Red Flags on the Green

by Thomas MacMillan | April 28, 2008 8:17 AM | | Comments (25)

China_01.jpgThe worldwide debate over human rights and the coming Olympics arrived in New Haven, as a pro-China rally and a parade of protesters met in a shouting, flag-saturated, musical confrontation in the middle of the Green.

A coalition including local Tibetans and practitioners of Falun Gong gathered around a temporary stage in the southwest corner of the Green on Saturday afternoon for an event organized by the Global Human Rights Torch Relay, an international campaign against human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government. Speakers and musicians addressed the crowd, many of whom held signs condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The event included a short parade circling through downtown New Haven.

Meanwhile, on the northeast corner of the Green on the permanent stage, a rally organized by the local Chinese population, with matching Beijing Olympics T-shirts and abundant flags, was voicing its support for China and celebrating the coming Olympic games.

The two groups met as the Human Rights Torch parade, accompanied by a marching band, traveled down Temple Street, through the middle of the Green. The pro-China rally rushed to the edge of the street to chant and wave flags as the Human Rights Torch parade passed by. The two groups were separated by a line of New Haven police and barricades.

The Protest

China_07.jpgThe Human Rights Torch Relay was organized as a symbolic alternative to the Olympic torch relay now underway. Like the Olympic torch, the Human Rights Torch has been traveling around the world, coordinated with events designed to bring attention to violations of human rights in China. The campaign was started by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG).

Practitioners of Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement (also known as Falun Dafa) that has been outlawed in China, claim that they are the victims of torture and abuse in China. Addressing the crowd on Saturday afternoon, John Jaw of the Falun Dafa Association of New England said that there have been 3,000 documented deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in China but that “we believe the actual number is many times that.” He also said that “there are thousands incarcerated, working 12 to 14 hours a day, making products for the government.”

Dr. Wenyi Wang of Physicians for Human Rights, said that Falun Gong prisoners have been victims of systems of forced organ harvesting for “international transplant tourists,” people who come to China for inexpensive organ transplant operations.

Brandon Wang, of the Boston chapter of CIPFG, wanted to make it clear that their argument is with the CCP, not the people of China. “This is an evil party,” he said.

New Haven downtown Alderwoman Bitsie Clark (pictured above at right), who helped obtain the parade permit for the event, spoke briefly to the crowd. She decried human rights abuses everywhere, including those perpetrated in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

China_02.jpgOther speakers presented information about the persecution of Christians in China and Chinese support for genocide in Darfur. Local Tibetans (pictured), including Lama Tsondru Sangpo, took the stage to chant Buddhist prayers of compassion.

The Party

While the Tibetans were singing their prayers of peace, the pro-China party on the other side of the Green was enjoying a Wushu (martial arts) display set to the sounds of dramatic recorded music: thundering drums and proud trumpets. The Wushu demonstration was followed by a triumphant soft rock song, with the lyrics “Hand in hand we stand, across the land” as the Chinese ralliers marched around their half of the Green trailing Chinese flags and carrying signs with slogans like “Olympics, Not Olympolitics.”

China_03.jpgIn a marked contrast with the mixed group of human rights demonstrators, the pro-China rally was composed almost entirely of Chinese people, many with white Beijing Olympics T-shirts and little Chinese flag stickers on their cheeks. The organizers addressed the crowd in Chinese from the stage.

“We want to show our excitement about the Olympics and send a message of welcome,” said Jie Chen, a Yale grad student in the economics program and the official spokesperson of the rally. When asked if the event was planned in response to the Human Rights Torch Relay, Chen said, “to some extent yes, but we’re not trying to do anything against anybody.”

Chen said that she doesn’t agree with the politics of the protesters. “I think Tibet is part of China. So do most people here,” she said, gesturing around at the hundreds of Chinese people around her. As for the Falun Gong, “they’re not showing the whole picture.” Chen said that there have been media distortions of the Falun Gong situation.

“How Can They Do That?”

China_04.jpgAt 3 p.m., the Human Rights Torch Relay began a march through downtown. Led by three-torch bearing “goddesses” and accompanied by the Divine Land marching band, the group paraded up Chapel and York and down Elm Street. Adults distributed fliers and children handed out paper flowers.

As they rounded the corner of Elm and Temple, the China rally ran to meet them, waving flags and chanting “China! China!” The human rights parade chanted back, “Shame on the CCP!” and the band belted out a rousing song. Police on foot and on motorcycles kept the groups apart.

China_05.jpgLama Tsondru, toting a large photograph of the Dalai Lama, said later that he spent the parade offering Boddhichitta prayers of compassion. His daughter, Dekyi Bhutia said that she had been doing the same, until she rounded the corner and saw the pro-China rally. “I got so angry,” she said, “you see that they’re denying everything and eventually I stopped praying and started chanting.” Bhutia, a student at Southern Connecticut State, said that she was angry to see students waving Chinese flags. “I’m angry that they know everything that is going on,” she said. “How can they do that?”

As the Human Rights Torch Relay was wrapping up, Suan Kuo, one of the organizers of the event, said that many Chinese student groups in the US have a “direct link to the CCP,” and that “they finance their lifestyle.” He said that nationalist groups act on behalf of the Chinese government. “The CCP is never out in front, they have the students do their dirty work.”

