think of the big social changes in history – abolishing slavery, women winning the vote, the end of segregation in the US, the end of apartheid – would they have happened without people who refused to give up? Have you been involved in a struggle, and had to decide whether to give up or keep going?

125 Responses to “On air: Is there ever a right time to give up a struggle?”

  1. October 27, 2008 at 14:20

    First and foremost, Tibet is a part of China since the beginning of time. I am struggling so that people would know what the real China is. I am also struggling for more democracy in the American Continent especially Cuba, Venezuela, and the USA. I am also trying to defend the Latin Population in America. It is not easy to support a party that is neither the Republican nor Democratic. The alternative would be a civil war in America. Of course, there are people within America who are struggling for independence for their homelands and they will continue the struggle.

  2. 2 Neil McGowan
    October 27, 2008 at 14:32

    The Dalai Lama has realised that the gutless neocon alliance of world powers prefers to lick Chinese boots than protecting human rights.

    Sarkozy, Blair, Brown, Bush, Merkel all blather emptily about human rights in China – but then that gutless little Zionist Miliband flies off there and tells the Chinese they can do anything they like to the Tibetans and he doesn’t give a single toss.

    So the Dalai is frankly left with no choice. The Tibetans have been deserted and abandoned by a cartel of neocon thugs, cosying up to Communist China.

    The BBC are complicit in all this and will now refuse to post this message.

  3. 3 Roy, Washington DC
    October 27, 2008 at 14:32

    You should always fight for what you believe in. That’s how change is made.

    October 27, 2008 at 14:34

    there is never a time [right or wrong] to give up a struggle…..


  5. 5 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 14:53

    It is my observation that some want to live in an idealistic world where everything is fair the rest of us live in the real world.
    China can only be pushed but so far but in any event they will not lose face over Tibet so they will not be forced into anything.
    Therefore it is inconceivable that the Dali Lama is abandoning his struggle. He must have come to the realization that the tactics that have been used are not accomplishing the goal so it is time to switch tactics but the battle goal remains the same.
    If he allows Tibet to die and the dead body to be absorbed by China then an entire culture, people and reason for being is lost.

  6. 6 John in Salem
    October 27, 2008 at 14:55

    The Dalai Lama is simply acknowledging reality. The day will come when the Chinese Communist government collapses like the Soviet Union’s did, but in the meantime there is NO chance of changing their policy toward Tibet and he could make better use of his time simply promoting peace.

  7. 7 Steve
    October 27, 2008 at 14:58

    @ alvarez

    Tibet has been part of China since the beginning of time. In the beginning of Time, there was no China. Hate the break the news to you.

  8. October 27, 2008 at 14:58

    James from Kenya here. What Dalai Lama realized yet we knew it all along was never fight with an elephant if you are a moth. As much as his intentions were good for Tibet and its independence China is a bully and soon to be super power that cant be fought by a 70 something year old man wearing robes. Maybe its time Tibetans just quit fighting China and become part of the system.This is the 21st century and lets avoid unnecesary bloodsheds.

  9. 9 Steve
    October 27, 2008 at 14:59

    @ Neil

    awww, You don’t like having a Jewish Foreign Minister. Perhaps you should vote for candidates that would deny Jews the right to vote and run for office.

  10. 10 Nikitas
    October 27, 2008 at 15:02

    The Dalai Lama’s his sovereignty is limited to only his followers, not even Tibet itself. The western World relies far too much on trade with China that no one nation would ever dare stand to Tibet’s defense as with Israel or (as is controversial) Iraq. There have been so many injustices around the World through so many unethical, immoral and down right wrong tactics and we only care about interfering where it is simply beneficial to us. Yes, even the war in the middle east is beneficial to western nations. Perspectively the reason for taking up arms in Iraq and Afghanistan is meant to curb terrorism and in effect protect our way of life. Nothing is done without considering our own interests first.

    So is he (Dalai Lama) permitted to give up? I don’t think it would make a difference either way without any support from a collective of nations to stand against China. That will likely never happen so perhaps this is a brilliant tactic. The west has a somewhat superficial fascination with Tibet and the Dalai Lama. Perhaps if the passion begins to dwindle from Tibet itself for their own plight, the west may just take notice and possibly the dynamics will change in favour of their plight. I however fail to see how anything of what the Dalai Lama was doing before managed to enable progress in his quest. He has already done all that he could do.

    The answer does not lie with Tibet and hasn’t for some time. It lies with the west to take action and to promote the interests of the Tibetan state. Investing without direct return for once!

  11. 11 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 15:04

    @James Karuga
    “This is the 21st century and lets avoid unnecesary bloodsheds.”

    Maybe some can live their lives cowering under their beds but there are some things worth fighting for and in those cases people will die. To fight for the independence of ones homeland and spiritual source is worth that fight.

  12. 12 crysta
    October 27, 2008 at 15:24

    It’s very disheartening to hear that the Dalai Lama of all people is ‘giving up’. If more countries would join him in the fight for Tibet’s independance from China, we could all have a little bit more hope that such efforts would also catch on in other parts of the globe. Many people could use this kind of encouragement to start their own revolutions (Iran, Zimbabwe,etc). I will never understand why freedom-loving countries don’t do more to support freedom movements for others. I guess oil has to be a factor first.

  13. October 27, 2008 at 15:33

    Ending a struggle is a recognition of defeat when nothing is gained by it. The end of struggle should be based on getting the maximum without losing face. It should be the result of getting what one was fighting for and not selling a cause cheaply. If the causes of a struggle like repression and domination aren’t dealt with, its seed will continue to grow.

    As for the Dalai Lama, he must feel frustrated by his long struggle to make China bow to his demands. If there is real democracy in China it doesn’t matter if Tibet is an independent country or an autonomous region of China. However as china has been successful in implanting one country,two systems with Hong Kong, the same should apply to Tibet. However it remains unlikely that the Chinese government will follow this step as other regions in China will ask for the same political rights.

    It will also remains to see if China will end its struggle to have Taiwan back by recognizing its independence. That will also be a turning point in its policy towards this territory and the other neighbouring countries , like Burma, whose repressive systems it supports.

  14. October 27, 2008 at 15:35

    Sure there are times to give up a struggle, but that all depends on the struggle at hand and the pros and cons being weighed and disected.

  15. 15 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 15:37

    then an entire culture, people and reason for being is lost

    I find this a very enlightening statement.

    If a person’s raison d’etre is to fight to keep a group identity alive, then, in my view, that is a poor reason for living.

  16. 16 1430a
    October 27, 2008 at 15:37

    hello everyone,
    Well when the struggle goes on for a long time,the best idea would certainly be to give up.There is no point in struggling if success seems impossible.I do think it was a wise decision by Dalai Lama.Many people are dying because if this struggle and there is no point:is there?
    Thank you

  17. October 27, 2008 at 15:48

    @ Steve,

    China never became a united collection of fuedal states until the Mongols snuffed them all and formed it as a large collective state. It was actually Qubla Khan the grandson of Gingus Khan who actually had the brilliant administrative talent to become more Chinese than the Chinese were, did it quite late in history….in the great scheme of things.

    Tibet should secretly ally with Mongolia and form an insurgent state and cause China more trouble than they are both worth. Mongolia has a huge illegal immigrant problem with China somewhat like the Mexicans have with the United States.

    The Dali Lama should come out and offer China a simple option. Agree to the Autominous Region with Tibet in full charge of its internal affairs or a full out, subtle, always nipping at the isolated military presence in Tibet with real blood like all the other reasonable struggles upon the planet that humans conduct with different tribes.

    The facts are: The world is mostly Tribal, as we are constantly reminded. The idea of tribes coming together as nations is totally dependant upon the will of some leader of state convincing all the various factions, that they should all come together and become a nation of tribes. Has to be a mutually good deal for all parties or there will be hatred and big problems….forever until they fight it out like pissed off dogs.

