The Dalai Lama’s Change of Tune

Is the Tibetan leadership gearing up for talks with China? The Dalai Lama has recently been reinforcing his stance that Tibet should come under Chinese rule and the latest revelation that Samdhong Rinpoche is currently visiting Tibet appears to confirm this.

The opinion piece below was sent to for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].



By: Shashi Kei

58 years of what has become known as the Tibetan Cause seems to be coming to an end. While the Tibetan community has long been privy to the Dalai Lama’s wish for Tibetan autonomy under Chinese rule, external observers beginning with The Economic Times (23rd November 2017) are now witnessing what they see as the Dalai Lama’s reversal in his stance and attitude towards China.

No longer is China couched as the Tibetan people’s Enemy No. 1 that has to be opposed vehemently. Instead on November 23 this year, in speaking to The Hindustani Times, the Dalai Lama stated that China and Tibet have always been close although there were ‘occasional fights’.

China now is presented in the Dalai Lama’s new narrative as a partner who can bring ‘more development’ and progress into Tibetan lives, as opposed to the hostile destroyer of the Tibetan people’s culture, religion and way of life. In addressing the Sino-Tibetan conflict that began in 1950 and culminated in the Dalai Lama’s escape into exile in 1959, the Dalai Lama was heard saying,

The past is the past.

US President Donald Trump (right) with President Xi Jinping of China. Like most world leaders today, President Trump has shown no interest in maintaining a relationship with the Tibetan leadership, snubbing meetings with the Dalai Lama in favor of drawing a closer relationship with China.

After over half a century of rousing Tibetan and global support against China, the Dalai Lama’s turnaround is not without some serious implications and repercussions.

  1. The most immediate intimation is that 151 Tibetans who self-immolated for a ‘free Tibet’ literally wasted their lives. Those who self-immolated did not set themselves alight so that ultimately, the Dalai Lama would accede to China’s sovereignty and acknowledge China as an ally who can bring progress to the Tibetan people.
    Not only does the Dalai Lama’s renewed push for autonomy invalidate these self-immolations, but the Tibetan leadership’s silence on these self-immolations, knowing how their intent does not match the Dalai Lama’s wishes, is shocking. The Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership in Dharamsala) must now take a stance against all future self-immolations and outlaw the act as unpatriotic because it now goes against the foreign policy goals of the Tibetan government.
  2. The Dalai Lama and CTA should henceforth cease all anti-China rhetoric and should in no way participate in anything that is subversive to China’s stature and reputation. Instead, the Dalai Lama and CTA should openly acknowledge that China has brought progress to the Tibetan people within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and they can do the same for the Tibetans in exile, pending a positive relationship that is contingent on the CTA’s willingness.
    In essence, this would mean the CTA should divest of all its interest and involvement in operations like Radio Free Asia, which is described in Wikipedia as “…a private, non-profit international broadcasting corporation that broadcasts and publishes online news, information, and commentary to listeners in East Asia while ‘advancing the goals of U.S. foreign policy.’” Surely in geopolitical terms, advancing the goals of U.S. foreign policy is at the expense of China’s foreign policy as both superpowers are vying for dominance in the same global market.
    Therefore if the Dalai Lama and CTA are sincere about being autonomous under China, as the Tibetan spiritual leader has proclaimed, it behooves them to stop being a shill for American foreign policy and show that they have China’s interests at heart. It would also mean that the CTA must henceforth stop receiving grants and any form of funding from countries that are critical of China, for instance the United States.
  3. As a show of its good intentions, the Dalai Lama and CTA must immediately call for a cessation of all CTA policies that have split the Tibetan communityboth within Tibet and in the diaspora. The most critical of these would be:
    1. The Rangzen vs. Umaylam Split: The CTA must now make all efforts to reconcile the two groups instead of demonizing Rangzen advocates as being an ‘internal enemy’ as Sikyong Lobsang Sangay has recently claimed, and as ex-CTA Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche has announced previously.
    2. The Karma Kagyu Split: The Dalai Lama should now use his influence to close ranks in the Karma Kagyu lineage. It became divided after the Dalai Lama acted beyond his mandate in the Karma Kagyu’s succession issue and endorsed a rival Karmapa to the one that the lineage chose per their centuries-old tradition.
    3. The Dorje Shugden Issue: The Dalai Lama and CTA must immediately cease all victimization and persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners by labelling them traitors of the Tibetan people. This conflict that the Tibetan leadership started and sustained for the past 20 years has injuriously divided the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhist adherents worldwide.

