Author Topic: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?  (Read 16272 times)

WisdomBeing

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Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« on: February 24, 2012, 03:59:23 AM »
Gosh.. China is considering removing the ethnicity of Tibetans on their identity cards! This is very radical and literally will remove their identity. All Tibetans will 'become' Chinese on paper. Only China would be able to enforce such a radical idea. I wonder what the response will be, from the Tibetans in China and outside. I'm sure there will be an uproar but this is not a new way to assimilate a conquered nation. Genocide, which is the destruction of a nation or an ethnic group, has been often practised throughout history. CTA, what are you going to do about this??


Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN | Feb 24, 2012, 04.41AM IST

BEIJING: An influential Communist Party leader in China is asking for completely erasing the legal identity and minority status for Tibetans as a means to deal with escalating protests and do some damage-control for the country's image, dented by a spate of self-immolations by Tibetan activists and monks.

The official, an interlocutor with the Dalai Lama's envoys and a key Tibet policymaker, has suggested that the unrest could be quelled if the Tibetans were denied a separate legal identity in government documents.

Zhu Weiqun, deputy director in the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, asked the two houses of Chinese parliament - the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - to amend laws concerning Tibetans during their upcoming annual meetings in March.

He said that mentioning the ethnicity and minority status on identity cards of Tibetans erodes the sense of nationalism and cohesion.

The proposal, which aims to dilute the Dalai Lama's influence in Tibetan areas, follows nearly 20 cases of self-immolation by protesting Tibetans, which triggered calls from several Western governments, including Washington and Paris, demanding that Beijing ensure that the Tibetans are treated fairly.

"Some of our current educational and administrative policies have unintentionally weakened (the minority people's) sense of nationhood and Chinese nationalism," Zhu said in an article. The best way to achieve 'national cohesion' is by stopping to give them separate status as an ethnic minority on identity cards, using ethnic labels in the titles of schools and autonomous regions, and giving them privileges reserved for minorities, Zhu said.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Positive Change

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 06:13:49 AM »
I am not at all surprised... In fact, I believe it will form unity in the long run. I am NOT saying eradicating the "race" per se. But think about it, if you ask someone where he or she is from they would answer their with their nationality. I think this is what China is trying to do.

Certain countries in Asia still belief in the racial "identity" whereby one describes one's race/ethnicity in formal paperwork. If you asked someone hailing from Italy of whatever ethnicity, they would answer Italian, if you asked someone hailing from America, they would say American and if you asked someone hailing from Thailand, they would reply Thai. Hence if one was part of China from whichever province, should they not be Chinese? Chinese in the sense of Nationality and not Race.

It would also give the younger generation a clean slate. Not having to distinguish one's ethnicity but just accepting each other as hailing from the same country.

Perhaps I am too disillusioned to think that something that makes sense to me perhaps is too radical a "change" in people's mindsets.

On the other end of the scale, some time back during the reign of President Suharto (if I am not mistaken), all Indonesians were asked to change their names to Malay/Indon names regardless of ethnicity. Now that IS drastic!

hope rainbow

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 11:59:39 AM »
We could also look at this from another point of view, for I know countries in which people would demonstrate in the street so that their "ethnic origin" or "cultural background" NOT be shown on their identity card and so that they'd be considered citizens fully just as any other citizen with the same flight of rights and duties.

Of course, here we are talking about a country that was occupied and clearly "colonized".
But then, it is now too late to change history and we cannot go back in the past, it is simply impossible...

I am not saying that Tibetans should have their origin stated in their papers or not, this is not my point.
I am saying, it is time to look forward for looking backward and into something that is lost for good can only create romanticisme, utopia and DECEPTION.

Everybody aspires to peace.


dondrup

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 06:32:06 PM »
Removal of the legal identity and minority status of Tibetans in China will definitely not be acceptable by the Tibetans.  We are talking about taking away the racial identity of the Tibetans.  Furthermore, China had already invaded their country and taken over their land.  This measure is very drastic and will definitely cause even more protests and uproars from the Tibetans in China as well as the Tibetans in exile.  China is likely to enforce this genocide unless the self-immolation activities stop.  We hope that these activists would consider using other peaceful methods than losing their precious human lives.

All sentient beings will eventually die whether you are Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans and etc.  We hope that China would not implement this measure. Further animosity or disharmony will create even more negative karma amongst the Chinese and Tibetan in future lives. 
 
When will these sufferings ever end? 

Jessie Fong

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2012, 07:19:53 AM »
On the other end of the scale, some time back during the reign of President Suharto (if I am not mistaken), all Indonesians were asked to change their names to Malay/Indon names regardless of ethnicity. Now that IS drastic!

I believe that in Thailand, too you would have a Thai name, regardless of your race.  Changing your name does not "rob" you of your identity, it is just a name.  "A rose by any other name, would smell just as sweet."