    The leadership of China has failed to make the case with the Tibetians that they should be actually part of greater China. The Dali Lama has encouraged his people to go along with the evil Chinese to a point in order to stave off greater suffering. It may be time to revert to the most basic emotion of mankind. War and kill enough Chinese that they realize they need to leave like the Vietnamese caused them to do, so many times throughout their history.

    The Americans left Tibet in the 50s, when it became appearant that the Tibetians would not stand up for themselves against the Communists. The same freedom fighters who were in Tibet simply moved a thousand miles or so to the South East to Laos, and Vietnam to make a stand against this Communist ideology. The Hmoung in Laos were willing, but were over powered. The Vietnamese were tough enough on the surface to be against the Commies to the North, but in the end the North Vietnamese used the ideology of communizm to preside and to live by. They formed their own nationalism. They wiped out the other ideas of the South and the minority tribes, and insisted, that the Chinese stay the hell out of their rice bowl and tiger areas. They trounced the Commie Cambodians and even the Chinese in order to forge out their own valid nation and keep their culture. Tough, tough deal, but they did it and presided.

    There is bound to be a young nationalist in Tibet, that the Dali Lama knows. Time for the Dali Lama to say it is a great theory to be non aggressive and they have given the Chinese both barrels of patience and tolerance. Time for them to either leave Tibet or soak the ground with their blood to give the tree of liberty the nutrients it so despretly needs.

    troop on the Oregon coast

  18. 18 Roy, Washington DC
    October 27, 2008 at 15:51

    It is surprising that the Dalai Lama is giving up. Of all people, one would expect a spiritual leader to persevere and to stand up for what they believe in. Regardless of what chances Tibet may or may not have had for independence, they now have even less.

  19. 19 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 15:54

    Wasn’t the Chin Dynasty the one who unified China?

  20. 20 Jennifer
    October 27, 2008 at 15:54

    I think there is a right time to give up on a struggle. It doesn’t mean that you can not still believe in your cause or that you are defeated. There are many ways to fight for what you believe in. Sometimes it’s in what you do and sometimes it’s in what you don’t do.

  21. 21 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 15:56

    @Selena in Canada
    “If a person’s raison d’etre is to fight to keep a group identity alive, then, in my view, that is a poor reason for living.”

    If one does not fight for their identity then what is worth fighting for?
    I cannot understand the willingness to here to subjugate ones self willingly just so no one dies. History has shown us that in those cases MILLIONS were murdered.

  22. October 27, 2008 at 16:13

    If you must, you give up to fight another day. You do what you must do to survive. When I was little with a refreshed mind 4 – 5 years old in a brief moment. At the collection of my thoughts I was granted the opportunity even against my enemies self these thoughts were brought up and I took hold of them.. to let the broadcasters know I knew I was wired. Even though the mass of my thoughts were those broadcast ->even these words. “When I get big, I get free.”

    I used them, to say.. I know a radio is in me and I hear each and every word but I listen and I know what you think and I know your failures. You think you are superior because you are so many but I know what you aren’t and that is me.

    I was alway cognitive and remember and embellish every moment before the two and a half hours the disk was implanted on my spine. The next day when it was first broadcast to 1000 feet from Fort Benning, GA. dusk of the day. The words were, “Look up and about and see where you are.” I reached out and and my essence engulfed the room and beyond the house and the universe was me beheld. I am in and I am out and I embody everything.

    The mind of a infant is far past the comprehension of those who perverted the very life in them. You never had the opportunity to know who you are and what the life in you is. You cast out the nature that is in you. You take on a world that is a lie and you make your self less than you are. You create fears in your self and doubt instead of loving, enjoying and living by creating the good, right correct and true and allowing life it’s infinite fulfillment.

    The truth you fear because you have been taught to. Your society you become part of even though it isn’t yours and you can never own it. Freedom is the ability to know what you are and be what you are, under whatever circumstance that exist. Humanity lives in a fog and time has stood still yet every noise that has ever existed still is sound a roar louder than thunder but your soul and your mind remain your own. Impress upon the world your essence and let not anything come before your living soul nor grasp and take away your mind from you.

  23. 23 Pangolin-California
    October 27, 2008 at 16:36

    I think there is a time to give over a struggle to other people and other paths. There is no China and there is no Tibet; there is only mountains, valleys, rivers and plains that are occupied by people. China and Tibet are just as much fictions as Jedi and Sith.

    The Han in Tibet have as somewhat greater chance of remaining culturally Chinese than those in San Francisco but in both cases the land will have it’s way with the hearts of the people and there will be changes to the second and third generations that the elders won’t recognize.

    China’s current crop of leaders have lost the mandate of heaven with this last earthquake and the poisoning of the children’s milk. An empire that neglects it’s children to elevate the elderly will fail. Patience. The land called “Tibet” will have it’s way.

  24. 24 Ogola B
    October 27, 2008 at 16:59

    How serious is one’s statement against his achievements and failures’? do people joke or its a press mistake?
    Hear from you!

  25. 25 Steve
    October 27, 2008 at 17:09

    I’m listening to the BBC now, a story about Niger. They still have legal slavery there. I have a feeling people should be fighting against this and not giving up? Why is there so little press on this issue?

  26. 26 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 17:31

    I never found the value in believing in something that I was not willing to fight for its principle. Many moral and justice causes have a high cost that not everyone who believes in the value of life, liberty or justice can take up the fight for, which I included identity in this category can afford. The people who can, should take up the fight, especially when millions have been murdered. Did the lives of the dead not matter?

  27. 27 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 17:31

    @ Selena,

    “If a person’s raison d’etre is to fight to keep a group identity alive, then, in my view, that is a poor reason for living.”

    There is no greater cause than choosing to fight for freedom and identity for you or your people. We have discussed before and we said this is a difference in ideologies, but I have to go with Dan on this one.

  28. 28 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    October 27, 2008 at 17:34

    @ Pangolin-
    “An empire that neglects it’s children to elevate the elderly will fail”
    Great statement. I agree that Tibet will survive in the end.

  29. 29 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    October 27, 2008 at 17:41

    The struggle for Tibet is not over just because the Dalai Lama wants to quit. If the people of Tibet want to continue the struggle and other countries or people believe in a Free Tibet than the struggle is greater than one man. Freedom is always a struggle. Just ask us here in the US. Every four years there is a struggle on who will become president. For most of us we are never fully satisfied with the candidates (regardless of what you all may see on the news). However, we struggle together to make is work.

  30. 30 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 17:44

    Jessica in NYC
    You are more eloquent than I … thank you.
    Perhaps I am a romantic but I have seen Les Miserables more times than one can believe. Not only does it speak to what one person will sacrifice for another but what is worth fighting for.
    This is a play that I wish all people could see and I think there would be a different attitude from people.
    As I said…maybe I am just a hopeless romantic.

  31. October 27, 2008 at 17:47

    Are more people benefiting from your actions even if your goal isn’t achieved? That is what the rebel leader has to ask himself. IF the answer is “yes”, then struggle on.

