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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Is Tibetan democracy only 'skin deep'?

July 6, 2010

Tsering Wangchuk
Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
July 1, 2010

On Boxun, an overseas Chinese community website,
I came across an interesting interview of noted
Chinese writer/historian Wu Si, the author of
Hidden Rules: the Real Game in Chinese History,
and Blood Remuneration Law: The Survival Game in
Chinese History. He noted that the Communist
state system "makes it extremely easy to produce
lies, manufacture lies, under which lying becomes
legitimate and cost-effective." Thus, "they
produce lies, and we pretend to believe."

These words serve as an ideal background for the
recent article by Du Xinyu, titled "Dalai
Clique’s ‘Democratic’ Lies," which was published
by China’s official news outlets in Tibetan,
Chinese and English languages. According to the
English version published on 7 June by People’s
Daily, an organ of the Chinese Communist Party:

"No democratic government would identify with
witch-hunting and political assassination;
however, these means were commonly seen in the
Dalai Clique. Of all the witch-hunting and
political assassinations that the Dalai Clique
played, the witch-hunting of Dorje Shugden was
just an example of international impact. The
Dalai Clique resorted to every conceivable means
to attack their political opponents. For example,
a scholar who resided in Japan once criticised
the Dalai Lama in his piece of work, and he was
immediately revenged by pouring inks and spitting
at his face. His daughter, who worked in the
Tibetan Government in Exile, was then kept as a hostage."

Du Xinyu’s article is nothing but lies. The
mind-boggling amount of audacious allegations
squeezed into that single para alone speaks
volumes for the ingenuity of the writer’s
mendacity. Leave aside the grotesque allegation
of "witch-hunting and political assassination,"
the writer is lying through his teeth. While many
would rubbish these statements as figments of the
writer’s own imagination, some might argue that
they are inspired from his own real-life
experiences of surviving and thriving in a corrupt, repressive system.

It takes only a grain of truth to crumble a
mountain of lies. Take for instance, the
allegation of "attacking political opponents." In
his article, Du Xinyu claimed that:

"A scholar who resided in Japan once criticised
the Dalai Lama in his piece of work, and he was
immediately revenged by pouring inks and spitting
at his face. His daughter, who worked in the
Tibetan government-in-exile, was then kept as a hostage."

The so-called scholar based in Japan and the
person who was dealt with, as Du Xinyu claimed,
"by pouring inks and spitting at his face" were
not one, but two separate creatures. Furthermore,
there is more to their stories than the shrewd
Chinese writer was willing to spin out.

The first story dates back to 1988, when a
Tibetan scholar based in Japan, Khangsar
Tsultrim, published a book on the history of
Buddhist doctrines in India. The concluding pages
of that book carried, to put it little bluntly, a
self-conceited cocky verse declaring the author
as the only living scholar capable of writing an
authoritative history of religion in the language
of the Land of Snows. In what was perceived as
his intellectual arrogance, the book also carried
a blanket presumption that at present there are
no genuine Buddhist scholars, except only a bunch
of imposters, hoodwinking the people under the
guise of "Tenzin" (literally, dharma holder). The
readers should note that "Tenzin" can also easily
be (mis)understood as "Tenzin Gyatso," His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

His ill-advised commentaries were bound to ruffle
feathers in the circles of exile intelligentsia,
especially among his peers. The issue snowballed
into a topic of feisty debate in the Tibetan
Parliament-in-Exile. Since the exile parliament
is a democratic institution that practices and
protects free speech, the issue soon came to a dead end, without any impact.

Subsequently, on the occasion of the inauguration
of a new assembly hall of Gyuto monastery at
Dharamshala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave
teachings to a large crowd of both Tibetan and
non-Tibetan devotees. At that time, Khangsar
Tsultrim accompanied a group of Japanese sponsors
of the assembly hall when they were granted a
private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Since I also attended that teaching ceremony, I
clearly remember His Holiness personally
encouraging Khangsar Tsultrim to keep up the good
work in writing unbiased, objective accounts of
the history of Tibetan religion.

That I think is all there is to say about Khangsar Tsultrim.

Du Xinyu therefore exposed his own lies when he
claimed that Khangsar Tsultrim was, "...
immediately revenged by pouring inks and spitting
at his face. His daughter, who worked in the
Tibetan Government in Exile, was then kept as a hostage."

His utter lack of respect for moral credibility
-- a trait common in those surviving on the
Chinese state payroll -- is clear from the way he
mixed up two entirely different people, perhaps
for want of better characters to support the
Chinese narrative. He also distorted or concealed
facts that are crucial to understanding what
really happened and why it happened.

If my memory serves me right, the other incident
occurred on 31 July 1990 in front of the
residential quarter of a female Tibetan staff,
Dekyi, at Gangchen Kyishong, the centre of Tibetan headquarters in exile.