In Tibet's case, because the country is now ruled by China, it is only a matter of time that they would all be called Chinese; no more Tibetan.  They may lose their identity as Tibetan, but would they also lose their culture and traditions?

jessicajameson

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 12:39:01 PM »
Call me crazy, but what's wrong with stripping Tibetans from their minority status? (Besides China displaying zero moral and ethical practice... but what's new).

Like what's Positive Change says it's mere logic. They'll be racially defined as Tibetans but their nationality Chinese. Tibet is already considered to be the autonomous region of China, so it only make sense to have a Chinese passport and not the yellow book.

If (or when) this happens, Tibetans will be holding onto a passport of the richest and one of the most powerful nation of the world.

They'll find it easier to migrate to other countries.

Weighing the pros and cons, it really May not be such a bad idea.

vajratruth

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 01:21:24 PM »
I cannot imagine how Tibetans would feel having their identity stripped.

The reality is that there is literally none or very little part of the civilized world (can anyone name a couple) that is very pure in its identity. I do not now of any country in the civilized world that has not experienced a blend of cultures as a result of being conquered or via peaceful assimilation. China for one, cannot claim to have only a single identity. To that end, I am not sure if there is all that much to preserve in an identity.

If removing the Tibetan's identity and minority status means a complete removal of what makes the Tibetan a "minority"and what alienates them from the mainstream, perhaps it is a good move. Like Hope Rainbow said, there are places in the world where people fight to have their identity as minorities removed.

I would say that a people's identity is not given by a piece of document and neither can the removal of that same document erase a nation's identity.

To the rest of the world, the identity of the Tibetan is one of a people who are steeped in their spiritual beliefs and culture. People who are loyal to their religion and their Guru. I know the statement I just made is superficial at most because I hardly know the Tibetan culture, but the harsh reality is that all of us,from every race and culture....we must all evolve and change. If not to political pressure, then change must come from the passing of Time.

I feel for the Tibetans but there is such a great opportunity for them now to influence the most populous country in the world, through their unique brand of Tibetan Buddhism. If it means to "lose" their identity only to give identity to Buddhism around the world, then perhaps it is worth it.

Klein

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 03:12:04 PM »
Call me crazy, but what's wrong with stripping Tibetans from their minority status? (Besides China displaying zero moral and ethical practice... but what's new).

Like what's Positive Change says it's mere logic. They'll be racially defined as Tibetans but their nationality Chinese. Tibet is already considered to be the autonomous region of China, so it only make sense to have a Chinese passport and not the yellow book.

If (or when) this happens, Tibetans will be holding onto a passport of the richest and one of the most powerful nation of the world.

They'll find it easier to migrate to other countries.

Weighing the pros and cons, it really May not be such a bad idea.

I agree with jessicajameson. Since Tibet is now part of China, it does make sense to categorise all citizens as Chinese. Ethnic segregration is not good for national unity. The ethnic minority will always feel like they are second class citizens.

In a spiritual point of view, in this life they may be Tibetans, but in their future lives they may be Europeans, Africans and so on. What's more important now is peace, harmony and the freedom for religious practice. Ultimately, when we die, none of this matters. Only our spiritual practice does.

hope rainbow

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 03:56:58 PM »
I cannot imagine how Tibetans would feel having their identity stripped.

The reality is that there is literally none or very little part of the civilized world (can anyone name a couple) that is very pure in its identity. I do not now of any country in the civilized world that has not experienced a blend of cultures as a result of being conquered or via peaceful assimilation. China for one, cannot claim to have only a single identity. To that end, I am not sure if there is all that much to preserve in an identity.

If removing the Tibetan's identity and minority status means a complete removal of what makes the Tibetan a "minority"and what alienates them from the mainstream, perhaps it is a good move. Like Hope Rainbow said, there are places in the world where people fight to have their identity as minorities removed.

I would say that a people's identity is not given by a piece of document and neither can the removal of that same document erase a nation's identity.

To the rest of the world, the identity of the Tibetan is one of a people who are steeped in their spiritual beliefs and culture. People who are loyal to their religion and their Guru. I know the statement I just made is superficial at most because I hardly know the Tibetan culture, but the harsh reality is that all of us,from every race and culture....we must all evolve and change. If not to political pressure, then change must come from the passing of Time.

I feel for the Tibetans but there is such a great opportunity for them now to influence the most populous country in the world, through their unique brand of Tibetan Buddhism. If it means to "lose" their identity only to give identity to Buddhism around the world, then perhaps it is worth it.

I'll say more on this.
Ethnic identity or not in official papers.