China_06.jpgBack on the other side of the Green, the pro-China rally was finishing up as well, with a sing-along of popular Chinese songs, including one called “The Real Hero” and another about the Chinese flag.

Asked whether the rally was funded by the Chinese government, Jie Chen said no, it was a completely volunteer effort. Asked about the organizing body behind the rally, Jie Chen said that the rally was organized by a committee, but that she couldn’t remember its name.

Read about a previous downtown protest involving China and Falun Gong here.







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Comments

Posted by: on whalley | April 28, 2008 8:42 AM

I don't get the "One World One Dream Free Tibet" thing.

Do they mean a one world government? If that's the case then Tibet certainly wouldn't ever be free. None of us would. Maybe if Tibet were in charge they could claim freedom but even that wouldn't be true.

Other than that what does "one world" mean? I think it's pretty obvious we all live on the same rock and have no options to run off to another rock in space and in that way have only one rock to exist on.

Is it just another nice sounding slogan that doesn't really mean anything? I'm getting tired of those. You want to free Tibet beat back China with a stick. China has nothing to gain by claiming Tibet. It isn't rich in natural resources or particularly strategic in its geographic location. Whether the Chinese or the Tibetans are in control of the mountains makes no difference. The prospect of invasion over and through them is equally unlikely. Mongolia would be more valuable land. But rather than invade Mongolia I would strive to be friendly with them. This way you have a nice invasion buffer to the North without the personal cost of resources and lives. Let them pay to defend you.

The fact that there really is no reason or need to hang on to Tibet yet they do despite perpetual turmoil in the region and the constant wagging of the collective international finger means China won't be giving it up anytime soon. I'd go so far as to say China will hold on tighter and become more ruthless out of spite and for the sake of empire. The more attention that is drawn to it the more power and might China is perceived to have.

Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 28, 2008 8:51 AM

My.... what do you say? I understand that people are proud of their country. I understand that they may have no control or say-so in what their government does...***cough cough...George Bush*** But if a group of Iraq citizens and supporter came down the street protesting the inhuman things that we are doing and the war....would we be out their waving our flag at their suffering???
Come on!!!! I have friends from China and have had friends from Tibet, I have some understanding of it and I am not judging the people that came out to support their country...up this was not the place to do that.

Posted by: DingDong | April 28, 2008 9:41 AM

Excellent article Thomas.

At what point do we begin getting worried about China's rise without being xenophobic? That pro-China rally, which I saw, was probably about the worst thing China-supporters could do for their country's image.

Posted by: Dekyi | April 28, 2008 2:09 PM

For me, it was really saddening to see the pro-China rally at the Relay. We were there to protest against the inhumane acts of the CCP and the perpetual oppression of the Falun Gong, the Tibetans and the Burmese to name just a few.

It is said that the Olympics signify "international unity" and "harmony". But how can one support the Olympics when clearly there is no harmony...only people being oppressed and brutally murdered. It was hurtful to see the pro-China rally there because it felt like they were against the "Human Rights Torch Relay" and hence against human rights itself by denying the human rights abuses taking place.

I completely agree with the above comment that "the pro-China rally was probably about the worst thing China-supporters could do for their country's image".

Bhod Gyalo!(Free Tibet!)

Posted by: Cindy6 | April 28, 2008 5:09 PM

What's the matter with you guys? Can't faced the reality that Tibetan separatism has about zero sympathy from Chinese everywhere? That you have to resort to claiming that the pro-China folks supported by the commies? This is sooo lame.

And please, do not the equate Tibetan rioters that killed and looted with the poor Iraqies.

Posted by: littlerex | April 28, 2008 6:18 PM

The pro-China students' flyers say clearly that they support human rights and do not approve anything their government is doing. The chinese are more concerned about human rights conditions in China than someone who never lived there. They just don't want to see people distorting the real situations and demonizing their country!

Posted by: Jack | April 28, 2008 6:40 PM

Pretty good article. Fairly written. Thanks.

You may have your own opinion. I have my own. I was not prepared to discuss with anybody about that. But remember we all have the right to express ourselves. I was out there to support the upcoming Olympic Games to take place in my own country (100-day counting down happens to be today). I donated $20 in cash to help finance the event, so did many other people out there, in cash or checks with varying amounts. We paid for that event by reaching into our own pockets to show support of our own motherland. We had the rally very very peaceful. We carried out everything that was carried in when we left the Green.
It's 2008, not 1840. China has changed, accept it or not. If you do not know, do not comment. Go there by yourself, China welcomes you. Otherwise, do your homework first by checking out some books written by true historians about China. Olympic Games (100-day counting down happens to be today). I donated $20 in cash to help finance the event, so did many other people out there. We paid for that event by reaching into our own pockets to show support of our own motherland. It's 2008, not 1840. China has changed, accept it or not. If you do not know, do not comment. Go there by yourself, China welcomes you. Otherwise, do your homework first by checking out some books written by true historians about China.

Posted by: Belli | April 28, 2008 7:57 PM

HaHa.Goodness, I felt so bad for the pro CCP supporters who came to the Green. They were giving the Tibetans and the Falun Gong supporters their middle finger and yelling out the most filthy words. It just shows how their government is...simple as that.

