The Dalai Lama and 25 years after the Nobel Peace Prize

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, in Culture & History, by Bhuchung K. Tsering
On December 10, 2014, lovers of peace, friends, well-wishers and followers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama celebrate the 25th anniversary of the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize to him. His Holiness is of course is in Rome to participate in the Nobel Peace Laureates Summit, which has now been relocated there. It is a cliché to say what a difference 25 years can make. But in the case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, these two and a half decades have indeed cemented his place as a statesman and a conscience of the world. Today, the Dalai Lama and peace/compassion have virtually become synonymous. In 1989, I was working in Dharamsala and so was part of the collective Tibetan rejoicing of the event. We, at least I, then interpreted the prize solely in the context of Tibet, and Tibet alone. We saw this as Tibet’s day in the sun. Fast forward to 2014 and I reread His Holiness’ acceptance speech (of December 10, 1989) as well as his Nobel lecture (of December 11, 1989), and the Presentation Speech by Mr. Egil Aarvik, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. I now have a fresh perspective of the expanse of the Dalai Lama’s impact. His Holiness’ remarks in Oslo in 1989 appear to me as the germinating ground for the philosophy for which he has become well-known today. This includes his dialogue with the scientific community, his adherence to nonviolence, and, above all, his three main commitments: promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony and promotion of Tibetan culture. Let me expand. By the very awarding of the prize to him, the Nobel Committee acknowledged the Dalai Lama as a proponent of peace and nonviolence. In his Award Presentation Speech, Mr. Egil Aarvik, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, said, “In view of this, fewer and fewer people would venture to dismiss the Dalai Lama's philosophy as utopian: on the contrary, one would be increasingly justified in asserting that his gospel of nonviolence is the truly realistic one, with most promise for the future. And this applies not only to Tibet but to each and every conflict. The future hopes of oppressed millions are today linked to the unarmed battalions, for they will win the peace: the justice of their demands, moreover, is now so clear and the normal strength of their struggle so indomitable that they can only temporarily be halted by force of arms.” In the Tibetan cultural context, the Dalai Lama is also referred to as Zamling Shidey Depon (“pilot of world peace”) and he continues to be one today. The Dalai Lama’s stress on the need for religion to have dialogue with science can also be perceived in his Nobel remarks. In his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech on December 10, 1989, the Dalai Lama said, “With the ever growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment.” Today, the Dalai Lama has established a strong foundation for dialogue between religion and science through the Mind & Life initiative. In the process, he has had an impact on the thinking of the scientific community, particularly those working in the field of neuroscience, through his sharing of the Buddhist perspective. I also want to believe that through his Nobel remarks, the Dalai Lama was also crystalizing his now well-known three commitments. His Holiness began his Nobel lecture, delivered on December 11, 1989, by saying, “Thinking over what I might say today, I decided to share with you some of my thoughts concerning the common problems all of us face as members of the human family. Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature.” He continued, “The realisation that we are all basically the same human beings, who seek happiness and try to avoid suffering, is very helpful in developing a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood; a warm feeling of love and compassion for others. This, in turn, is essential if we are to survive in this ever shrinking world we live in. For if we each selfishly pursue only what we believe to be in our own interest, without caring about the needs of others, we not only may end up harming others but also ourselves.” In another words, His Holiness was stressing on the fundamental human values that all human beings share. The Dalai Lama was addressing the issue of religious harmony when he said in the same lecture, “As a Buddhist monk, my concern extends to all members of the human family and, indeed, to all sentient beings who suffer. I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share. Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and com-passion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.” As for Tibet, the Dalai Lama said this in December 1989, “The awarding of the Nobel Prize to me, a simple monk from faraway Tibet, here in Norway, also fills us Tibetans with hope. It means, despite the fact that we have not drawn attention to our plight by means of violence, we have not been forgotten. It also means that the values we cherish, in particular our respect for all forms of life and the belief in the power of truth, are today recognised and encouraged. It is also a tribute to my mentor, Mahatma Gandhi, whose example is an inspiration to so many of us. This year's award is an indication that this sense of universal responsibility is developing. I am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people of Tibet. That is a source of hope not only for us Tibetans, but for all oppressed people.” So, 25 years later what is the lesson that we can take from the bestowal of the Nobel Prize to the Dalai Lama. I can only repeat what the Nobel Committee Chairman said in 1989, “ In awarding the Peace Prize to H.H. the Dalai Lama we affirm our unstinting support for his work for peace, and for the unarmed masses on the march in many lands for liberty, peace and human dignity.”
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New French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the Dalai Lama