What makes one a Tibetan is NOT what is stated in the ID, it is what is being practiced every day, every moment.
To strip spiritual practitioners of their holy practice of Dorje Shugden, THAT is a very serious action affecting someone deeply. Compared to the removal of a mere title in ID papers, there is no way to even start...

I am not a Tibetan, and will not want to state FOR or AGAINST the removal, it is not my battle. I can only say what I think about it.

What I think is this: instead of focusing on a title, let's focus on spiritual practice, let all Tibetan be serious, genuine, sincere practitioners of their spirituality, whichever school they belong to. In doing so, they'll have a real "identity", and if they can do that without conflicting with the whole of China, they'll even create causes for the whole of China to practice, they'll generate great amount of merits, they'll give back the shine and grandeur to Tibet as seen by Chinese other than Tibetan chinese.

I think that is more important than to battle for a title. The government in China can easily remove the title especially if they see that it triggers some "national pride", for they would see that as a potential threat.

Let's not forget that the world, generally, sees Tibet as a place of spirituality while the Chinese governement and a large number of the Chinese (other than Tibetan Chinese), see Tibet as a potential danger that may trigger instability, civil war, even terrorism. Tibetans can change that and show that the Tibet province of China is not a threat, but a spiritual beacon, a spiritual pride for the whole of China and the whole world. If there is one way for Tibetan to "restore" their identity, I think that is the best way and the most rewarding AT EVERY LEVEL.

We are in 2012, we are no more 1950, things have changed, "national" romanticism and nostalgia can only bring about problems.
Sincere spriritual practice can only bring about solutions AT EVERY LEVEL.
What's more, China is now promoting the practice of Dorje Shugden, making the Tibetans in China more free than the Tibetans in exile when it comes to the practice of Dorje Shugden.
Ironic isn't it? (so maybe HHDL did free Tibet eventually...)

My thoughts

kurava

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2012, 03:30:58 AM »
Hey, there can never ever be a perfect solution that pleases everyone.

From the Chinese Government's point of view - removing these ethnic identification will be a step towards national harmony and unity eg. Thailand , Philippines etc. There are other countries where , despite years and generations of contribution towards the growth of the nation, the locally born and bred descendants of certain ethnic groups are still being treated as second class citizens with ethnic identifications to ensure unequal rights and benefits.  During World War II, Hitler got all the Jews to wear the Star of David for the convenience of implementing his genocide program.  It is therefore the motivation behind the removal or insertion of ethnic identification that matters .

From the Tibetans' point - they fear that this removal of ethnic identification means removal of their culture and spiritual practices. This is yet to be seen. However, as the current situation goes, the Chinese Government is promoting spirituality, perhaps for political reasons ....but even HHDL is mixing spirituality with politics ;)

I  would think on the balance , this move will have more benefits than dis-benefits.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 09:55:40 AM »
I would not add on any of the very relevant point mentioned here.

What I think is that China has now "Ban Tibetan". One can be Tibetan but we can not say you are because it doesn't say so in your ID.  I hope the CTA doesn't make a big issue about this as then it would means another mountain to climb. The Dalai Lama has always said, he wants an autonomous region, something like Hong Kong or Macau and not an independent country. Now that chance is gone because, as I understand it, when this "ban" happens, there will not be a Tibetan passport like Hong Kong/Macau but just a Chinese passport for Tibetans.

On another note, just can't help to say that even if you ban "Tibetan" one is still a Tibetan. Even you ban Shugden practice, one is still a practitioner.

Galen

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 01:15:23 PM »
I am split with this news. On one hand, the Tibetans will no longer have an identity for themselves and later on they will blend into the Chinese society and the future generations will have part of their history lost. This is a sad thing to see. Hopefully, the current generation would be able to preserve their tradition and pass it down to their generations to come. The Chinese Government have always wanted to unite China as one and this move may create more tension than there already is.

On another note, One China is great because they can move on as a nation without being separated by ethnicity. This will definitely help in the progress of China becoming a world superpower and developed nation. National unity and togetherness is what all governments are looking for, not separation.

So, there's good and bad in this news. Overall, I think this is a good move. Better now than later.


pgdharma

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2012, 03:28:49 PM »
They are pro and cons towards this drastic actions. I don't think removing their  identity will be accepted by the Tibetans as it is likened to taking away their identity, culture and traditions. However, now that Tibet is under the rule of China it will make sense that they are called Chinese. If not, the Tibetans will feel that they are second class citizen or the minority group in China. They will also be able to hold Chinese passport which will allow them easy access to traveling. With regards to their spiritual practice, if ones faith is strong, it does not matter if one is a Tibetan, Chinese, Thai, Americans and so on.

jeremyg

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 04:53:12 PM »
Well this most likely won't happen. But lets go on a whim and say it did. Im sure the Tibetans would not be too happy with being stripped of their identity, especially because it is something they are very proud of. In the case of buddhism, it could benefit buddhism as a whole, because now China will be exposed to Tiebtan Buddhism, or in the other case, it could cause buddhism to ease out and disappear, because Tibetans will be unable to continue their traditions as they are now Chinese. I pray and hope that a move on this drastic of a scale will help spread Buddhism.