Posted by: Heyruka | April 28, 2008 8:24 PM

on whalley-

"One World One Dream" is a slogan for the olympics being held in China. What the "One World One Dream Free Tibet" slogan is doing is playing off of that. It would behoove you to know what your commenting on before you begin to next time.

I'm also guessing you've only seen what Tibet is like in a movie, maybe two movies. And one of them had Brad Pitt, right? Not all of Tibet is mountains. I bet you might say all of the Africa is covered in desert, too. It's true some of Tibet has little resources, but not all of Tibet. I'll leave you to research it all for yourself so that you don't think I'm making it up. And please don't do a google search, look at the first two pages, and then give up. And just pretend during your research that Wikipedia doesn't exist.

To say it makes no difference as to who controls Tibet (which by now I hope we understand is not just a mountainous region with no resources) is to belittle an entire race of people. To the Tibetans it makes a huge difference who controls Tibet. Wouldn't you agree?

Lastly, what a great idea you have, to cover our eyes so that it all just goes away and somehow resolves itself. Did the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. teach you that? Maybe you were tutored privately by Mahatma Ghandi? As the great philosopher David Hume said, "What a peculiar privilege has this little agitation of the brain which we call thought."

Posted by: terence hoare | April 28, 2008 9:16 PM

THIS ENQUIRY HAS NO BIAS, BUT I AM WONDERING IF MORECOVERAGE COULD BE GIVEN TO THE CONDITION AND CHARACTER, GENERALLY, OF THE TIBETANS BEFORE THE EXILE OF THE DALAI Llama--PLEASE.

Posted by: huckles | April 28, 2008 9:42 PM

JACK said: "If you do not know, do not comment. Go there by yourself, China welcomes you."

Jack, I have practiced the spiritual discipline Falun Gong for three years, am I welcome in China? Because of my beliefs, I am an enemy of the state. Did you know that any athletes that practice Falun Gong are not allowed to participate in the Olympic games. People who practice Falun Gong are not even allowed to enter any of the Olympic venues. Li Zhanjun said this himself.

Falun Gong is merely a peaceful spiritual practice with 5 exercises and a set of free teachings. It is based on truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. It was the most popular qigong practice in Chinese history, with 70-100 million people practicing it. Because of its popularity, influence, ideological distinction to the communist party, and because it exercised freedom of assembly, Jiang started to persecute it viciously. Practitioners in China now are tortured to death, put in psychiatric facilities, beaten, sentenced to forced labour camps for years without trial, and are even cut up for their organs to be taken and sold. Standing up against this is not political, it's about basic morality.

It's awful to see Chinese people cast aside the basic difference between good and evil in the name of nationalism. The CCP has been in power for 60 years, but China is 5000 years old. The CCP is not China.

Posted by: Vijay Kumar | April 29, 2008 12:43 AM

Tibet is a Mao Tse Tung concentration camp for the Tibetans. Tibetans were
not given the right to stop the immigration of Hans Chinese brought into
Tibet by busloads and now trainloads. The imposed language, customs, food
habits, religion, traditions are all all alien to Tibet. Communist Chinese
are trying to brainwash Tibetans. Armed Chinese military and Hans
immigrants are overlords of the Tibetans. Tibet was basically arms free
and pollution free 50 years ago. Now there's a huge military presence of
Communist Red Army including nuclear weapons. Closing of Tibet till after
the Olympics is because visitors will note this. Where is Panchen Lama?
Where are the estimated 4000 Tibetans taken prisoner since the uprising?
Clearly Chinese Communists want to blot out Tibet and Tibetans. Why is
the Dalai Lama and other refugees not allowed back into Tibet? Because
they will be able to inform the world about Tibetans they know- who went
missing by Red army action.

Posted by: Belli | April 29, 2008 12:45 AM

Hey Jack

We are not against China at all, we are against the Chinese government's policies. China is probably one of the most beautiful country in the world, one of the world's greatest civilization, infact I have so many friends who are Chinese and I love your culture. But have you forgotten what took place at Tiananmen Square? It was your own countrymen who opposed the government policies. Right?

Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 29, 2008 9:26 AM

Jack

First read Belli comment below yours.
Jack China is on my places to go list. We are not judging the country as a whole. They are asking China to use this event to make a statement.. Let Tibet go. Right now all the Dalai Lama is asking for is the same staus that Hong Kong has. What a great and noble thing this would be. The worlds view of China would be a better one.

Posted by: Jack | April 29, 2008 12:47 PM

Response to BELLI and others:

