Tibet

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Essay, Jan/Feb 1998
Melvyn C. Goldstein

The Dalai Lama's international campaign against China has pushed Beijing to modernize Tibet, resulting in an influx of non-Tibetans seeking economic opportunity. If the Dalai Lama wants to preserve Tibet as a homeland, he must either acquiesce in violence by militants or compromise. He will resist either course, so the United States should facilitate negotiations. Full autonomy is out, but the Dalai Lama can obtain a greater emphasis on the Tibetan language and a larger number of positions for Tibetans in the administration.

Essay, Jul 1969
Henry S. Bradsher

The thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso, the incarnation of Tibet's patron deity, Chenresi, "the Buddha of mercy," passed on to "the Honorable Field" in 1933, there to await rebirth as the present Dalai Lama in 1935. Toward the end of his long rule he was gravely worried by the communist suppression of Lamaist Buddhism in Mongolia, which for almost four hundred years had been dominated by the Tibetan form of religion. In creating a Mongolian nation on the Soviet pattern in the 1920s and early 1930s, Mongolian Communists destroyed almost all the monasteries which regarded the Dalai Lama in Lhasa as their spiritual leader, reducing organized religion to a few showpiece relics. The Dalai Lama warned his people that "unless we can guard our own country, it will now happen that the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, the Father and the Son, the Holders of the Faith, the glorious Rebirths, will be broken down and left without a name . . . the officers of the state, ecclesiastical and secular, will find their lands seized and their other property confiscated, and they themselves made to serve their enemies, or wander about the country as beggars do. All beings will be sunk in great hardship and in overpowering fear; the days and the nights will drag on slowly in suffering."

Essay, Oct 1961
Ernest A. Gross

The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, a year prior to his death in 1933, composed a Last Testament in response to petitions by his Ministers for perpetual guidance.[i] It was a legacy of leadership, prescribing a course by which Tibet might avoid international pitfalls which he even then foresaw. The Dalai Lama described his time as one beset by "Five Kinds of Degeneration." Among the worst of calamities, he said, "is the manner of working among the red people" (i.e. the Communists). Referring to the ills which had befallen their co-religionists in Mongolia, he warned the Tibetans it "may happen that here, in the center of Tibet, the religion and the secular administration may be attacked both from the outside and from the inside." His Testament continues: "Tibet is happy, and in comfort now; the matter rests in your hands. All civil and military matters should be organized with knowledge; act in harmony; do not pretend to do what you cannot do. . . . High officials, low officials, and peasants must all act in harmony to bring happiness to Tibet. One person alone cannot lift a heavy carpet; several must unite to do so."

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