Mongolian Foreign Minister Tsend Munkh-Orgil on the left. The Dalai Lama is now banned from Mongolia, after China voiced their objections to his visit. A traditionally strong supporter of Tibet, Mongolia is just one of many countries around the world who are increasingly unwilling to risk their citizens’ economic welfare for a relationship with the Tibetan leadership which brings no benefits to their population at large.

An announcement by the Dalai Lama ordering all such persecutions to stop would no doubt put an end to the infighting amongst Tibetans inside Tibet. They have been enthusiastic to violently enforce the Tibetan leadership’s diktats against Shugden practitioners, and the ensuing instability and conflict is something that has been of grave concern to the Chinese government.

In addition, the CTA must remove all anti-Dorje Shugden propaganda material on their official website and on the Dalai Lama’s page, which, as long as they are there, absolves the Tibetan people of all liabilities in persecuting their own kin based on their religion.

In the event the Tibetan leadership fails to do this, then they will be leaving it to the Chinese government to put out a fire that the CTA started and kept going.


You Lose When You Support the Tibetan Leadership

But the Dalai Lama’s change of attitude towards China also bears some serious overtones in the Sino-Indian relationship, which should worry India. After supporting, at great cost, the majority of the Tibetan exodus for almost 60 years, the Tibetan leadership might now hang their generous Indian hosts out to dry.

Anti-Tibetan sentiment, especially in India, is increasingly obvious. Earlier this year, students in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh launched an anti-Tibetan protest, highlighting the preferential treatment of Tibetan refugees over Indian citizens, and calling for the removal of Tibetan refugees from India.

Sino-Indian relationships have never been tenser. Over the decades, these two Asian giants have clashed at one time or another over Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and most recently, Doklam. India and China’s border issues remain largely unresolved and incendiary. With such sensitive issues at stake, will the Dalai Lama avail himself to stand against India in exchange for favorable terms, as he has against China for decades? The Dalai Lama remains an extremely influential and potent force on his own and we have seen how he managed to turn the world’s attention against China for decades.

Not only did India lose out by supporting the Tibetan cause, but it now stands to lose if the Tibetan leadership turns around and supports China in any Sino-Indian disputes. And there is every possibility that this might happen. On 4th December 2017, The Wire published an article by Phunchok Stobdan, a former Indian ambassador who was commenting on the Tibetan situation. The article included a very interesting revelation – that Samdhong Rinpoche, the newly-appointed Special Representative of the Dalai Lama has been on a discreet visit to China since mid-November.

Samdhong Rinpoche is said to be visiting a part of China (Yunnan) where he has a big following. The choice of location has been viewed as a strategic move by many, as it affords the CTA a margin of deniability or ability to classify the trip as a private visit in case nothing should come of it later. Nevertheless, the previously-unreported news has sent shockwaves throughout the Tibetan community, who view it as a sign that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan leadership may be ready to relinquish a strong relationship with India, in favor of talks with China.

The fact that the Tibetan leadership may just renege on their relationship with India has not gone unnoticed by the community at large. In the comments section of The Wire article, a remark left by an ‘Alok Asthana’ sums up the situation perfectly by saying,

“Providing sanctuary to Dalai Lama and angering China has been India’s monumental blunder. Think back of the last of the 40s. What if India had snubbed this man and made friends with China. The state of India would have been quite different today. Maybe Dalai Lama’s exit provides us with that opportunity again. Make friends with China”.


Is This Another Tibetan Leadership Ruse?