  32. 32 Anthony
    October 27, 2008 at 18:00

    The Dalia Lama is a spiritual leader, and knows that only guns can free Tibet, there for he has to give up since he’s not violent.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  33. 33 gary
    October 27, 2008 at 18:02

    Much is made of history. Historians often concentrate upon charismatic people and events in which they participated, usually for no other reason than the victorious (and people in general) do not want to read about boring, everyday happenings involving “nobodies.” Thus, lots of people know (and some identify with) Alexander the Great; but few know the name Mr. Joseph Aspdin, even though every nation on Earth depends upon infrastructure built using his invention. Our concentration upon superficial specifics allows us repeatedly to be led down the same path, by the same words, spoken by the same charismatic hopefuls. The consequences are all too obvious: The only new things in the news are the comics; even the page-three girls have the same plastic surgery.
    The Dalai Lama’s decision to abandon his struggle for recognition of Tibet as a sovereign political entity is a specific event. It is that and nothing more. Tibet will continue, Buddhism will continue, and China will continue; each to their ultimate fates dictated by the common and mundane forces that shape all destinies, and not because of comments by Mr. Tenzin Gyatso. The boring generalities win again!
    I think this affair is another indication we aren’t where we imagine ourselves to be. I think humanity now resides in an evolutionary well. We climbed in a few dozen millennia back; but we will never climb out. Our histories have persuaded us to become perfect imitations of ourselves. Not only do we repeat our actions; we select the same accompanying music, the same rhetoric, the same symbolism, and the same bonfires around which to dance. What is even more annoying? The well is so infinitesimally shallow, all humanity can see out; but their myopic view of the present – through spectacles tinted by the past – freezes their motion.
    Yours as always just a casual observer,

  34. 34 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:05

    If one does not fight for their identity then what is worth fighting for?

    Nothing! There is nothing worth fighting for!

    Life is for living, not fighting. Why would we fight and die so that others might live? We should die for the ideals of a group or country? I don’t think so! We deprive the youth of their lives so that other youth may live? I don’t think so.

    Dying is a part of life. But war is not natural dying. War is unnatural maiming and dying. We really need to get past this war business. But we will never get past it as long as we think we have to die for our group.

    Yesterday, during my daily walk on a solitary beach, I came across a dead whale. At least I think it was a whale. It was a bit small. The birds were already feasting on its carcass. Even though there is usually no one on this beach, a shy young boy was getting his picture taken with the whale and I asked him if it were indeed a whale. He thought it was a dolphin.

    His grandmother told me he was autistic but was now talking and doing well in school. She said he didn’t talk to strangers but was happy that he talked to me. Then the child came to me and asked if he could chase me around the beach.

    I told him that at my age I couldn’t run very fast but I would try. So, for the next half hour I ran around the beach and a five year old chased me. It was fun!

    Life, I think, should be fun.

  35. 35 Peter Liu
    October 27, 2008 at 18:12

    Tibetans has a homeland ie in Tibet under China. If the Dai Lama clean his slate and can convince China that is intentions are not anti Chinese he can be sure he can make headway with China. He can start by disassociating himself with the racist free tibet movement and Richard Gere ,lead a puja for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, pray for China’s success and act as an emmisary to praise as well as a concerned critic of China. This is the middle way he should pursue.

  36. 36 Faruk from Bangladesh
    October 27, 2008 at 18:14

    Here there is a moral dilemma. Whether you should give up when you are fighting for a just cause but unlikely to win. It’s the case for thousands of seperatists, proindependence rebels and socialists revolutionaries. It’s certain that most of them will fail despite the utmost sacrifice they would made. Of course, though it varies depending upon what you are struggling for. In some cases you suffer painfully along with others and eventually destroy yourself if you fail to resign in time. And everything goes in vain.

  37. October 27, 2008 at 18:15

    Like Einstein said, “doing the same thing over and expecting different results is a definition of insanity.” If an activist is not getting the desired results, it may make perfect sense to take a break in order to recuperate, or to craft a new strategy, or to pass the torch on to others. One might better apply one’s efforts toward a different goal, as in solving a Rubik’s cube you have to move backward to move forward.

  38. 38 Isabelle from Antwerp, Belgium
    October 27, 2008 at 18:17

    I am a convinced pacifist, but I sincerely think it is time to start an armed struggle.
    Long live the Tibetan Intifada!

  39. 39 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:17

    I am a romantic but I have seen Les Miserables more times than one can believe.

    So, you don’t see the social commentary? You see the sacrifice? Interesting!

  40. 40 Sofia from Bulgaria
    October 27, 2008 at 18:20

    In terms of answering the next question I receive> Is there ever a right time to give up a struggle?
    The greatest brains in the world probably have different understandings on such a complicated question. We, ordinary people should be able to define what does struggle mean to us.
    In my view depends on what kind of struggle is meant.To abandon struggle for fairness, justice and truth is neither justified nor acceptable.
    Some people tend to struggle for their ill- erected will to take over. Or for mere revenge with no real reason. Simply revenge for the sake of revenge. Such behaviour is insane. Also it is pityful and intollerable.

  41. 41 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:20


    Well said!

  42. 42 Daniel
    October 27, 2008 at 18:22

    We will never stop certain evils in the world or evil for that matter so we have to work within the frame work of this idea. War does nothing but give evil validation to keep fighting, talking and understanding the problem makers of the world is the way.

  43. 43 Anthony
    October 27, 2008 at 18:23

    @ selena RE: nothing worth fighting for

    Tell that to the South American Indians and Jews. That’s very naive.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  44. 44 Jon in Kentucky
    October 27, 2008 at 18:23

    Sometimes it’s more of a reorganizing of priorities and methodology. I speculate, in the case of Dali Lama, it may be the result of the crack down (possibly massacre) preceding the Olympics.
    Unfortunately, not all struggles are winnable, regardless of their righteousness. It requires wisdom to know when to reassess a situation and negotiate or evaluate tactics. After all, without reassessment, reevaluation, and negotiation nobody ever wins and nothing is ever accomplished.

  45. 45 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 18:26

    @selena in Canada October 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    If one does not fight for their identity then what is worth fighting for?

    Nothing! There is nothing worth fighting for!

    I feel very sorry for you that nothing in your life has value. I guess you would allow your child to die rather than fight for his life.
    In WWII I guess that Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini & Stalin should have been allowed to extinguish freedom and establish a brutal dictatorship wherein genocide was the norm.
    However I will give you a more practical outcome of your unwillingness to fight for anything.
    Today in the Middle East we see radical Islam taking over and destroying Islam because Muslims are unwilling to fight for their belief’s.
    To be a pacifist is one thing. To not have a belief in fighting for anything is quite another.

  46. 46 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 18:27

    Selena ~ Nothing personal but I am curious. Do you believe in evil and that Evil exists?

  47. 47 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 18:34

    @ Dan

    I am not romantic, but I do romanticize the valor in people who voice opposition to principles that are absolute in everyone’s life.

    “You are more eloquent than I … thank you.”
    I have my brief moments, thank you. 😉 That was a nice compliment.

  48. October 27, 2008 at 18:37

    There is a right time to say, “this approach is not working.” That is not the same as giving up a struggle. In the case of Tibet, perhaps the Dalai Lama has realized that peaceful negotiations are going nowhere, and the only hope for Tibetan independence lies in armed insurrection.

  49. 49 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:38

    In the case of the Dali Lama, in my opinion he gave up a long time ago by not going to China.

    Why the Dali Lama choose to follow a path of expectations, when it seems to be against Buddhist philosophy, is anyone’s guess.

    The Tibetan issue should not have been about a struggle for independence. A request for social justice would have been a better cause.

    Showing compassion by living the same experience as his fellow Tibetans…
    helping them as best he could by being with them would have demonstrated courage and humility.

    Perhaps the Dali Lama has seen the light. Maybe he sees there is no struggle except that which is in the mind.

  50. 50 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:41


    Evil? I have never given it much thought.

    But I tend to see good where there might not be any. 🙂

    What I really believe is that we create much of the evil that exists. If we would live and let live, we would eliminate a lot of evil.

    Let me think more about your question.

  51. 51 Anthony
    October 27, 2008 at 18:43

    Seriously, when dealing with a government like China, did anyone really expect protesting to do much??? Since I’m not to savvy on this subject, could someone help me out with this querstion?:

    “When did any nation gain independance by protesting without any physical violence???”


    -Anthony, LA, CA

  52. October 27, 2008 at 18:46

    @Anthony: the answer is the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

    But I don’t think that would work against China. If Tibet desires independence, they will have to achieve it through violent means. Not a pretty truth, but the truth nonetheless.