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Dalai Lama, by Vincent Metten
[caption id="attachment_5230" align="aligncenter" width="520"]Dalai Lama with the Mayor of Evry The Dalai Lama with the Mayor of Evry Manuel Valls, 12 August 2008 in Evry, France.[/caption] In 2008, the year of the Olympic Games in Beijing, the Dalai Lama was in Evry, France, to inaugurate the biggest Vietnamese Buddhist center in Europe. At that time, the Mayor of Evry was Manuel Valls. He was very outspoken when he addressed the crowd in presence of the Dalai Lama. He said, “I support the Tibetan cause, which is denied in its roots… Here, it is all France which welcomes the Dalai Lama, not only Evry.” Manuel Valls has just been appointed as the new French Prime Minister, succeeding to Jean Marc Ayrault after the severe defeat of the Socialist party at Municipal/local elections in France. Before that, Manuel Valls was the Minister of Interior and is the most popular Minister of the French Government. Let’s hope that in his new capacity he will not forget what he said when he was Mayor of Evry. The next visit of the Dalai Lama in France will certainly be a good test.
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Chinese misrepresenting Tibetan aspirations

On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Recent, by John N
Last month President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama for the third time since taking office, conversing for an hour in the Map Room of the White House. The Administration reiterated its commitment to supporting the Middle Way Approach in their official statement, while making it clear that they do not support Tibetan independence. As one might expect, Chinese officials and media organs reacted in a manner completely out of step with this highly reasonable meeting and statement, variously accusing President Obama of having “perverted purposes,” playing the “Dalai card,” forming an “unholy alliance,” and following the “abominable precedent” set by former President George H. W. Bush, the first American President to welcome the Dalai Lama to the White House. Amidst all this froth, one particular narrative consistently pushed by Chinese officials and their media mouthpieces was the idea that all Chinese citizens, including Tibetans, were offended by the meeting. An opinion piece in China Daily penned by Lian Xiangmin, a director of the Communist Party-backed China Tibetology Research Center, claimed that the Dalai Lama's activities not only lack the support of Tibetans, but are actively “condemned” by them. Another China Daily piece, this one an unsigned editorial, said that the Middle Way approach is “against the will” of Tibetans. A third one alleged that the Dalai Lama's influence in Tibet has “waned.” The writers are conspicuously silent on sourcing these claims, which leaves them suspect given the prohibition against opinion polling in Tibet. Chinese propaganda outlets apparently can't help but to try to speak on behalf of Tibetans, despite being repeatedly contradicted by the words and actions of the Tibetan people throughout the decades. Completely misjudging the relationship between the Dalai Lama and Tibetans is something of a Party specialty at this point. In 1979, for example, Chinese authorities held meetings in advance of the arrival of the Dalai Lama's first fact-finding delegation into Tibet, asking that locals refrain from throwing stones or spitting at them. Instead, they were shocked to see that each successive delegation was enthusiastically greeted by thousands of Tibetans at each stop- “mobbed” by them, as Tsering Shakya put it. Ten years later the Dalai Lama was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. The news spread through Lhasa by word of mouth over the next few days, and soon thousands of Tibetans gathered in the heart of Lhasa to celebrate. Ronald D. Schwartz, a sociologist who personally witnessed many of the defining moments of the late 80's in Lhasa, wrote of Tibetans “speaking openly of their delight in the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama.” Festivities continued for days, ending only when authorities intervened and threatened to arrest celebrants. Both the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 and the Dalai Lama's first meeting with President Obama in 2010 were greeted by celebrations across Tibet as well. Official claims that Tibetans opposed the Dalai Lama and Obama meeting were visibly contradicted by Tibetans posting at the time on Weibo, a Chinese social media network similar to Twitter. There, reactions[i] ranged from joy over the meeting to a rejection of Chinese propaganda on the subject. “Thank you Obama,” one reposted message said, while others posted combinations of smiling faces, peace signs, flowers, and candle icons in reaction to the news:

tweet
“Elder brother, this afternoon you said something very good. Therefore I praise you.”

Other Tibetan posters expressed derision towards Chinese propaganda in the form of laughter at a particularly hard-line editorial. Still others posted an image of Obama's face photoshopped onto the body of a Khampa Tibetan, accompanied by approving comments: Barack Obama Khampa Tibetan
There were also an unusually high number of references to posts being deleted on the two days following the meeting among Tibetans I checked, from which we might reasonably infer that even more explicit or popular messages in support of the meeting may have been quickly culled. Although this is still no substitute for scientific polling, at the end of the day all of the reactions I found among Tibetans on Weibo were positive, and I didn't encounter any instances of them condemning the meeting. The unsigned China Daily editorial did make one point I think we can all support: it closes by calling on Obama to do more to benefit “people in Tibet.” I concur, and suggest that he begin by sparing no effort to support the Dalai Lama and the Middle Way Approach by whatever methods are appropriate.
[i] Links haven't been provided to these posts in order to protect the identities of the Tibetans who posted them.
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Zithromax For Sale

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, in Dalai Lama, US Government, by Bhuchung K. Tsering