Nothing the Tibetan leadership does is ever straightforward. The CTA declares itself to be a democracy and yet publishes propaganda material to deny religious freedom to a large segment of its exile population. The CTA claims not to be pushing for independence with China (Rangzen) and yet does nothing to curb Rangzen activities including self-immolations.

And now, true to form, even as the Dalai Lama seems to be extending an olive branch to China, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay is on a European tour to muster support for another 50 years of opposing China. What indeed are the Tibetan leadership’s true intentions?

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration. In a stunning display of insensitivity for Sino-Indian politics, the Tibetan leader caused a furore when he was pictured raising the Tibetan flag at Pangong Lake, between Ladakh and Tibet. This incident took place at the height of the Doklam crisis which, at that point, was on the brink of escalating into war between China and India. The Chinese leadership viewed the Prime Minister’s actions as intentionally provocative, and they responded with strong statements of objections to the Indian leaders. There is no doubt what Lobsang Sangay did contributed to the degeneration of relations between China and India.

The reality is all this posturing by Dr Lobsang Sangay will ultimately be futile and counterproductive. The Tibetan leadership has clearly miscalculated its own significance again and is in complete denial of the fact that more and more doors are now closed to it. Over the last few years, we have seen Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, Australia, Bhutan, Pakistan and even old friends like Mongolia rejecting the Dalai Lama. The U.S. under President Trump is clear that it prefers to make friends with China than continue to support the exile Tibetan leadership’s struggle against China. And of late, we see growing resentment of the Tibetan people in India itself. The Tibetan leadership in all its scheming and conniving is alone.

And so one has to ask, on what basis is the Tibetan leadership planning to oppose a China that is only growing stronger by the day, especially when the CTA cannot even get its own act together? Truly, it is curtains for the CTA and the Tibetan cause.


The Dalai Lama Wants to Return Home

Click to enlarge (Source:

Click to enlarge and read the comments to The Wire article (Source:


Dalai Lama’s Envoy Samdhong Rinpoche Discreetly Visited China

Click to enlarge (Source:

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  1. The whole world is literally bowing down and acknowledging China as the superpower in the world’s politics and economy and China has influenced the world in more ways than we can imagine. Most countries are dependant on China for trade, cultural exchange, technology, tourism, currency and so on. No one can ignore China now and neither can the United States President nor India in issues over trade ties and policies and borders. HH the Dalai Lama knows the CTA can’t win back Tibet and accepted that fact. It is better for HH to accept China and win their hearts back to allow him to return to visit China and Tibet to be with his people benefiting them and allowing the Tibetans to attend his teachings to spread the dharma there. 😀

  2. Given the dismal track record of the CTA to say the least, it is the last chance for His Holiness to do something beneficial for the Tibetan diaspora. May His Holiness be successful! With folded hands.

  3. What CTA done to their host India and their own people so far? Create Dorje Shugden’s ban, stir the relationship between China and India, goes against what the Dalai Lama said, encourage self-immolation, encourage Rangzen people. I think looking at all these actions by the CTA, they actually afraid to go back to China. Why? It is very simple, they no longer have power if they return to China, they no longer have money when they returned to China. Thus, they do many dramas, and, these dramas is just to let their people sees that they have “action” but, how long can the Tibetan in exile being fool like this?

  4. A chess game with global ramifications.

    The thawing ties between India and China is good for the world. India and China, holds the two most populous country, and it is good that both this country makes peace.

    I like this new direction by His Holiness.

  5. Yes from henceforth, if the CTA truly cares for the future of their fellow Tibetans, they must cease their anti -Chinese rhetoric and, in the same vein, they must now cease using their anti-China propaganda and campaign such as their labelling and attacking Dorje Shugden practitioners baselessly as “paid China spies”.
    So why then is Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on a European tour to muster support for another 50 years of opposing China. Doesn’t this run counter to Dalai Lama’s wishes?

    The Sikyong’s tour of Europe is unlikely to yield any positive outcome for him as the European countries, one by one, have already shown their support for and respect of China, the new economic superpower, by officially recognising Tibet as a part of China. Even the Dalai Lama now says publicly that he sees Tibet as part of China, and likewise India.