  53. 53 kate
    October 27, 2008 at 18:47

    The chinese government have managed to demonize the Dalai lama internally and seem comfortable blaming him for any and all violence and unrest around the issue of Tibet. Maybe his best choice is to remove himself from that equation

  54. 54 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:52

    I feel very sorry for you that nothing in your life has value. I guess you would allow your child to die rather than fight for his life.

    It depends on the way one sees things, Dan. If you want to feel sorry for someone feel sorry for the children who lost their lives yesterday in Syria and the children who die from hunger every day across the globe.

    Do you think that because I would not fight another to keep my life that my life does not have value for me? Everything in my life has value.

    My life is infinitely valuable. My children are valuable. I would give my life for my children any day. But I hope that I would give my life for your children too. The difference lies in the belief that I would not initiate a fight to do so.

    I love every single nanosecond of my life. Yes, that’s right… every single nanosecond. When that nanosecond is gone, I will not get it back.

    I could not wish less for other humans whoever they happen to be.

  55. 55 limegreenscars
    October 27, 2008 at 18:53

    Bringing about change quickly or forcefully or creating a big change is anarchy or revolution.China will only change when the people change.China is very big and the civilization is very old.And has been overtaken and invaded so damage has been done at times.Even if the damage is like an inner degradation,this is still very bad to the ideal of noble being,which is important to eastern culture;unfortunately social integrity,virtue and right action only got as far west as Camelot and died with Arthur’s last knight.

  56. 56 selena in Canada
    October 27, 2008 at 18:53

    “When did any nation gain independance by protesting without any physical violence???”

    India, I think!

  57. 57 Scott in California
    October 27, 2008 at 18:54

    Displite the propoganda, the fact is that the Tibetan people have suffered as impovershed peasants under the elite Budist priesthood that has enjoyed a very high standard of living. If the Dali Lhama gives up the cause of Tibetan independence, it can only be good for the people of Tibet. In my view, his “holiness” is not a messenger of peace when he puts the people of Tibet at risk by insisting on independence. If he were truly for peace, he would encourage the priesthood hands to over control of the region to the Chinese government avoiding the war that is otherwise inevitble.

  58. 58 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 18:55

    Selena in Canada
    I think as free people we have that luxury as you describe but in less advanced societies I hold a concern that evil will rise to dominate.
    Many years ago I was faced with this question and at the time was part of a group that taught inmates in prison how to read. While I found that many simply did not have any guidance to find a good path in life I also found many who I believed to be pure evil.
    Again, this is not personal but I will wait to hear what you have to say. I just have a curiosity about it.

  59. 59 Khalid
    October 27, 2008 at 18:55

    Tibet has the right to do whatever they want to do. And the Dalai Lama can say whatever he wants to say. And one last thing….OBAMA!

  60. October 27, 2008 at 18:57

    No, I think there were armed uprisings against the British Empire on several occasions as India struggled for independence. True that Gandhi chose a different path but I’d say he was not the only player.

  61. October 27, 2008 at 18:59

    @Scott in California,
    What are you talking about? China has had control of Tibet for more than 50 years. The Buddhist priests do not control it. The Dalai Lama’s position is purely symbolic. Get a grip, man.

  62. 62 Mike in Ohio
    October 27, 2008 at 19:01

    If individuals told themselves that now is the time to give up any cause it would end up being the select few that have the power to dictate to the masses. In the specific case of the Dalai Lama his cause is directly for Tibet, but also indirectly for ALL individuals that struggle
    for freedom of thoughts and beliefs that should be a universal right of man/woman.

  63. 63 Robert Westbrook
    October 27, 2008 at 19:02

    DEPENDS on 5 Ws far as TheCause….SOMETIMES the occupier, administrator,etc.etc.SUFFERS MORE..NOT a win…ask the Portugeuse far as Angola or others…DIMINISHING returns, POTENTIAL extreme harm to SELF (ie. bombings,etec.etc.IRE*AND), etc. Ok have it NOW what….a Spain and Bas*ue….THOU Bas*ue have a problem of sorts..TINY, semi poor, HAVE to find a niche, ALMOST immediately HAVE to REcreate ties to Spanish, etc.etc.FATE facing KOSOVO,etc.etc.etc.

  64. 64 John in Salem
    October 27, 2008 at 19:04

    To those who would condemn the Dalai Lama for giving up I would remind you that in the 40+ years that he has worked for concessions from the Chinese government they have never once granted ANYTHING to him or Tibet other than to label him a terrorist.
    It doesn’t make sense to beat your head against a wall for 40 years with nothing to show for it when you could be doing something that makes a difference.

  65. 65 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 19:06

    @ Dan

    RE: October 27, 2008 at 6:26 pm comment to Selena

    That was completely unnecessary, sir. Why are your values above hers? More importantly, there is no dishonor in believing this world should have peace and no fighting, especially when the wars of others harm the innocent. How dare you judge how she should or shouldn’t fight for her child?

    I wish that fighting was not necessary, but fighting to me does not mean picking up a gun and shooting with your eyes close hoping to hit the target. The Dalai Lama is a non-violent man and since he cannot advocate for his goals of a free Tibet without causing the sacrificed of more lives, he deiced to give up. I don’t agree with it, but I respect it. As others on the blog have pointed out, I do not think this means their fight will be abandon.

  66. 66 Vera the international mongrel
    October 27, 2008 at 19:11

    My answer would be yes. It takes courage, wisdom and a lot of practical analysis to make such a difficult decision. One has to balance ideology, tangible results, short-term and long-term gains.
    I have confidence in the Dalai Lama and trust that his decision will ultimately bring positive outcome for the Tibetans, in Tibet or outside of Tibet.
    For the past 3 decades, the Dalai Lama have enjoyed the unconditional support of the West for the campaign against China. It was sort of like the Good vs the Evil Communist regime. Things have changed in the recent years. People who have been to Tibet see that there have been significant improvements in terms of quality of life there. Dalai Lama probably has realized that , despite the support from Hollywood and CIA and grass-roots organizations around the world, China will not tolerate the “separatist” thoughts, at any cost. The Dalai Lama is a pragmatist, so he is doing th right thing.

  67. 67 Vera the international mongrel
    October 27, 2008 at 19:12

    My answer would be yes. It takes courage, wisdom and a lot of practical analysis to make such a difficult decision. One has to balance ideology, tangible results, short-term and long-term gains.
    I have confidence in the Dalai Lama and trust that his decision will ultimately bring positive outcome for the Tibetans, in Tibet or outside of Tibet.
    For the past 3 decades, the Dalai Lama has enjoyed the unconditional support of the West for the campaign against China. It was sort of like the Good vs the Evil Communist regime. Things have changed in the recent years. People who have been to Tibet see that there have been significant improvements in terms of quality of life there. Dalai Lama probably has realized that , despite the support from Hollywood and CIA and grass-roots organizations around the world, China will not tolerate the “separatist” thoughts, at any cost. The Dalai Lama is a pragmatist, so he is doing th right thing.

  68. 68 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 19:13

    I do not understand. I never said that my values are above hers at all. I am challenging her belief’s but made no mention or hint that my values are superior.

  69. 69 Vijay
    October 27, 2008 at 19:19

    Is there ever a right time to give up a struggle?

    The Dalai Lama and his clique of monks and nuns who represent an Animist-Shamanist form of Buddhism and an undemocratic medieval ,feudal, theocratic and absolutist regime have been rejected by their own people for more than fifty years ,now that China is on the rise why would the people want to go back to living lives of deprivation,servitude and slavery,under their former dictator.

    Yes,it is right to make an informed decision to give up a struggle ,on has to weigh up truth and justice against time ,opportunities lost and money .
    By continuing a struggle one might lose due to attrition ,it better to save what is left than completely expend oneself ie.”live to fight another day”.