BELLI wrote the following in the response "I felt so bad for the pro CCP supporters who came to the Green. They were giving the Tibetans and the Falun Gong supporters their middle finger and yelling out the most filthy words. It just shows how their government is...simple as that".
Here is my response:
1. During the brief encounter on 4/26 (one side was marching and the other side chanted), we as red flag bearers chanted only two words, a few dozens shouted "China", and the rest (about 500-700) followed by "Go!". That's it, and that was in Chinese. Numerous people have video footages. Simply rewind your tape and double check. The tape can not lie while human can, especially some western media groups with big names. We were all occupied by the red flags and I am sure as far as I can see, I did not see anybody showing any finger gestures from our side. On the contrary, members of the marching group did show a thumb down gesture. Once again, double check your video tape. Moreover, most of us on the Green with red flags have either Ph.D., M.D. or candidate of a highest degree in our own fields of study. We will not allow the use of any filthy words. We are not the guy in "the situation room". Furthermore, we were ordinary Chinese in New Haven, and we do not represent the central government of China.
2. Once again, we were out there to show support for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing. That's the theme of that day. It is such a historic event that the two ancient civilizations have come together on the same stage: Greek and China. On the wider perspective, it's an international party to celebrate human civilization. We did not condemn anybody/any group, nor did we expand our support to any other organizations on that day.
3. By the way, Before 1959, 95% of Tibetans were slaves. Tibet was freed 50 years ago when Dalai left the territory. Thus no need to free her again. They all became free men and women after the departure of Dalai. Anybody supporting Dalai may give other people the impression that s/he is supporting slavery. Time can not be reversed, so is true for history. The progression of human civilization will not allow the slavery to appear again. Religion and politics are not allowed to be two in one.
4. Most westerners were never given the chance to learn enough history about China. The Westerners had shameful invasions/robberies between 1840 and1949 in China and many other poor nations. The world has changed. Nobody can be a super-policeman. Mind your own business. Face the history and respect others.
5. By the way, Vijay Kumar talked about "Communist Red Army" presence in Tibet. That can not be true. Check out some books before you say that again. There is "Peoples Liberation Army", never a read army in Tibet. That's part of sovereignty. No doubt. Tibet has been part of China for 800 years.
6. There is a bit Han Chinese immigration into Lhasa, due to the booming of Tourist Industry. A recent survey indicated the overall population is 95% Tibetans in Tibet. But remember, Tibetans are not only in Tibet. There are a few counties of Tibetans in different provinces around Tibet and people live peacefully together. China has 56 different ethnics groups. As Dalai recently said in an interview with a Singapore newspaper, Tibetans and Hans are brothers and sisters. The current14th Dalai agreed to unite with the rest of China in the early 1950s. It was a peaceful transition. There was never military action involved.
7. Again, whoever makes any claim at any time should have evidence in hands. Good imagination is a talent to write Harry Porter, not news report.

Posted by: robn | April 29, 2008 1:03 PM

China supporters should face up to it...theirs is a third world nation with a thin skin of first world cities ... the largest system of apartied ever known.

like...forced child labor.

http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-33292620080429

The US isn't perfect, but we abolished slavery a long time ago. Now if we can just get our legislatures to ban goods from slaving nations...

Posted by: Lisa | April 29, 2008 1:23 PM

haha the Chinese students don't want the world and the media to "demonize their country"? Hun, the CCP has already demonized China. Maybe you meant to ask the world not to "rectify your country"?

Posted by: aaa | April 29, 2008 2:46 PM

Send this link to 5 friends and ask them to do the same.
http://www.chinadanger.com/

Posted by: Heyruka | April 29, 2008 5:24 PM

jack,

1. You simply must have been in a different CCP group. The one Belli was referring to was definitely making highly inappropriate remarks. If it was in fact the group you were in maybe you showed up later. You can upload the DVD of your recordings to an online server of some type if you have the time. If you have a website you can put it there. That way we can all see what you're describing. Did you record everything? The That is, did you record from the first people gathering to the last moment of your group's presence there? Was the whole group in the shot in the whole time as well? The tape cannot lie as you said so it would be great for us all to see it. I'm sure you recorded everything there otherwise why else would have such confidence in that recording? That aside, please don't spout degrees obtained in order to show some type of moral authority or righteousness. I know many people with higher degrees (myself included) and that has no relation on one's morals. You can rightfully say you are more educated (in your area of study), but not morally superior or morally responsible.

2. The theme of the day was not to support the Olympic Games. Please see www.humanrightstorch.org for clarification.

3. About the statistic you gave "Before 1959, 95% of Tibetans were slaves." You should go and talk to Tibetans themselves and ask them personally if they were slaves. If you think it was the Dalai Lama who enslaved them, just ask what Tibetans in exile have to say about the Dalai Lama (now that they are "free," as you put it, they can answer freely). Otherwise, if you are going to be quoting statistical findings, please provide the case study, the journal it was published in and with which university conducted this unbiased result.

4. You can say most westerners were never given the chance to learn enough about Chinese history, yes. That's fine. Most westerners (in fact, most people of the world) have not attended college, so your statement wouldn't be incorrect as it is. However, it is a bit unfair to say. If we are talking about those who have attended college then the statement of most college educated westerners have not been given the "chance to learn enough..." just wouldn't be true. Almost every major University offers history classes about China, and many have Asian studies majors with a focus in Chinese history. No"body" (singular) is trying to super-police the CCP here. There have been many"bodies" (i.e. independent sovereign states) calling on the CCP to show restraint in their actions against Tibetan protesters I do find it highly hypocritical that you say "respect others" here when the EU and the Tibetan people are asking exactly that of the CCP.

5. The subject of Tibet being independent of China or not is today seriously debated. It should not be presented as fact. If it was a straight-up fact then the U.S. and other countries would not call on the CCP to talk with the Dalai Lama about the Tibetan situation.

6. Please provide your source for statistics as mentioned above.

7. Yes Jack, please don't write any more Harry Potter like comments here without evidence. I get enough nonsense from perezhilton.com.