    The Dalai Lama’s stance for Tibet’s autonomy is the best for the future of Tibet and Tibetans . May all Tibetans, including the CTA Leadership , support the Dalai Lama one hundred percent , going forward.May the Dalai Lama ‘s visit to China manifest. May the Dalai Lama and all Tibetans realise their 60-year dream of going home to a peaceful and stable Tibet. Tibetans in Tibet are enjoying a better standard of living and economic progress; at the same time they have the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, including the practice of Dorje Shugden, as well as preserve their culture.

  6. Tensions against the Tibetans are definitely rising in India. Given the steady increase over the years of Sino-Indian disputes, many people on the streets are asking how to ease the conflict. And one of the main points of discussion are the Tibetans. The issues of the Tibetan exiles has long been a thorn in the foot of Sino-Indian relationships and given the rate of expansion of both countries over the past 50-60 years, it is evident that this issue will flare up. The current leadership of India is honouring the agreements and good will that was made over 50 years, and the Chinese government are trying to curb separatist sentiments within their own borders. The ‘Tibetan Cause’ has at first inadvertently, but now maybe purposefully sought to jeopardize both of these. Though no one can blame the Tibetans for wanting to go home, the manner in which they have been trying to do this has not been successful and has even created more problems than before.

    Now that the Dalai Lama seems to be changing his strategy, this is good news for both the Tibetans and the Chinese, but it really flies in the face of the hospitality that India is known for. Unfortunately, the Indian government has gone even as far as giving Tibetans in exile Indian citizenship. How sad that India has been treated so badly by the Tibetans until now, and either way you look at it will be treated badly In the future, no matter how much we have done for the Tibetans.

  7. Dorje Shugden practitioners have often been called derogatory terms in association with China/Chinese references, which definitely needs to cease. No Dorje Shugden practitioner wishes ill harm on Tibet, but yet, the Tibetan Leadership allows the name-calling, the jeering, the hate and the segregation. By the leadership still allowing its people to use adjectives/nouns related to China to describe DS practitioners, they are in fact condoning that Tibetans should continue their hate too, towards China, its leadership and its people.

    There is no need to involve religion with politics, and yet, the Tibetan Leadership has gotten involve in the Dorje Shudgen controversy, by siding those against the practice, and scrutinising, discrimination, side-lining, and allowing violence against those who do the century old practice. The Leadership should instead focus on much more important political issues, as they are voted in to do, such as improving the lives/welfare of their citizens, getting involve in world’s political climate, putting their foot into being good allies with others, instead of dabbling and wasting their time in religious affairs such as the Dorje Shugden issue. No such leadership/government in the world does what the CTA does.

    The Tibetan Leadership better get their act together, as it seems they are losing support worldwide. They have no home, and may in the future, lose their current adopted home in India, if they continue to destroy themselves from within.

  8. The Dalai Lama is coming to his senses finally I guess. The problem is, is it too late? And the problem is we have a real troublemaker that goes around undoing all the good things that the Dalai Lama is trying create with China. WHo is this culprit, fake Doctor Lobsang Sangay! Just think, if the Dalai Lama is starting to say good hopeful things to create a relationship with the Chinese, why would his President, which was made by the Dalai Lama himself go around poking fire at the Chinese? He is going around still bad mouthing China – why? That is like the total opposit of what the Dalai Lama wants to achieve.

    So we should ask CTA Lobsang Sangay why are you trying to sabotage HH the Dalai Lama’s effort in trying to create a relationship with CHina? Is Sangay doing this because he is afraid he’d basically be jobless once the Dalai Lama goes to China? I mean who needs Sangay, definitely he is going to be a nobody once the Dalai Lama goes to China, so maybe he it trying to delay it as much as possible so he can keep asking for free money, flying here and there wasting Tibetan exile funds for his lavish jet set meeting that ends up nowhere! Where is the results of it all — what do we get from your nothing!