  70. 70 Vicky
    October 27, 2008 at 19:24

    Have pity on the Dalai Lama! He has dedicated most of his life to forwarding the Tibetan cause. But he is a man of peace and in the face of Chinese guns his strategy did not work. Let him dedicate the rest of his great life to inspiring other people to take up the challenge. Neither the Pope or the Dalai Lama are immortal, but they are both leader who will strive for peaceful solution. Sadly that does not always work.

  71. 71 jamily5
    October 27, 2008 at 19:29

    Many times, we don’t have to engage in a physical confrontation, we choose to.

    Dan, Selena is saying that she would not hurt or mame another human being for her life or someone else’s. In the case of the Dahli Lama, maybe he will not “give up,” just regroup. I hope so.
    Dan, Instead of asking Selena, “is there anything that you would fight for?” Maybe we need to define “fight.”

    Does “fighting” have to mean exhort violence over another?

  72. 72 Vijay
    October 27, 2008 at 19:30

    Someone must have had a quiet word in the Dalai Lamas ear,the World Summit on the Financial Crisis is approaching in Washington D.C.
    The West and the USA in particular can not afford to offend the Chinese because some one has to bail them out,buy their debt and sell them cheap products.
    Maybe American and Australian miners will go and work in China in the 21st Century,just like Chinese did in Oz and the US in the19th Century.

  73. 73 Audrey
    October 27, 2008 at 19:42

    When RAILA ODINGA gave up the fight for his right be president, he honorably saved lives of many Kenyans. And for that we love and respct him. It’s ok to walk away.

  74. 74 Vijay
    October 27, 2008 at 19:46

    The Nazis came to Tibet to look for ideas about their aryan cultural origins and southern brothers(swastika on a pot) ,and were welcomed by the regime ,the Dalai lama continued to be freinds with a Nazi “DOCTOR” and that SS officer portrayed in “7 years in Tibet”.

    As far as NATO versus the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan,
    the allies have to think of their ultimate objectives ie No more attacks on Western countries or their interests worldwide,they could reach an agreement with the Afghan Regime and the Taliban and withdraw,they could even use the Taliban against the Russians .


  75. 75 Steve Sleep
    October 27, 2008 at 19:46

    I’m from Salem Oregon.USA.
    An Artist writer Musician.
    I’m and saddened at the news of the Dali Lama ” Giving Up” But I sincerely doubt that that amy be symantically correct. a Possible “breathing Room” I am An Anachist at heart, A syndicalist in pragmatic sense. I have been in volved in the International Indigenous rights and getting the information about Immigration in the states correct. and stopping Amrican Training of puppet dictators in Americar for Latin America.
    Giving up, is an option, and as I’m hearing Violence is a EXTREME last resort. If Police, military etc. Push people the natural response is for people to push back. Fight or Flight. I advocate Non-Violence at most situations. But Unfortunatly Violenece from one end or the other, becomes an inevitability.
    But, The Situation Dictates the Action and Reaction. The thing to remember is to Keep solidarity at the center. and help decrease factionalization, that has broken up many of the collectives in the US

  76. 76 Mmegbuaneze
    October 27, 2008 at 19:52

    Do you believe in all honesty that the Palestinians will ever give up their struggle or that Martin Luther would have given up his struggle? Nobody ever gives up a struggle they believe in and which they believe is just and right. I believe the Dalai Lama is talking about a change of tactics here. Its now left for the Tibetan Gov in exile to decide their next line of action. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and see what comes next. I only hope it wouldn’t be violent

  77. 77 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 19:53

    @ Dan October 27, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    When you pass judgment on someone is that not the same as placing your values above his/her beliefs? As you did here:
    “I feel very sorry for you that nothing in your life has value. I guess you would allow your child to die rather than fight for his life.”

    The tyrants you pointed to as an example did just that:
    In WWII I guess that Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini & Stalin should have been allowed to extinguish freedom and establish a brutal dictatorship wherein genocide was the norm.”

    In some cases, I agree with you that fighting is necessary. We differ, it seem, on diplomacy. I am not fond of generalizing anything especially, because (as an example) reverse the table and the rest of the world judges all Americans based on G.W. Bush.

  78. October 27, 2008 at 19:53

    I have a hunch that the Dalai Lama has struck some kind of under table deal with the Beijing administration otherwise I find no reason to explain how a man of his international status with so much support can overnight back out of a long fought struggle for his people….He has not only betrayed his compatriots but sympathizers abroad like myself.

  79. October 27, 2008 at 19:57

    Several years I wrote a letter to the Delai Lama and suggested to him to ask for autonomy with China, he did just that about a couple of months later. I never got a reply from him but understand he may have been too busy.
    China is a powerful country, there leaders are stubborn and know full well no country on earth can force them to do otherwise, its as simple as that.
    China is doing to Tibet the same as what Japan did to China around World War 2, so they feel wrongly justified in doing the same to Tibet.
    I agree with the Delai Lama to give up his struggle for autonomy and look elswhere for better times, Im in no doubt that China is too determined to hold on to Tibet any way she can, regardless of world pressure and oppinion.

  80. 80 Tenzin Lhadon
    October 27, 2008 at 19:58

    Dalai Lama is part of our culture and can’t be equated to economic calcuations as it is often rationalised by many chinese. Having many friends and relative in tibet, tibetans hold resentment against Chineses who get paid double the amount of salary if they work in Tibet. Chinese government land ownership policy, where house if your but land belong to government …..so no tibetan really own land anymore just houses .

  81. 81 Steve Sleep
    October 27, 2008 at 19:59

    There is a reason for Identity. The Overall psychological health of the collective unconcious of mankind, depends upon Identity, Ask the Native Peoples of Any Country who have had their Cultures destroyed and were forced into the conformaty of the oppressor/inside or outside. The whole Psychological health of of the world depends upon 1) Individual Identity 2) Human Identity as a Global Population. If we do not realizie this I fear the the world will spin backward into the atavastic state of some kind of racial and Class based precursor to the First and second world wars.

  82. 82 Roberto
    October 27, 2008 at 20:02

    RE “” First and foremost, Tibet is a part of China since the beginning of time.””

    ——— Silliest thing I’ve heard today.

    Dalai Lama has accumulated much wisdom over the years in dealing with the long gone land of his childhood. Many leaders both big and small, personalities of all persuasions and great intellectuals have supported and advised him.

    He’s an old man now and knows in the immediate short term China means to develop the bejabbers out of Tibet for financial exploitation and there is nothing he can do other than pass the baton to the next generation, which is what will happen.

    China is on a wild developmental ride, trying to mirror the excesses of the west while fasttracking a 19th century traditional culture into the 3rd millennium, and if history is any indicator, it’s gonna come to a violent internal upheaval in the near future.

    They’ve been dependent of global economic expansionism which is grinding to a halt from fuel/food spikes and global warming.

    Gonna be a new order of smaller, more provincial states reflecting the needs of their people. Empires will prove too costly to maintain and Tibet will revert to Tibet.

  83. 83 jamily5
    October 27, 2008 at 20:02

    OK maybe it worked for Odenga,
    but not for Tsvangirai.
    Did he give up or is he just changing tactics?

  84. October 27, 2008 at 20:06

    I ment to write several years ‘ago’ I wrote to the Delai Lama. (above).

  85. 85 Dan
    October 27, 2008 at 20:10

    Jessica in NYC
    I find it an alien concept (to me) that people have nothing that they would fight for. Granted the example of the child that I used was extreme but a valid question.
    Selena may believe in whatever she wants and have whatever values she desires but my values are different. I am not in any position to say that on this issue my values are better.

  86. 86 Krzysztof
    October 27, 2008 at 20:17

    Till you fight you are the winner!

    I think the Delai Lama should not give up. If he gives up, He one of the greatest man, what these ordinary Tibetan people will think. “There is no hope” “We have lost” I think they will. Unfortunately, the Delai Lama is only prop for these people.

    I started with some proverb, so I’ll finish with one: one have to know when one should leave the stage. But it’s not the time for him!