Just a couple news links:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/4/newsid_2496000/2496277.stm
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1432,3214694,00.html
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/24/asia/china.php
http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-32492120080314).

Posted by: Jack | April 30, 2008 1:03 PM

Heyruka,
thanks for your comments. I agree with some of your points, not all. That's why we should keep the discussion a lit longer. By the way, we should thank the New Haven Independent for providing this platform to exchange our views. We may not be able to persuade each other. As long as we keep talking, we may at least minimize some misunderstandings between the two camps.
Do not take me wrong. Degree is not a certificate of moral levels. However, there is the correlation that for people with highest degrees, the overall moral level is different than a group with little or no education. Of note, education is a complicated/systemic work. The professional educators (teachers) are well trained to transmit moral values to the students, in addition to the curricular "knowledge teaching".
As you may know, it needs more effort to negatively prove something than positively. Even if I upload the entire video (which will cost a lot of bytes), some may still argue that it is incomplete. Why do not you/people from your camp provide the positive evidence to prove yourself? People on the lower Green were not gathering for a pro-CCP rally. If you insist, show me the evidence (video tapes of speech, flyers, flags, special T-shirts etc).
I am responsible to provide evidence for what I have written. For a non-biased discussion, you/other people are also encouraged to read more books that are fairly written.
It may take a few days for me to write a full response. In the meantime, keep reading!

Posted by: Brandon Wang | April 30, 2008 1:55 PM

Hi Thomas,

Glad seeing your article, however, I noticed there is any error when you quoted my words, it should be "it is an evil Party" instead of "an evil nation"

this is a huge difference, all the human rights abuses are committed by the evil communist Party regime, there is nothing to do with the great Chinese nation. I love the nation so much just as all Chinese people do. But we need to stop the inhuman acts from the CCP.

Thank you.

Brandon

Posted by: Heyruka | April 30, 2008 4:08 PM

Jack,

It's good that you seem to be remaining peaceful throughout this. It gives off a positive image and also helps others read without too much emotion. And I agree that the New Haven Independent is doing a good thing for the open communication of ideas and beliefs (a wonderful feature of living in a "free speech" nation).

In response, I agree it would take a bit of work on your part to upload the videos. It could be done on Youtube without much difficulty, but probably with a great deal of time. Though, if we even have the chance to argue that the video is incomplete, then why mention the video evidence in the first place? I just think that if someone says "look at the evidence" and presents it as being irrefutable then there should be irrefutable evidence to look at.

Just so that everyone reading is clear, what I am responding to is the statement that people with little to no formal education have a "different" level of morality than those who are educated (which means in this case the former hold some degenerated form of the latter). On a personal level, I know many people with the "highest degrees" and they are not more moral than others that I know without those degrees. Could I with my futile knowledge merely know the outliers? Yes, but using the sample I know, there is definitely no correlation. On a non-personal level take the example of some great Tibetan Lamas (as this seems more relevant to the general discussion here). If you go through the Tibetan history there have been many of these great masters who had little to no education at all and yet held morals that any normal person would crumble under (e.g. Shabkar, Shantideva, etc.). Even if we keep the discussion within the realm of the modern world what of those priests who have studied a great deal and yet still performed inappropriate sexual acts. Not only did they have a higher education, but they were supposed to be the epitome of morality in their religion. [Just as a note I have a great deal of respect for practicing Catholics and am not in any way attempting to demean their beliefs]

Lastly, the people reading should know that despite the claim that "it needs more effort to negatively prove something than positively" that is not true. In general it is extremely difficult (and rare) to prove something in the positive. If you would all like to further waste your time (that is, once you've finished reading our comments, Facebooking, Myspacing, and of course...perezhiltoning) look up "Proof by Contrapositive".

