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A Doomed Failure -- Beijing Review article on the Dalai Lama (1)
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15:07, October 07, 2007

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The following is a Beijing Review article on the Dalai Lama titled "A Doomed Failure", to be published on Monday:

As an increasing number of people visit Tibet, witness the region's changes and learn about its history and the thoughts of the local residents, many foreign media outlets have begun to reexamine the issue and question the Dalai Lama's motives. In a recent article, Yi Duo outlined those voices. REPRESENTATIVE OF A FEW

The Dalai Lama can only represent a few Buddhists and it is therefore wrong to equate him to Buddhism, said some German media when he visited Germany as a religious leader in July. Welt am Sonntag and the online edition of Die Welt quoted sources from Deutsche Buddhistische Union as saying that though it is good to have the Dalai Lama speak for Buddhism, he is not expected to overshadow other Buddhist sects. The newspapers said most of the Buddhists across the world, including those in Germany, are not followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Also, the Dalai Lama advocates pessimism about the afterlife, a theory that runs counter to the optimistic Buddhist doctrine that self-cultivation in this world can lead believers to paradise in the other world.

Some Germans who have been to Tibet have rejected the Dalai Lama's anti-China rhetoric. Der Spiegel magazine published a letter to the editor on July 23 saying those who had recently been to Tibet found what the Dalai Lama had done was ridiculous. Thousands of Tibetans offer their prayers in and near the Jokhang Monastery every day, the number of monks in temples is on the rise and many Buddhists travel to Lhasa to attend prayers from across China, the letter said. Another reader expressed bewilderment over the Dalai Lama. In a letter to Der Spiegel, he said the Dalai Lama has attempted to become an "omnipotent pope." But why does he oppose the Christian doctrine of "improving the world" and insist on "overcoming the World?" The reader believes the Dalai Lama's ultimate goal remains elusive.

Die Welt published an article coauthored by Victor Trimondi and Victoria Trimondi, in early August, criticizing Germans who consider the Dalai Lama the "Jesus Christ of the new era". It is wrong to take the Dalai Lama's religion as a moderate one, because the history of Tibet is far from peaceful, the article said. Tibet did not end its dark medieval period until the mid 20th century. Before that, it was plagued by violence, wars and power struggles under the name of religion. The religious trials held under the Lama regime were no different from those under the Catholic rule during the medieval days, it said.

In Tibetan Buddhism, according to the article, disciples were required to strictly obey their masters, making it impossible for Tibetans to pursue individuality and independence, let alone create their own fate. Old Tibet was under an extremely hierarchical regime featuring the combination of political and religious power. Given these facts, Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama drew worldwide criticism in the late 1990s, the authors said. Even the Dalai Lama had to admit the dark side of Tibetan history, they added.

The article revealed some fundamentalist features of Tibetan Buddhism, such as combined political and religious power, alienation of women, belief in devils, sexual and psychological abuse and corruption. The Dalai Lama voiced support for women's participation in religious leadership -- possibly becoming the next Dalai Lama -- in Hamburg. At the same time, he indicated that he had no right to grant religious posts to women. CAPITALIZING ON WESTERN FEARS

The Dalai Lama clique's anti-China political propaganda has angered some Germans. Nicole Graaf, a German scholar of Tibetan studies, said in an article published by the Berlin-based Der Tagesspiegel newspaper on July 22 that the Dalai Lama clique exercises strict "press censorship." All texts and pictures depicting the dark old Tibet and positive images of new Tibet have been taken out of its brochures, she said. For example, there is no mention of the armed offensive the Dalai Lama clique launched against China from Nepal with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1960s or the cruel rule of Tibetan serfdom.

She said the Dalai Lama's argument that China carries out "systematic cultural genocide" in Tibet is not valid. Despite the problems in China, Tibetan residents live normal religious, social and economic lives.

The article said the Dalai Lama clique asks for financial aid from the West in the name of religion and human rights. However, instead of spending money on those badly in need of help, the leading members in the clique buy golden watches and luxurious cars for themselves with donations from the West while their sponsors know nothing about these deeds.

It pointed out that the best approach to resolving the Tibetan issue is the real, lawful autonomy granted by the Chinese Government in the spirit of accelerating Tibet's economic development and improving the living standards and education levels of Tibetans. Anti-China propaganda will result in the Chinese Government's tightened control of foreigners' access to Tibet, the article warned. This will not only hinder the development of tourism but also make it more difficult for foreign countries to carry out welfare programs, worsening the situation of the local Tibetans, it said. (more)

Source: Xinhua



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