Quote
The proposal, which aims to dilute the Dalai Lama's influence in Tibetan areas, follows nearly 20 cases of self-immolation by protesting Tibetans, which triggered calls from several Western governments, including Washington and Paris, demanding that Beijing ensure that the Tibetans are treated fairly.

This is something that China want, and Tibet definitely do not want. But maybe it is what the Dalai Lama wants. I mean after all, isn't all that the Dalai is doing, all the mistakes he is making, just an act to ease himself out of the public eye, and let Dorje Shugden take over. One things for sure, lets hope for that. I know the Dalai Lama has a plan, and if he wants to lose power, he will take necessary actions so he loses power, and so that something better will happen, that will benefit more people.


DS Star

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Re: Red rage: China to strip Tibetans of minority status?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 02:16:17 AM »
I'll say more on this.
Ethnic identity or not in official papers.

What makes one a Tibetan is NOT what is stated in the ID, it is what is being practiced every day, every moment.
To strip spiritual practitioners of their holy practice of Dorje Shugden, THAT is a very serious action affecting someone deeply. Compared to the removal of a mere title in ID papers, there is no way to even start...

I am not a Tibetan, and will not want to state FOR or AGAINST the removal, it is not my battle. I can only say what I think about it.

What I think is this: instead of focusing on a title, let's focus on spiritual practice, let all Tibetan be serious, genuine, sincere practitioners of their spirituality, whichever school they belong to. In doing so, they'll have a real "identity", and if they can do that without conflicting with the whole of China, they'll even create causes for the whole of China to practice, they'll generate great amount of merits, they'll give back the shine and grandeur to Tibet as seen by Chinese other than Tibetan chinese.

I think that is more important than to battle for a title. The government in China can easily remove the title especially if they see that it triggers some "national pride", for they would see that as a potential threat.

Let's not forget that the world, generally, sees Tibet as a place of spirituality while the Chinese governement and a large number of the Chinese (other than Tibetan Chinese), see Tibet as a potential danger that may trigger instability, civil war, even terrorism. Tibetans can change that and show that the Tibet province of China is not a threat, but a spiritual beacon, a spiritual pride for the whole of China and the whole world. If there is one way for Tibetan to "restore" their identity, I think that is the best way and the most rewarding AT EVERY LEVEL.

We are in 2012, we are no more 1950, things have changed, "national" romanticism and nostalgia can only bring about problems.
Sincere spriritual practice can only bring about solutions AT EVERY LEVEL.
What's more, China is now promoting the practice of Dorje Shugden, making the Tibetans in China more free than the Tibetans in exile when it comes to the practice of Dorje Shugden.
Ironic isn't it? (so maybe HHDL did free Tibet eventually...)

My thoughts


Well-said Hope Rainbow. I can't agree more than what you have said. Your points are valid and logical. However, there is also a cause to be concerned.

The point is, what makes one a Tibetan does not depend on the ethnic name stated on ID card; neither is by birth if one never identifies oneself with Tibetan culture and sentiment.

A boy born from Tibetan parents but was adopted since birth by a Chinese family, that never teach him anything related to Tibetan culture and never even reveal to him his ethnicity, he will definitely think that he is Chinese.

The Tibetan uprising in the 50s is partly due to the aggressiveness of Chinese communist government to take control of their political and religious leaders and administrative power of monasteries; directly meddling into their lives and even changing Tibetans’ cultural practices.

Tibetans’ struggles are complicated; the moderate ones are seeking for freedom to practice their religion and preserving their culture, as for the more extreme Tibetans, they would ask for nothing but independence. Thus Chinese authorities have been suspecting Tibetan Chinese’s motive and responded by restricting in every aspect of their lives such as appointing their leaders and even ‘recognizing’ their reincarnated high lamas.

So in long term, this move to strip Tibetans of their minority status could possibly lead to a total ‘wipe out’ of Tibetans’ identity in China and alteration of their religious practice from their authentic lineage.

Having said that lately due to international pressures on human-right issue, Chinese authorities are softening their policy towards Tibetans. Since Dorje Shugden practitioners are having fall out with HH Dalai Lama and the government in-exile, Chinese authorities view this conflict as their opportunity to gather support and to reverse their bad reputation pertaining to human right.

That is my comments from samsaric view.

If we were to view this in term of dharma point of view, there is no different between the identity of Tibetan and Chinese… these are but “labels” we put on a group of people or rather a particular ‘forms’ of sentient beings?