Posted by: Jack | May 4, 2008 1:24 PM

Heyruka, Belli and dear readers,
This discussion has no moderator, thus it went off track without a brake. Let's
back up to where it got started and close this discussion if most of us agree.
1. I re-read all the comments line by line, word by word. I find that we have
some common ground: most of you will agree with me that China as a nation has
great culture and long-lasting civilization and deserves respect. I thank you
all for the nice words about China and her 1.3 billion people.
2. Heyruka, I believe you misunderstood me on the point of education. First of
all, my statement was an overall estimate, which does not stay true when
applied every individual. Secondly, my comment did not exclude other forms of
education that did not follow the model of modern school systems. There are
home-schooling, private schools and even self-education. A few US Presidents in
the early years of this country taught themselves law and qualified to be
attorneys before they eventually became the President. All these great Lamas
that you mentioned actually had received the best educations that the Tibetan
social system could provide. The current Dalai Lama speaks pretty good English,
a trait which can not be explained by reincarnation, because former Lamas did
not speak English. Most of their mentors were also well-known lamas, or
living-Buddha. These named lamas listed in your comment all qualify for the
highest degree the modern education system can issue.
3. The rally on the lower green was a pro-China/pro-Olympics rally. I believe
most of you will agree with me that China as a nation deserves respect from
Chinese and non-Chinese. Olympic Game itself deserves respect as well. Nobody
is lowering the moral standard by participating in such a rally on the lower
Green.
4. Show me and other readers the evidence to support your "pro-CCP", "middle
finger" and "filthy words" accusation. Clearly someone is acting as the
prosecutor with a much higher moral standard. Remember it is the prosecutor's
responsibility to provide evidence to the jury and the judge. Otherwise, the
roles will be swapped in this play. Do not forget that the state of New York
has just lost a governor, who used to be a brilliant prosecutor.
5. Heyruka, the survey result of present day population in Tibet was found in a
news release by a Tibetan research center
(www.tibetology.ac.cn/yanjiudongtai/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=3410).There were
5 rounds of census survey in the past 50 years or so. The fourth round results
indicated that there were 95% Tibetans in Tibet. A very recent release
indicated that number dropped to 92% of the total 2.8 million residents in
Tibet, while Hans come up from 3% to 6%. The remaining 2% are from other ethnic
groups even including foreign business owners who have been attracted by the
booming tourist business. Nowadays, transportation to Tibet becomes many many
times easier than 50 years ago. There are busloads and truckloads of tourists
visiting Tibet on a daily basis, and for sure this boosts the economy in Tibet.
6. To my surprise, it sounds like that at least some of you have never heard of
the feudal serf system (a variant of slavery) that lasted till 1959 in Tibet,
the year current Dalai left in exile. It was pretty much like the medieval
Europe. I used the word "slaves" and "slavery" in my previous comment. To be
more accurate, I should have used the word "serf" and "serfdom". It is also
shocking to find out that most books about Tibet written in English have
"forgotten" to allow the appearance of the terms "agricultural serf", "chattel
slaves" even just once. People in the western countries must have been reading
pre-filtrated versions of history books about Tibet and other parts of China.
This may also explain why the western media will not broadcast the recent Lhasa
rioters' video. To read more about Tibet, people are advised to check out the
following and you will see by your own eyes that this is not a Harry Porter
chapter:
a. Strong, Anna Louise, "When serfs stood up in Tibet", 1960
b. Strong, Anna Louise, "Tibet Interviews", 1959
c. Grunfeld, A. Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, 1987 (also a 1996 version)
d. http://rwor.org/a/firstvol/tibet/tibet1.htm
e. This video was prepared by Chirs Nebe, chairman of a US-based media company.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlqqIlV6JBU
If all those still seemed not convincing, I assume the best way for those of you
who really love the Tibetan culture is to go to Tibet by yourselves. A lot of
former serfs are still alive nowadays. A lot of them worship both Buddha and
Mao Tze-dung at their home altars (I could not give a number here, because I
got this information from a blog who went to visit these freed former slaves
recently). It may cost a few thousand dollars, but worthwhile in many senses.
But make sure you learn the local language/get a guide and abide by local laws.

Try to take a neutral stand when reading.
7. Heyruka, those people who had the privilege to follow Dalai Lama in exile are
the upper class, often they have first name and last name. In feudal Tibet, a
name can tell one's class in the social ladder. The former serfs/slaves had
only given names because they were considered private property of the serf
owner, thus no need to have last names. In case your Tibetan friends have both
first and last names, they were from the upper class, of course not slaves.
8. Those die-hard human right activists should be aware that the phrase "Free
Tibet" is irritating to at least 1.3 billion people on this big rock called the
Earth. People who have learned English in a proper way will know for sure that
the word "free" does not have only one meaning. His Highness the Dalai Lama has
openly made it clear many times that he supports the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
and is not proposing for independence. Why do not you put it in a much broader
way in case you have to use the word "free", how about "Free China"? Extend
your tender heartily love to more people and receive applauses.
9. In the West, a lot of people believe the Cold War was over. I believe the
Cold War is still ongoing in many ways. The West dislikes the CCP, for sure.
But a lot of the Westerners probably do not know the CCP is no longer the CCP
in Mao's era. There have also been gradual but steady improvements in democracy
and human rights. China can not sustain sudden changes, and a stable China
offers better human rights than a state in chaos, such as current day Iraq.
Stability in China may not fall into the best interests of some westerners.
Agree or not, a stable China will stabilize the area and the world. Compare
with this: gas price may turn out to be $4/gallon tomorrow, but nobody will be
shocked to see it because it keeps climbing up in the past few years. Guess how
many will jump out of their windows if gas goes from $0.99 to $3.99 per gallon
in one overnight!
10. As a matter of fact, Tibet has been part of China for more than 800 years, when this continent was still the land of 50-75 million native Indians. It has been very well documented. Not to be discussed further. Period.
11. Credibility is something that needs tremendous effort to build up, but takes
seonds to collapse. We should all work hard to protect our credibility.

Posted by: Heyruka | May 7, 2008 5:02 AM

Sorry I didn't write back soon enough. I completely forgot about this until now which leads me to believe that not many people are still following our lively discussions. Oh well. Here we go:

2. I didn't misunderstand the meaning implied by the use of your words. There is not other interpretation for, "However, there is the correlation that for people with highest degrees, the overall moral level is different than a group with little or no education." If the morals of those with higher degrees are "different" then their morals can either be better or worse. If their morals were worse then your original statement on how those with the highest respective degrees wouldn't allow the use of filthy words is contradictory. So you can see that my interpretation of your statement could not be taken any other way. By the way, what I just did was a proof by contrapositive. And no, Shabkar and Shantideva did not receive the best education for their time. It's best not to make false claims about such great masters. There were many masters who were as you claimed, but there were many who weren't, too. Shabkar wrote an extensive autobiography (which has been translated into English) and although it is difficult to find out the life of Shantideva if you do find it you will see that he did no studying at all (a crucial point in his biography).