Dekyi’s father, Alo Chozed, was once a people’s
delegate in pre-1959 Tibet. He later escaped to
exile and settled at one of the Tibetan
settlements in South India. There, in partnership
with others, he ventured into a business
enterprise of corn farming. Unfortunately, due to
highly erratic weather and fluctuating market
prices, the business sustained heavy losses,
rendering him bankrupt. His partners also filed
lawsuits against him. Eventually, out of utter
desperation, he returned to Tibet.

His situation in Tibet turned out to be even
worse. The Chinese authorities initially fawned
on him, only to exploit him as their propaganda
stooge. They lured him into their trap by
treating him to lavish banquets and a luxury apartment.

One day, the regional United Front Work
Department hosted a gala dinner to celebrate his
return from India. Present also at the dinner
were members of the "TAR Regional People’s
Congress" and Communist Party cadres. In an
attempt to extract comments out of him, an
official asked him to share his thoughts on
returning to the bosom of the Motherland. Alo
Chozed summed up his thoughts in this way: He
said that while he was in India, each and every
day, he would pray to the three Precious Jewels to grant him three wishes:

"Firstly, I prayed for Tibetan independence, but
for that I see no hope now. Secondly, I prayed
for a chance to go back to my homeland, which I
have now achieved. Lastly, I prayed for the
prosperity of Buddha dharma, which I think is
already happening in the present Tibet."

Needless to say, the Chinese media dressed up his
comments with bogus details and splashed it
across their front pages in bold letters. His
comments no doubt courted the wrath of popular
outrage. Everywhere he went, people in the
capital city of Lhasa greeted him with derision
and scornful insults. His own sister refused to
allow him into her house, saying "You should be
ashamed of yourself." Even the apartment provided
to him by the Chinese government was dubbed as "The traitor house."

He tried to lodge complaints to various
government authorities, but to no avail. Since
the authorities had already exploited him to his
full potential, treating him thus as
use-and-throw, they took no heed of his repeated
pleas for help. Life in Tibet became increasingly
untenable for him. He had no option but to go
back to India once again, as the only place where
he could hope for solace was at Dharamshala, with his daughter.

The reception he got in Dahramshala was naturally
not friendly. Thanks to extensive Chinese
propaganda about him, he was already quite
notorious in the exile community also. As a
result, within just few days, talks of his
arrival swiftly spread across the town.

Thus, on the morning of 31 July 1991, at about
9:30, a group of 30-odd elderly women -- perhaps
on their way to circumambulating the temple, got
word of him being at his daughter’s residence,
and descended down the hill to Gangchen Kyishong.
The protesters stood outside the staff quarters
building, shouting comments at Alo Chozed, daring him to step outside.

Even though Dekyi tried to convince them that her
father was lodged at a nearby Indian hotel, the
grannies would have none of that. They were
adamant that he was holed up there and soon
barged into her house, but found him not there.

Fearing for the safety of her father, Dekyi
promptly reported the matter to the Tibetan
Security Department and the local Indian police.
In about an hour, two Tibetan officers were
escorting him to the Security Department, when
suddenly they were confronted by a bunch of angry
grannies. Many of them were crying in their anger
and disgust. They gheraoed him, demanding
explanation for why he defected to China, and why
he slandered His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Alo Chozed rejected all those allegations, saying
he never said such things. He added that the
comments attributed to him by the Chinese media
were nothing but lies. His clarification,
unfortunately, came rather too late. The grannies
kept on agitating, calling him a traitor. Some
spat on him. In the heat of the moment, an
elderly woman, also named Chozed, suddenly came
to the fore and smeared black soot on his face.
More security officers and local Indian policemen
arrived at the scene, and he was safely escorted to his daughter’s residence.

It must however be pointed out that there was no
violence or injuries during this entire incident.
Along with several of my colleagues, I witnessed
the entire drama as it unfolded in front of the
Security Department. Contrary to Chinese
allegations, the Tibetan administration was in
fact extremely thoughtful and considerate in
swiftly arranging for (or assisting in) the
migration of Alo Chozed to Australia, as his
son-in-law was already in the country, as the
secretary of Tibet office in Canberra.

There is thus absolutely no truth whatsoever to
Chinese allegations of "attacking political
opponents" or keeping daughter "as a hostage."
For those in the free world, who are familiar
with the culture of Tibetan democracy, no amount
of Chinese deception and persuasion would suffice
to compel them into believing this so-called
"witch-hunting and political assassination."
Throwing up such wild allegations without
corroborating them with adequate facts can only
backfire on their own credibility, which is already next to level zero.

If the recent blitzkrieg of Chinese propaganda on
Tibetan polity is any indication, the
introduction of democracy in exile has been
highly successful and effective. No one kicks a
dead dog, as they say. Only those on the path to success get shoved around.

Furthermore, this also demonstrates why Chinese
propaganda is meant mostly for domestic
consumption. To sum it up in Wu Si’s words, the
Chinese state manufactures lies, while the Chinese people fake buying them.

-- This article was originally posted on Boxun in
Chinese. It has been translated and adapted into English by Dhundup Gyalpo
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