[caption id="attachment_5035" align="alignright" width="300"]The Dalai Lama unveiled his Five Point Peace Plan Zithromax For Sale, The Dalai Lama unveiled his Five Point Peace Plan, a key milestone for the Middle Way, in the U.S. Comprar en línea Zithromax, comprar Zithromax baratos, Congress in 1987.[/caption]The latest meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Barack Obama on February 21, 2014 has led to some developments, generic Zithromax, Zithromax natural, including in the Chinese Government asking the question, "What is this "middle way" the Dalai Lama preaches?" (via a Xinhua report on February 22), buy Zithromax online cod. Buy cheap Zithromax no rx, If the Chinese authorities feign to know this even after the past many years of dialogue with his representatives, I believe the answer can be got by looking at some outcomes of the Obama-Dalai Lama meeting, is Zithromax safe. Buy Zithromax online no prescription, First, the meeting was followed by the most categorical statement to date by the White House about President Obama supporting the Middle Way approach of the Dalai Lama, Zithromax australia, uk, us, usa. Buy Zithromax without a prescription, In diplomacy where each and every word in such statements are weighed, the President not only "commended" the Middle Way approach (as has been done in 2010 and 2011), online buy Zithromax without a prescription, Zithromax dosage, but also "expressed support" for it. The Chinese Government has sensed this and hence their Xinhua piece as well as the consternation shown by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Zithromax For Sale.

Secondly, buy no prescription Zithromax online, Zithromax class, and equally important is that the White House explained its understanding of the Middle Way. Spokesman Jay Carney told the media on February 21, Zithromax recreational, My Zithromax experience, "The United States supports the Dalai Lama's "middle way" approach of neither assimilation, nor independence for Tibetans in China."

This is very much in tune with the thinking of the Dalai Lama who has always maintained that his Middle Way was avoiding the two extremes: between the present critical situation of the Tibetan people where their very identity's survival is at stake and the other extreme of regaining Tibet’s independence, order Zithromax from mexican pharmacy. Effects of Zithromax, Thirdly, it is also significant that the White House Spokesman says "The United States supports the Dalai Lama’s "middle way" approach…" To me, Zithromax reviews, Zithromax schedule, this indicates that the support is not just the personal belief of the President, but also of the United States Government as a whole, Zithromax trusted pharmacy reviews. Zithromax steet value, Therefore, the White House statement not only explains the fundamental concept of the Middle Way, Zithromax no prescription, Zithromax treatment, but in the process it is a strong refutation of the Chinese Government's attempt to discredit the Middle Way. Zithromax For Sale, The Dalai Lama came forth with his Middle Way approach in earnest; as a sincere attempt to provide a solution that is mutually beneficial to the Tibetan and to the Chinese, and which takes into consideration China’s stability concerns. He started formulating this approach internally way back in the 1970s and so when the then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping sent a message to him in 1978-79 that other than the issue of the independence of Tibet, Zithromax gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Buy generic Zithromax, everything else can be discussed and resolved, the Dalai Lama was able to respond positively, Zithromax used for. Zithromax interactions, Since then the Dalai Lama has stopped talking about Tibetan independence and has been calling for a solution that will enable the Tibetan people to live in dignity by preserving and promoting their distinct identity and heritage.

Diplomatically, Zithromax results, Zithromax alternatives, the Dalai Lama came out with a series of initiatives, beginning with the Five Point Peace Plan in 1987 on Capitol Hill in Washington, is Zithromax addictive, What is Zithromax, D.C. to the Strasbourg Proposal at the European Parliament in 1988, Zithromax photos, Zithromax overnight, etc. Instead of responding to these initiatives positively, the Chinese Government has continued to sweep the Tibetan problem under the carpet and to control the Tibetan people by force, Zithromax For Sale.

Above all, Zithromax without prescription, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, the Memorandum for genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, which the Dalai Lama’s envoys presented to the Chinese Government in 2008 clearly spells out the Tibetan position, Zithromax over the counter. Where can i buy cheapest Zithromax online, It outlines 11 areas in which the concerns of the Tibetan people needed to be addressed, all within the framework of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, Zithromax duration. Cheap Zithromax no rx, However, China ignores this aspect because it does not fit their political agenda and seek recourse to propaganda, order Zithromax no prescription.

Those who know the Tibetan issue, know that Xinhua and the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman repeats their well known narrative; since the Chinese authorities lack the political courage to address the genuine concerns of the Tibetan people, they find fault with each and every initiative of the Dalai Lama under his Middle Way approach.

The Chinese Government says, "the "middle way" approach demands independence by its very nature." But the White House statement reflects the international community’s acknowledgement that the Dalai Lama’s approach is one that is not of independence, but of securing dignity and respect for the Tibetan people while addressing stability concerns of China.

Therefore, if there is one clear political message from the Obama-Dalai Lama meeting, it is this: the United States is against the assimilation of the Tibetan people and that the Middle Way is the solution to the Tibetan problem.

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