3. I'm sorry. The theme of the day for us was different than yours. Ours was for the Human Rights Torch Relay and what it stands for. And you are right in saying that no one is lowering their lower standards by participating on the lower green. But before the event officially began some ran towards the HRTR supporters and had to be escorted back by the police. That same officer had to eventually take the sign they were holding away from them. This can be verified by going to the NHPD and asking the officer who was on duty at that time. No need to trust my word on this.

4. I am a full supporter that if a claim is made then there should be sufficient evidence to back it up. But when did testimony not become evidence? So far Belli claimed he or she saw it and you claimed that you did not see it. We therefore have conflicting evidence. No need to take this discussion any further as nothing will be solved here. Although, if you would like say more please feel free. I'm not trying to stop you with that statement.

5. OK thanks. I was actually asking where the statistic that "95% of Tibetans were slaves" came from.

6. Thanks for providing "evidence". Just so everyone reading knows, Ms. Anna Louise Strong was a communist. You can all find a great deal of information on your own about her. I doubt to get the facts of Tibet we, who are not CCP supporters, are going to listen to a communist who left her homeland, went to communist Russia (USSR), and then lived out the rest of her life married to a Soviet socialist as one of Mao Zedong's acquaintances. Yeah, thanks for that one, but I'll get my evidence from another source. Your next source (Grunfeld) is also someone who paints the grim picture of Tibet and certainly not one that is seen as an accurate portrayal of what Tibet was really like. He is well known for this. See link below for just a small example of how he does this. Please note the reply which proves him wrong.

Listen. I know what's going on here. You cite sources which convince the naive and the ignorant, yet hold little basis when checked. It is the textbook definition of propaganda. You tell us to go now and see what it's like. To see how great it is now that the Tibetans are freed. This has rapidly transformed into a forum for CCP propaganda and after this post I am done. Please, if there are any people who are still reading, always check the sources sited and don't be so easily convinced.

8. I have learned Eglish in the proper way and your sentence is incorrect. Have you? You are missing periods, capitalizations, "not" is placed incorrectly, etc. Like many words in languages across the globe the meaning of the word must be understood through context. Here the word free is used as a verb in the imperative (directed towards the CCP). It would then mean here, "make free, in particular from restriction or excessive regulation." We get that definition and that's why we use it. We say "Free Tibet" because we say Tibet was it's own sovereign state and NOT part of China. Also, why should we free China? You told me before that China freed Tibet. If what you say is the true then China must have been free to begin with. And if China was free then there is certainly no reason to say "Free China" at this point. Furthermore, if that is not the case that China was free then they could not have freed Tibet, and thus should get out of Tibet immediately as their reason for invading Tibet (to "free them") is invalid and unjust. Another proof by contrapositive.

10. It's not a fact Jack. A fact by definition is, "a thing that is indisputably the case." This is disputed world wide. Here's a quote from Professor Robert Thurman of Columbia Universtity:

"It's a very brief point. Something that came up in Mr. Chris Wu's very interesting comments, and also at the beginning of the conference, and that is a phrase that we, the Chinese and the Tibetans, have been sharing the same piece of land for 5000 years. And if we are going to put data on the table, we have to be clear that that is a _complete_ mistake. That is not a correct statement. There have been no Chinese in Tibet for 5000 years, in fact. Just as there have been no Tibetans in China, except for the occasional raid back and forth. Only for 40 years have there been many Chinese in Tibet. Only for the _last_ 40 years. And before that for 5000 years there were _no_ Tibetans in China. When you go to Tibet you go along and you see suddenly the land goes _whoop_! Like that [gesturing up]. You see, from Chengdu, you fly over, and once it goes _whoop_! they've been no Chinese for 5000 years. So you have not been sharing that land, you've been in your own land - Chinese in China, Tibetans in Tibet, and if we are going to start, even though there are many Chinese there now, if we're going to start putting things on the table, we'll have to be clear about that point. That's all. Thank you."

My argument holds from last time. No need to be curt, Jack. It's just not a fact.

11. I think we can all clearly see now the true colors of propaganda being painted upon the walls of this forum.

I'm done.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/area/tibet-potomac/historical/histdsc1.html

quote source:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/area/tibet-potomac/enviro/econ/econdsc.html

Posted by: Jack | May 8, 2008 1:35 PM

Response to Heyruka:

2 Heyruka said "although it is difficult to find out the life of Shantideva if you do find it you will see that he did no studying at all (a crucial point in his biography)".

I am not going to buy this. Born to know or learn to know? The answer is clear.

3. On May 4, Jack said "The rally on the lower green was a pro-China/pro-Olympics rally. I believe most of you will agree with me that China as a nation deserves respect from
Chinese and non-Chinese. Olympic Game itself deserves respect as well. Nobody
is lowering the moral standard by participating in such a rally on the lower
Green."

On May 7, Heyruka responded "And you are right in saying that no one is lowering their lower standards by participating on the lower green".

Heyruka, I take that as a personal insult. This demonstrates to the readers how high your standard is. You do not deserve such a discussion with me.