  87. 87 Steve Sleep
    October 27, 2008 at 20:18

    I apologize for my first gramatically deficiant and spellinf challenged comment. My keys are wearing and I misspell the words. What I mean to say, is , The dalai Lama may be using the old Retreat to regroup and live to fight another day tactic. His work has been in keeping with the Non-Violent, which is wholly respectable. One thing I wonder is what information, if there is any is there on the Partisan type resistance in Tibet? I’m sure that there is some form of L’Resistance, at Least I hope. My Father, was trained in Malaysia during Vietnam,off the record, by the British,Anzac,and especially Ghurkas. as in the history of Rodger’s Rangers. He later went on to become a drill instructor to help the kids that were coming in for deployment to the mess in Vietnam to survive in the bush. He told me that he and the others where a small group that were selected because they had come from a survivalist background. One from the Bayou’s of Louisiana, The Hills of the American South, My Father from Oregan via Arkansas Hills and Hollers and from a large family 13 children who would pick pine cones and other wild roots for my grandmothers folk remedies. The Ghurkas were amazing he said. Their stamina, knowlege and tracking skills have no equal, so I wonder about this factor, of a more secretive situation. The Chinese wouldn’t want the embarassment , and the Partisans can’t afford the Attention, Any information on that subject?

  88. October 27, 2008 at 20:42

    this a right time for the dalai lama to continue the path to realise his country because now i think that afeterr this financial crisis the people around the world would a little concerned about the concflicts.

    i came form a south american country and now we see in my country q¡that things are changing and this philosophy of money-earining is dying every day.

    good for us will the 2012 which predicts the big change of human revolution.

  89. 89 Jessica in NYC
    October 27, 2008 at 20:47

    @ Dan

    “I find it an alien concept (to me) that people have nothing that they would fight for. Granted the example of the child that I used was extreme…”

    I wholly concur… Keeping in mind, that fighting can be interpreted in many ways including non-violent ones.

  90. 90 Tom (of Melbourne)
    October 27, 2008 at 23:56

    While the Dalai Lama has won hearts and minds and pseudo-rockstar status around the world, he has failed dismally to bring on board people that are most important to his cause. The Chinese people will never tolerate the break up of 1/4th of their country. However, true autonomy will be achieved when the entire country is free and the people are sympathetic to Dalai Lama’s cause.

    His decision to “give up” may just be the turning point in his struggle.

    To those who say that, to quote one comment above, “he has not only betrayed his compatriots but sympathizers abroad like myself”, I’d question if they have the best interests of the Tibetans at heart.

  91. 91 Rangzen Shonu
    October 28, 2008 at 01:20

    Dalai Lama is not giving up the Tibetan Struggle. He is giving up his ‘Middle Way Approach’ as it has failed miserable. China has not responded to his olive branch and repeatedly used his goodwill gesture to stall for time and relative peace it enjoys in the period of inertia between each round of talk it has held with his representatives.

    What happens next is what he has said clearly in his statement, ‘ it will be decided by the Tibetan people’ which means now it will not be a struggle for autonomy but for ‘total independence’. This has been always the wish of all Tibetans but they have so far abided by the wish and direction of His Holiness (Middle Way Policy) which was supposedly a practical solution that was a ‘win-win’ solution for both Tibetans and the Chinese. Now, it has become clear, it is either us or them (Chinese).

    So the struggle will definitely take a different direction. Tibetan people are no longer bound by His Holiness’ wishes and command. We are free to fight for our freedom.

  92. October 28, 2008 at 01:29

    The Dalai Lama that people see is merely a facade, Over the years he has become very media savvy and a very good actor, but the true Dalai Lama is anything but a symbol of peace and tolerance. One only need to look into how much he persecutes his fellow tibetan buddhists(of a different sect) to realisse that Dalai Lama is a fraud. Not long ago a French tv crew went to India to investigate , lo and behold they were manhandled by Dalai Lama”s supposed “pacificist” followers.

  93. 93 Tom (of San Francissco)
    October 28, 2008 at 01:44

    I hope the DL will have the guts to recognize and pronounce that he has been mistaken – that he has been (inadvertently or not) trying to split China – and having admitted that , negotiate vigorously with China to join China (purely as a spiritual and cultural figure) to help Tibetans on the ground to prosper and to develop the Tibetan culture for the 21st century and beyond…

  94. 94 Mark from Kansas
    October 28, 2008 at 05:30

    Accept the things you can not change, change the things you can, and hope for wisdom to know the diffrence.

  95. 95 Ngawang
    October 28, 2008 at 07:05

    To: alvarezgalloso

    Do you mean to say that God created China before Adam and Eve.

  96. 96 Ngawang
    October 28, 2008 at 07:17

    @ Vijay

    Please reflect millions oppressed by caste and gender discrimination by Brahminical society. Buddhism came to India in response to the evil of caste system in India 2600 years.

  97. 97 Down_China
    October 28, 2008 at 07:52

    It is not about giving up a struggle. It is about strategy shift with China.
    Dalai Lama’s middle way approach is complete lack of progress and now it is time for Tibetan people to decide the future cause of Tibet.

    It is not a special case in other parts of world such struggle turns violence because of no sincere from the Chinese part and lack of progress in the struggle.
    It is not the wish of Dalai Lama to make a shift in the Tibet Struggle as there is no much support from the other western countries.Sometime I wonder what U.N.O is for and whats it’s role in this world.

    I think Free Tibet is not far and for those who disagree I want to ask where it is written that Tibet can’t be Free from China.

  98. 98 Saadat
    October 28, 2008 at 08:58

    I think Dalai Lama’s taken a reasonable way. Tibet is the part of China and struggling for the freedom of the part would be ureasonable. If Tibet is not pleased with some policy of Chinese government or feels that the chinese government is attaching less attention and care for the region this shall not mean that such a situation must allow such a part of a country declare itself free or violate the territorial integrity of the country to which it belongs.

    As far as I believe the problem of Kosova is not being settled fairly as Kosova is also the unseparable part of Serbia as well as the Southern Osetia and Abkhazia are the integral parts of Georgia or Nagorniy Karabakh being the integral part of Azerbaijan notwithstanding that certain ettnic groups living there.

    I am always for peace and I do not support such unfair freedom driven requests that may lead to a new conflict ,which are enough in the world and people are tired of these. Let’s have respect to sovereignity and territorial integrity of each country.

  99. 99 rick
    October 28, 2008 at 10:59

    If I was going to be religious, I would be a Bhudist.
    I was therefore shocked when a fellow blogger pointed out that Tibet pre China was run as a fuedel state by the DL and his monks and that most of its people lived in wretched poverty while the monks lived the good life. After googling the history of Tibet, I soon lost any simpathy for the DL’s cause.

  100. 100 dasho
    October 28, 2008 at 12:50

    Dalai lama has simply given up on talking to China as there is no positive response from China at all. Situation is so drastic in Tibet. All Tibetans so far trusted that through talk, Tibet issue will get solved and they have immense trust, faith and loyalty to Dalai Lama.

    Hundreds of thousands of brave Tibetan warriors gave up arms struggle with China, not because out of defeat by China but with their trust and faith in His Holiness’s peaceful efforts to save countless loss of lives on both sides.

    Now this peaceful method is miserably failing and Dalai Lama is becoming more sort of a obstruction than a solution in current scenario because of his unchangeable position on non-voilent method. He is giving up on talks and in semi-retirement position and that is the right decision at the right time. We must credit Dalai Lama for managing Tibetan struggle for freedom single handedly in non-voilent way untill now, despite all the sufferings of Tibetans in TIbet under dictatorial Chinese regime. The whole world must recognise that Tibet’s struggle has not turn into second Vietnam so far, because of Dalai Lama, however no body has given real support for Dalai Lama, which is really sad.