  9. China is astute in offering economic incentives in exchange for political favor. Recently, Senator Steve Daines of Montana hosted a delegation of Chinese Communist Party officials that oversee Tibet and undercut the simultaneous visit by the President of the Tibetan Government in exile in exchange for a $200 million deal with a leading Chinese retailer to export Montana’s beef to China. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is no match for China regarding political intelligence. If the CTA is smart, they will start to build rapport and stop condemning China for an event that happened over 60 years ago.

    US Senator Exchanged Tibet For Economic Incentives With China?
    TJ editor| December 18, 2017
    A US Senator is reported to have overseen the fact that Tibet is going under a serious situation of human rights crisis for economic deals with China. According to an opinion in the Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, China is bidding political favours in foreign countries in return for economic incentives they provide.
    “In its effort to cultivate foreign influence, the Chinese Communist Party boldly mixes economic incentives with requests for political favors. Its dealings with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) this year offer a success story for Beijing.” write Josh Rogin in The Washington Post.
    The writer explains how the recent case with Senator Daines’s dealing with the China perfectly demonstrates how such an exchange took place.
    “Last month Daines announced a breakthrough in his long-standing effort to win access for Montana’s beef exports to China — a $200 million deal with a leading Chinese retailer.” said the opinion “Then, on Dec. 5, the regime of Xi Jinping got something at least as valuable from Daines. The senator hosted a delegation of Chinese Communist Party officials who oversee Tibet, at the request of the Chinese Embassy — thereby undercutting a simultaneous visit to Washington by the president of the Tibetan government in exile.”
    While The House Foreign Affairs Asia subcommittee held a hearing on December 6 about Chinese repression in Tibet in due consideration over China’s growing oppression in Tibet, inaccessibility of foreign media and officials into Tibet, etc., where Hollywood actor spoke as witness, Daines was reported to have praised Chinese officials in Tibet for doing “a good job in environmental protection and traditional cultural preservation.”

    US Senator Exchanged Tibet for Economic Incentives with China?

  10. Everyone is now confused as to where the CTA or rather His Holiness are leading the Tibetans in exile towards. The CTA existed solely and supposedly to fight for the Tibetan Cause which we have already lost track what it is. If Tibet would like to be governed by China with autonomy rights, why did the Dalai Lama flee in 1959? Wouldn’t it makes more sense that the Dalai Lama and his people remained in Tibet and work towards that? The Dalai Lama fleeing Tibet has caused so much suffering for the Tibetans who were left behind. They were forced to be under reformation and many were humiliated publicly and tortured to the unbearable state? His Holiness should have stayed on with the previous Panchen Lama to work protecting the Tibetans.

    Now, after 58 years of neglecting the Tibetans in Tibet and allowing the incompetent Sikyong and kashag to manage the 150,000 Tibetans in exile, suddenly it is good to be back in Tibet and be governed by the Chinese? All these manipulative, sneaky and ineffective tricks cannot fool anyone. The CTA has to answer to fellow Tibetans in and outside of Tibet as to why they choose to neglect Tibetans and failed to bring any benefits to their lives.

  11. Dalai cannot make up his mind . Gaden Phodrang is filled with useless old men like Samdhong. Time for new people to come where is Lukar

  12. “The Past is the Past” I will say more concretely, The Past is passed. Therefore the questions asked of the CTA leadership in this article are very relevant if they consider themselves to be democratic and elected to work for the Tibetan in exile.

    Nothing said or done by leaders of CTA are consistent and that is because they are not accountable and do not care about Tibetans in general.

    CTA has the knack of dividing and rule. That is only possible if at least some quarters of people benefit from their treachery. Looking at the situation, neither the donors nor the supposed Tibetan cause had any benefit. It is financial wastage and lives wasted (due to self immolation) without any results except to benefit the CTA leaders.

    Even if the Dalai Lama wishes reconciliation with China, I pray that no blunders will be created by CTA that will cause disharmony to the 2 great eastern powers of China and India.

    As an Asian, I wish for prosperity and harmony in Asia, and the Tibetan cause not to disturb the current “respect” in place among Asian nations.