    Now Tibetan people will take on their own of Tibet issue and will definitely reiterate their legitimate historical claim for independence and certainly the approach may not be always peaceful now. Chinese leadership has failed to exercise their wisdom, political courage to talk to Dalai Lama, now they will have to learn political lessons through hard way in their way. I am sure they will die with disbelieve at the loss of good chance with Dalai Lama.

    Tibet will never die for Tibetans will not give up.

  101. 101 Ngawang
    October 28, 2008 at 14:05


    If you know an iota about Buddhism or Tibetan history then you will realize how monk lead their life. Monkhood means renouncing the worldly materials pleasure. So you allegation that Tibetans lived under wretched poverty.

    It is true that Tibet was poverty ridden country before Chinese occupation in 1950 but never in the 2000 years of its recorded history of Tibet experienced starvation. But within couple of years occupation Tibet like rest of China experienced massive starvation under communist Chinese rule from early fifties. Let alone leave the persecution, torture, rape, imprisonment etc. Tibetans faced since 1950.

    1.2 million Tibetan people (20%) died since 1950 – 1976 directly under Chinese occupation execution, torture, starvation, suicide, imprisonment etc.

    As a saying goes little knowledge is dangerous you are just buying into Chinese lies, propaganda, deception and myths as all occupying forces tend to employ to legitimize their occupation and oppression.. Weapon of mass deception employed by Beijing on occupation Tibet.

  102. 102 Sonam Dugdak
    October 28, 2008 at 18:21

    Firstly, thanks to all the people who have written great comments.

    I am a Tibetan and the Tibetan government in exile website has clarified the statement made by the Dalia Lama on http://www.tibet.net

    As for the question,”Is there ever a right time to give up a struggle?”
    Firstly in regards to what the Dalia Lama said it has sadly been a case of “lost in translation”. He is not giving up the struggle, he was expressing his frustration with our attempts to talk with the Chinese Government’s in finding a mutually acceptable situation in resolving the Tibet issues. What happened in Tibet in March/ April this year is clear indication that Tibetan in Tibet are not happy with 50 years of Chinese occupation. Also next year is 50th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising on the 10th March 1959, so it is a good time to ask the Tibetan people to review, re-evaluate or analyze our strategy towards our struggle.

    So answer to the question; there are some struggle you can never give up. The struggle for one’s identity is struggle for who you are and if you give that up you might as well not exist.

    Then what next for the Tibetan struggle. I think it is very positive and encouraging, Dalia Lama has thrown the onus onto the Tibetans. I think more Tibetans inside Tibet and those in exile are now more united in their struggle and identity, they will be more vigorous in their efforts, more Tibetans will take greater leadership of their own ideas and the world will see rejuvenated efforts from Tibetans for their struggle.

    Chinese Government’s lack of courage to deal with the Dalia Lama has spawned hundreds of thousands of young Tibetan ready for new direction in the Tibetan freedom struggle. When the Sun is setting, thousands of Stars are waiting to shine.

  103. 103 roebert
    October 28, 2008 at 20:25

    H.H. Dalai Lama’s statements should be seen as a message to world governments and human rights entities which have abused the easy sincerity of the Middle Way approach as a reason to sit back and do nothing for the Tibetan people, other than make a few token noises.

    The Beijing Olympics was the example par excellence of this apathetic cynicism. After the Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan protests, the best we got from the Olympic Committee was the silly insistence that China once again ‘speak to’ the Dalai Lama. Truth is, the Chinese have always been happy to speak, and speak and speak…

    Hopefully H. H. Dalai Lama’s new position will encourage the free world to now do more than politely request further speaking and speaking from the Chinese side. It is time for some sort of action from the PRC; action that honours the terms, at least, of their own 17-Point Agreement with Tibet: i.e. the granting, at the very least, of genuine autonomy.

    Tibet has never been, and never will be, an ‘integral part of’ China.

  104. 104 Raj (of Denver)
    October 28, 2008 at 23:51

    Let’s see … in March, the DL tirelessly asks the “International Community” to place pressure on the Chinese gov’t to continue talks … despite the fact that it has not bore any fruits over the last four decades.

    The DL denied that he was seeking attention during the Olympics year…

    Now a mere few months after the Olympics, with no real “embargo” to speak of, the DL suddenly gives up.

    If the DL really has persevered over the last forty years, why give up now?

    Do you smell something fishy here? Has this whole thing been staged or what???

  105. 105 Pangolin
    October 29, 2008 at 00:53

    The Beijing Olympics was the example par excellence of this apathetic cynicism. After the Chinese crackdown on the Tibetan protests, the best we got from the Olympic Committee was the silly insistence that China once again ’speak to’ the Dalai Lama. Truth is, the Chinese have always been happy to speak, and speak and speak…

    Observe the state of the nations most prominent in the Olympics since they completed. Have they improved? Are their people more peaceful and prosperous? Who can tell where all the threads of Karma have woven and what they are attached to?

    Every action contains it’s own punishment or reward as a seed within.

  106. 106 tibet
    October 29, 2008 at 04:29

    If somebody comes into your home and says this is mine, will you accept? Tibetans have never accepted they are Chinese and they will never. So they they will oppose their occupation no matter what matter what economic/materialistic the Chinese colonizers claim to bring to Tibet. Tibet is our homeland and we will fight for it till the end.

  107. 107 tibet
    October 29, 2008 at 04:36

    What if strangers gate crash into your home? Will you still be saying that we are all human beings and you can live in my home and I will go out in the streets????

  108. 108 roebert
    October 29, 2008 at 06:08

    Pangolin: I have no doubts whatsoever regarding cause-and-effect-rebound-complexity (luvverly scientific-sounding term for plain old infallible karma). That’s why I have no doubt that the liberation of Tibet would be good, not only for Tibetans, but for the whole world, and especially for China.

    Tibet is the skeleton in the world’s closet.

  109. October 29, 2008 at 07:27

    Yes, i too feel liberation of Tibet from the communist occupation will be some kind of an agent which will be a good source of peace and happiness in the world in far future if not now visibly……………
    I am telling this out of my own experience, because i was grown up under the guidance of H.H. the Dalai Lama studied in a school where we recite bhudhist mantras with undertanding of its depth meaning and every day practicing the speeches and teachings of H.H. the Dalai Lama and bhudhist philosophy of life………..
    Because of H.H. the Dalai Lama’s teachings on universal responsibility, and world brotherhood, i am lost whether i have to fight for my own country Tibet or have to give up Tibet, and work for world globalization and world peace………..But then, i feel to think about world globalization and work for universal peace is some kind of utopian thought and it will be as a dream only until and unless our families back in Tibet will get some kind of freedom, or liberty…………i hope Tibet will be liberated from China soon………………..

  110. 110 Ngawang
    October 29, 2008 at 07:57


    There is nothing fishy about the intention or moves of Dalai Lama. It was only at the insistence of Deng Xio peng in 1979 dialogue with Beijing began. At that time Deng Xio peng sent a message to Dalai Lama stating that everything can be discussed except independence. Since then dialogue has been going on between Beijing and Dalai Lama representative, But Chinese used the only to pass time and were waiting for Dalai Lama to pass away.

    They even never recognize the officials deputed by Dalai Lama, It was only during the 2008 they were recognize because of the international media attention focus on Beijing Olympic.

    Every country has the right to free from oppression and occupation. What would you feel if I say that Indian freedom struggle is fishy and not worthy cause.

  111. 111 roebert
    October 29, 2008 at 08:32

    Anyone who feels that there is something ‘fishy’ about the Dalai Lama should examine themselves to find out why they have such a fishy mindset.

  112. 112 selena in Canada
    October 29, 2008 at 13:21

    i am lost whether i have to fight for my own country

    Isn’t fighting antithesis to the Buddhist philosophy?

  113. 113 selena in Canada
    October 29, 2008 at 13:28

    What if strangers gate crash into your home? Will you still be saying that we are all human beings and you can live in my home and I will go out in the streets????

    Sounds exactly like what happened to the Palestinians? Justice belongs to the powerful!

  114. 114 steve
    October 29, 2008 at 14:53

    “What if strangers gate crash into your home? Will you still be saying that we are all human beings and you can live in my home and I will go out in the streets????

    Sounds exactly like what happened to the Palestinians? Justice belongs to the powerful!”

    Some love their arab brothers have for them. I’m curious why Egypt and Jordan didn’t give Palestinians independence between 1948-1967? That’s right, because they don’t care about them at all. So the irony of the Palestinians is that the arabs took away their lands, and it will be the Jews that give it back. What must it be like to be such a pawn?

  115. 115 Ngawang
    October 29, 2008 at 16:53

    Dalai Lama has been patient for last 60 years since Chinese occupied Tibet in 1950.

    Just look at the racist policies of Chinese

    Tibetans barred in China during Olympic let alone enjoying Olympic


    In the heart of Tibet, Lhasa (capital) Chinese control over Tibet is so overwhelming – physically, economically and politically that Chinese brazenly discriminate against Tibetans. Tibetans are paid 50% less than Chinese for the same work in Lhasa as per the bill board advertisement.


  116. October 29, 2008 at 21:55

    Under the Buddhist monks rule Tibet was a theocratic state where the emphasis was on themselves while peasants were neglected, as far as known, leading to peasant discontent . When the borders between India and China along the disputed Mc Mahon Line (from British days) in the Himalayan region became tense in the early 1950s resulting in the Indo-China war, each country decided (unilaterally, of course) to ‘swallow the small fish’ around seemingly in the interest of its own security. The outcome was that Tibet was ‘swallowed up’ by Tibet despite its own insurgency which was no match for China while India annexed Sikkim as a royal protectorate under its own wing. The Dalai lama and his followers fled to India while even the Panchen lama who was at first accomodative of China later fled with his rival followers also to India, where both parties had been given asylum. The film reflecting a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Mao Tse Tung at the midnight hour in Peking shows the latter appeasing the former at first with the words ” my mother was a good Buddhist ,and remonstrating later before his departure with the words “religion is poison”. The Dalai is shown totally passive and looking down at the floor throughout the film. He has tried ever since with words and even offered lately to become a Chinese citizen, as an autonomous part of China, but he seems to have given up, much older and perhaps exhausted. He is a charismatic religious Leader of his people.

  117. 117 Ngawang
    October 30, 2008 at 03:49


    You have got all the facts wrong. There never was a border conflict along the so called Sino-Indian border in early fifties. The border conflict of late fifties was a result of Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. The final border conflict resulted in 1962 Sino Indian war.

    Secondly there was never a peasant revolt against the Tibetan government headed by Dalai Lama. It was PLA / Chinese army who invaded Tibet and occupied Tibet in October 1950.

    It was the forced cultural revolution of 1966-76 where peasants and poor section of society were forced to revolted against the former government officials and monks.

    Thirdly Panchen Lama died in Tibet in 1989 under mysterious circumstance – soon after he scathingly attacked the Beijing of wrongfully prosecuting innocent Tibetans during cultural revolution.

    Panchen Lama was imprisoned earlier during cultural revolution for writing 70,000 character petition to the authorities in Beijing.

    Last but not the least Dalai Lama has not given up Tibetan issue. He only stated that Beijing leadership has shown no meaningful progress despite being in negotiation since 1978-79. He said that he has lost trust in Beijing.

    Instead Beijing accused Dalai Lama of plotting for independence. Dalai Lama has even stalled his visit to Taiwan for the sake of negotiation on real autonomy.

  118. 118 tibet
    October 30, 2008 at 05:11

    The ball is in Beijing’s court. If the leadership is Beijing becomes wise and sensible, they could reach a deal with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and avoid any troubles in Tibet. Once His Holiness is not in the scene, things can be very difficult for both the parties. Tibetans will never ever accept the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

  119. 119 Koko
    October 30, 2008 at 14:49

    The Dalai Lama shames me and Im sure so many of his followers,those who believed and stood behind him and possibly gave their lives because they strained to breath that most valuable air called “freedom”.It isnt often that the western bug of abandoning previous beliefs on a whim bit an easterner,but it has with the Dalai,and pity the endless generations of men and women whose spirits will come short because they learnt a wrong lesson.

    Of all the things to abandon fighting for,freedom is the very last.The Chinese can bully all they want,but let someone throughout time stand before them and shake a fist in their face.Perhaps one day or even never they will relent and lift the gates of brass.To be cowed by their stubbornness is to die even while one breathes.

    I could say more but Im so choked with emotion.Of course if it were America in the bullying role the Dalai Lama would have railed till the cows came home!!!Yuk!!!

  120. 120 Koko
    October 30, 2008 at 15:00

    The issue of the Palestinians doesnt come in here.They were told in 1948 by their invading Arab brothers to withdraw from the area apparently so they(Arabs)would utterly wipe out the Jews.Well,they lost the war – and now they want the land back.Perish them.Once in my foolishness I was sympathetic to their cause.Im no longer so.They brought it upon their heads.What is more I will not in my lifetime sit by and watch a re-enactment of the slaughter of the Jews this time by Arabs.I probably would have been more tame in my vehemence if they(arabs)only fought back like human beings.But no,they bomb school buses and restaurants filled with ordinary human beings and plant bombs in baby prams and expect me to see them as the victims.Never!!!

  121. October 30, 2008 at 20:37

    To Ngawang:

    I have not referred to any “revolt”. Neither am I a supporter of ethnic imposition against local people, as has happened by China’s occupation. One can only wish the Tibetan people the “right of self-determination” of their mode of governance as espoused by the Dalai Lama. Thanks for the clarifications about the dates as I was speaking from memory.

  122. 122 tibet
    November 1, 2008 at 03:35

    Why does not China allow independent journalists to report freely from Tibet? They are only allowed to visit places in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, approved by the Chinese government. Travel outside of Lhasa is virtually off limit to any foreign visitors. All this means the Chinese government has something to hide in Tibet, i.e. Tibetans have never ever accepted the Chinese colonialism in Tibet, and if the Chinese government let independent journalists/fact-finding groups this access, the truth will be all too clear to the outside world. China claims Tibetans are “happy” under Chinese rule because they have brought in so much economic improvement…not seen when His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Tibet. Then, let’s have a referendum in Tibet…monitored by the United nations or any other independent, credible international organization. China must have the guts and confidence to give the Tibetan people ” right to self determination.” The truth will come out.

  123. 123 Jeff Minter
    November 3, 2008 at 00:05

    Tibet is one third of China’s landmass, home to many resource and trade routes, and a key geopolitical location in respect to India. Giving it away to a western backed independent party (i.e. Dalai Lama and his cohorts) is suicide – politically, economically and militarily.

    But that is what other countries want, obviously. The “democracy” and “freedom” excuses are just a poor smokescreen.

  124. 124 tibet
    November 6, 2008 at 05:33

    “Tibet is one third of China’s landmass, home to many resource and trade routes, and a key geopolitical location in respect to India,” yeah thats why China invaded Tibet….greed and colonial ambitions. But Tibet is our land….Tibetans will never ever give up to any form of foreign aggression and looting and destruction of our resources and way of life. We will fight to the end. China, just feel fortunate that you have a very wise man as your adversary in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He does not want violence. He just wants peace and justice. But China is naive to think all Tibetans have this extraordinary wisdom. Things could go nasty once His Holiness is not in the scene because average Tibetans hate Chinese taking over their country and are willing to do anything to assert their fundamental rights in their own homeland.

  125. November 6, 2008 at 09:27

    when all the bowlers will have stopped throwing stones at us,thats when we stop batting them.our struggles are just to bat them,we dont throw the stones coz we believe we are the top.

    precisely right.


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