    Let not CTA create disharmony and disunity like what is done among Tibetans on issues like the discrimination against Dorje Shugden and the discord of 2 Karmapas within Karma Kagyu tradition.

  13. After looking at several contradictory reports regarding the alleged Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche’s visit to China, one should wonder why Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche had to deny his four-day visit to China after such visit was first confirmed by Dr. Lobsang Sangay and now by a former Indian intelligence officer. If Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche had the best intention to promote the Dalai Lama’s middle way, then why he needs to deny this visit? After all the Sino-Tibetan relationship has been stagnant since 2011, the fact that Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche was able to secure a meeting with Chinese government officials should have been a great success for him, instead of becoming another source of controversy.

    Former Indian Intelligence Claims Samdhong Rinpoche Visited China
    A former Indian intelligence officer claims in an article that the former Kalon Tripa or the Prime minister of Tibetan government in exile, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche had a four days China visit in November last year. The article by the former RAW officer says that Dalai Lama’s envoy would have met senior Communist party leaders during the visit.
    Samdong Rimpoche’s visit to China materialised against the backdrop of strained India-China relations consequent to the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam, says former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade according to the article in the
    “Samdong Rimpoche, who was nominated a month earlier as the Dalai Lama’s envoy for talks with the Chinese authorities, would certainly have met senior Communist party leaders during his four-day stay in Kunming, capital of China’s Yunnan province.” added the report claiming that the two-term Kalon Tripa (‘prime minister’) of the Tibetan administration-in-exile and one of the Dalai Lama’s most trusted advisers had quietly travelled to China in late November 2017.
    The report also suggested that the Rinpoche would have met with the You Quan, a former party secretary of Fujian province whom Chinese President Xi Jinping appointed director of the united front work department in November or Zhang Yijiong, executive vice minister of the UFWD.
    As China still do not recognise the Central Tibetan Administration, functioning as the Tibetan government in exile, president Lobsang Sangay has not accompanied the Rinpoche in the China visit added the article by the former Indian intelligence.
    The former prime minister of Tibetan government in exile, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche however had earlier rubbished of the China visit when asked about whether he had made a China visit as being speculated and told that the news about his visit to China has no truth and it was nothing more than just media speculations.

    Samdhong Rinpoche Visited China

  14. China’s economic prowess is not to be underestimated. Various countries leaders seek economic collaborations with China, who has been contributing to the world’s economic growth, especially in the past decade. The Indian Intelligence Bureau’s (IB) report highlighted the lack of opportunities in India for growth and advancement as the causes for Tibetan youth to willingly betray their host India and work as spies for China. Tibetan youth clearly have difficulties to survive in India as CTA failed to create sufficient jobs for the Tibetans in exile. This is a reality and we will see more and more trend like this and eventually Tibetans seeking improvement in their quality of life and intellectual advancement will leave India and ‘return’ to China.

    China recruiting “disgruntled” Tibetan refugees to spy on India: Intelligence Bureau
    Friday, January 05, 2018 19:56
    By Tenzin Dharpo
    DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 5: Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) has reportedly said that China is recruiting Tibetan refugee youth in the Northeastern parts of India to provide strategic information in exchange for monetary gains.
    The IB, India’s internal intelligence agency, has issued a string of alerts that China is approaching Tibetan refugees settled in northeast India to provide strategic information about the area.
    According to The Print, a comprehensive report submitted to the central government will include how China had been targeting “disgruntled Tibetan refugees” in the region for the past two years and how many of the recruits have already left for China.
    An unnamed source from the IB was cited as saying “young Tibetan refugees” from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other parts of northeast India have been recruited as spies. “It appears to be China’s strategy to make a base in India to create a channel, through which it can constantly receive relevant strategic information,” the source told The Print.
    The same source also described the newer generations of Tibetans to be “volatile and vulnerable” whose desperation caused by unemployment and wish for a good lifestyle is tapped by China who assure money as well as job and education for their kids. 
    In addition to the report to be sent to Ministry of home affairs, the local police in the north east states have also been notified of the threat and may result in “scrutiny of Tibetan refugees” there soon.
    There are five Tibetan refugee settlements in the Northeast India; Choepheling- Miao, Dhargyeling –Tezu, Tenzigang- Bomdila and Tuting-Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh and Kunphenling- Ravangla in Sikkim as well as smaller pockets of Tibetans in Sonada and Darjeeling area overseen by the exile Tibetan government here in Dharamshala, known as the Central Tibetan Administration.

    Phayul_China recruiting “disgruntled” Tib_ - http___www.phayul.com_news_article.aspx

  15. Samdhong Rinpoche’s November visit to China is brought up again in this article because it may have implication to India’s politics. At the moment, it is not clear yet as to what transpired during Samdhong Rinpoche’s 4-day visit to China and how the development may impact the progress of Tibetan cause or India-China relations. The confusion and curiosity related to this visit were increased a notch recently after Samdhong Rinpoche denied that this visit even occurred. It is very likely that the public may speculate further about Samdhong Rinpoche’s real intention behind the visit and why he was hiding it, and the speculation could run wild and impose a new risk to the Tibetan cause and India China relations. Therefore, it is best for Samdhong Rinpoche to clarify this matter once and for all.

    Tibet developments may put pressure on India
    Samdong Rimpoche’s visit to China materialised against the backdrop of strained India-China relations consequent to the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam, says former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade.
    There have been important developments relating to Tibet since the Chinese Communist Party congress ended in Beijing on October 25, 2017 and the two months thereafter.
    All of them have implications for India and some could potentially put India under sustained pressure.
    The first was the indication that the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee’s united front work department, which is responsible for supervising non-Communist parties and ethnic minorities including the Tibet and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions, was preparing to take fresh initiatives.
    This was the dramatic ‘leak’ that Samdong Rimpoche – a former two-term Kalon Tripa (‘prime minister’) of the Tibetan administration-in-exile and among the Dalai Lama’s most trusted advisers — had quietly travelled to China in late November 2017.
    Samdong Rimpoche, who was nominated a month earlier as the Dalai Lama’s envoy for talks with the Chinese authorities, would certainly have met senior Communist party leaders during his four-day stay in Kunming, capital of China’s Yunnan province.
    There is speculation that Rimpoche could have met You Quan, a former party secretary of Fujian province whom Chinese President Xi Jinping appointed director of the united front work department in November or Zhang Yijiong, executive vice minister of the UFWD.
    If Rimpoche met Chinese leaders, this would be the first acknowledged contact between an envoy of the Dalai Lama and Chinese Communist officials since negotiations between the two sides were suspended in 2010.
    China’s official media has, however, not yet mentioned a visit by a senior leader to Kunming during this period.
    Dr Lobsang Sangay, the Sikyong (head) of the Central Tibetan Administration, obliquely confirmed that Professor Rimpoche had visited China. He was replying to a question posed by former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal on the sidelines of the M L Sondhi memorial lecture in New Delhi on December 14, when he cautioned ‘Don’t read too much into it. At most it’s a private visit and it’s too early to say anything.’
    It is pertinent that Lobsang Sangay — who is the other envoy nominated by the Dalai Lama for talks with the Chinese — did not accompany Samdong Rimpoche probably because China continues to adhere to its policy of not recognising the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala. No relaxation has been noticed in China’s policies towards Tibetans or Tibet so far.
    Samdong Rimpoche’s visit also materialised against the backdrop of strained India-China relations consequent to the face-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam and threats made at the time by China through its official media.
    It comes too in the wake of an international conference convened by the Tibetan administration-in-exile in October 2017 to finalise a long-term action plan, including revival of Tibetan Buddhism in the Indo-Himalayan border belt.
    At the same time a securitisation of Tibet is taking place. Following up on Xi Jinping’s work report to the party congress — which for the first time devoted an entire section to poverty alleviation — the Tibet Autonomous Region has launched a campaign to tackle poverty and simultaneously enhance security.
    It has decided to build ‘well-off border villages’ along Tibet’s ‘borders with India, Nepal, Bhutan and other neighbouring countries to ensure the security of the borders and maintain stability’ in the region.
    The State-owned Global Times newspaper on December 25, 2017 asserted that ‘confronting separatism remains a challenge for the region. Raising living standards for local residents is a fundamental way to guard against activity sabotaging China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’.
    ‘Tibet’s rural poverty alleviation,’ the newspaper added, will help maintain stability in the border areas’.
    Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in the TAR are being co-opted to sensitise people and ensure that Buddhism serves socialism.
    Additionally, the decision to bring the people’s armed police force (PAPF) directly under the central military commission with effect from January 1, 2018 puts Tibet under the direct control of the people’s liberation army (PLA).
    Xi Jinping had earlier appointed PLA officers loyal to him as the commander and political commissar of the PAPF.
    Since the PAPF is deployed in strength in Tibet’s main towns, rural countryside and border areas, the PLA officers — who are now being re-inducted into the party standing committees at the provincial and county levels — will have an enhanced role.
    In addition to deploying PAPF troops when civilian authorities request assistance, the PLA officers will have a greater role in military-civil coordination and be directly involved in building the ‘well-off border villages’.
    Each of these villages is to be connected by road, thereby facilitating military movement along the border with India.
    Finally, the TAR leadership is being encouraged to push the Belt and Road Initiative and Bangladesh China India Myanmar Corridor with Tibet’s neighbours.
    To promote the BRI and BCIM, China has announced it will expand TAR’s road network from 82,000 kms to 89,000 kms by 2020.
    Chinese officials have earlier pointed out that there are 70 road links between China and Nepal and there have been suggestions of a new China-Nepal-India Corridor.
    The aim will be to build pressure on India by creating public opinion, including by co-opting Tibetans, to endorse the BRI and China’s plans of connectivity.
    Jayadeva Ranade, a former Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, is presently President, Centre for China Analysis and Strategy.


  16. Instead of creating employment opportunities, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has nurtured a culture where Tibetans expect handouts and foreign aids to get by. As a result, they created a new generation of Tibetan refugees who are volatile and vulnerable, and always depend on others to help them out of circumstances. Now, Tibetan refugees in India do not even hesitate to compromise the security of their host country, India, who has been so kind to them, in exchange for monetary gain.

    China luring Tibetan refugees in India to work as its spies, Intelligence Bureau warns
    ANANYA BHARDWAJ | 5 January, 2018
    IB issues alert that many refugees settled in northeast India are being paid and offered jobs by China in exchange for strategic information.
    New Delhi: Amid rising India-China tensions along the Line of Actual Control, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a string of alerts warning that Tibetan refugees settled in northeast India are being approached by China to provide strategic information about the area.
    While China has reportedly managed to convince a number of young Tibetan refugees to work as its spies in exchange for money, it is aiming to recruit many more, IB sources told ThePrint.
    According to the alert, based on which a detailed report will soon be submitted to the government, China had been eyeing disgruntled Tibetan refugees in the region for the past two years. Sources said that many of the refugees it has recruited have already left for China.
    “We received an alert stating that young Tibetan refugees settled in areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other parts of northeast India are moving to China. We learnt that China is trying to recruit the refugees as spies in the area,” a source said. 
    “It appears to be China’s strategy to make a base in India to create a channel, through which it can constantly receive relevant strategic information.”
    The local police in the concerned states have also been sounded out about the alert. A report is being prepared and will be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, following which a scrutiny of Tibetan refugees in the area may start.
    “The present generation of Tibetan refugees is very volatile and vulnerable. While they wish to have a good lifestyle, they do not have any job opportunities. This is what the Chinese took advantage of to plant their spies,” the source said.
    “The Chinese reportedly not only promise them good money in exchange for information, but also a good job and education for their children in China. However, it is still not known as to how many refugees the Chinese have been able to mobilise.”
    Asked about the IB alert, a Home ministry official said: “It may be a possibility. We will look into it.”


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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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