6. Heyruka said "Thanks for providing "evidence". Just so everyone reading knows, Ms. Anna Louise Strong was a communist....Your next source (Grunfeld) is also someone who paints the grim picture of Tibet and certainly not one that is seen as an accurate portrayal of what Tibet was really like. He is well known for this. See link below for just a small example of how he does this. Please note the reply which proves him wrong...Please, if there are any people who are still reading, always check the sources sited and don't be so easily convinced"

You do not need to rush for"disinfection" by simply tagging people with some stickers that were printed ages ago during the cold war. Anna Louise Strong had been an honest journalist. Honesty is not judged based on party lines. "Die-hard" Democrat or Republican is not a certificate for being honest, as we can see people failed to find MDW in the Gulf area. Professor Grunfeld is a disciplined historian who has gained and protected his name by analyzing the objects with a neutral stand. People who have read his book "the Making of Modern Tibet" will find out that he has carefully gone through all the major resources such as national archives, CIA documents and interviewed all political sides involved. You could argue a mainland China based writer has no way to interview the Dalai Lama and his aides, or a Tibetan writer in exile has no access of the information/documents that are archived in mainland China. Grunfeld also has traveled around the world to view the original documents related to Tibet. Professor Grunfeld is a person that has done the homework carefully.

8. Heyruka said "I have learned Eglish in the proper way and your sentence is incorrect. Have you? You are missing periods, capitalizations, "not" is placed incorrectly, etc. Like many words in languages across the globe the meaning of the word must be understood through context. Here the word free is used as a verb in the imperative (directed towards the CCP). It would then mean here, "make free, in particular from restriction or excessive regulation." We get that definition and that's why we use it. We say "Free Tibet" because we say Tibet was it's own sovereign state and NOT part of China. Also, why should we free China? You told me before that China freed Tibet. If what you say is the true then China must have been free to begin with. And if China was free then there is certainly no reason to say "Free China" at this point. Furthermore, if that is not the case that China was free then they could not have freed Tibet, and thus should get out of Tibet immediately as their reason for invading Tibet (to "free them") is invalid and unjust. Another proof by contrapositive".

The readers are advised to be picky to double check his English, which he believes learned properly. The take home message is, if you have not taken a good care of your personal hygiene, do not rush to criticize that someone has not taken a shower in the past 12 hours. Anyway, here is not a stage to show off one's English writing. People will understand that these web-based comments are normally done quickly without editing for grammar or typo whatsoever.

10. Heyruka said "It's not a fact Jack. A fact by definition is, "a thing that is indisputably the case." This is disputed world wide."

I am with your definition, not your interpretation. A fact is something that can not disputed, thus indisputable. An easy example, Texas has been part of the US for more than a century. It is a fact. There are probably millions of Mexicans that are "disputing" (your word), but it will not change it as a fact that Texas is one of the many states of the USA. Tibet has been part of China for 800 years. It is a FACT. No foreign country of any kind in human history has ever established an Embassy in Lhasa, nor openly recognizing it when the 13th Dalai transiently claimed independence when warlords controlled most parts of China and the central government of China was extremely weak during the first few decades of last century.

Heyruka said "Here's a quote from Professor Robert Thurman of Columbia Universtity:
"It's a very brief point. Something that came up in Mr. Chris Wu's very interesting comments, and also at the beginning of the conference, and that is a phrase that we, the Chinese and the Tibetans, have been sharing the same piece of land for 5000 years. And if we are going to put data on the table, we have to be clear that that is a _complete_ mistake. That is not a correct statement. There have been no Chinese in Tibet for 5000 years, in fact. Just as there have been no Tibetans in China, except for the occasional raid back and forth. Only for 40 years have there been many Chinese in Tibet. Only for the _last_ 40 years. And before that for 5000 years there were _no_ Tibetans in China. When you go to Tibet you go along and you see suddenly the land goes _whoop_! Like that [gesturing up]. You see, from Chengdu, you fly over, and once it goes _whoop_! they've been no Chinese for 5000 years."

I have not read anything from that professor Robert Thurman, nor do I know his area of expertise. In case he is a physicist by training, this quote has no value at all. If he is an expert in European history, he has commented on something he should have not begun with. In case he claims himself as a professor in history of East Asia, he does not qualify for his title at all. In the year 641AD, the first known Tibetan king got married with Princess Wen Cheng, a daughter of the Tang Emperor, who is of course a Han Chinese. The Tibetan king built the city of Lahsa (meaning "walled city") in honor of the Princess. Princess Wen Cheng brought with her a troop of technicians with the state-of-art technologies, which represented the frontline technologies world-wide, of course, in her time. These farmers, shoemakers, blacksmiths, silk-worm breeders (presumably all Han Chinese) introduced technology to Tibet. Needless to say, Princess Wen Cheng introduced Buddhism to Tibetans. And Princess Wen Cheng was not the only Tang dynasty's Princess that married a Tibetan king. The family of the great educator of China, Confucius (Kung Tze) has the world's best preserved and longest family tree book. A recent survey indicated that now about 32 million living people are offspring from Confucius. Given the harsh living condition in Tibet, population doubling is more difficult than the inland China. Anyway, there might be a great proportion of current Tibetans can have their blood line descending from Princess Wen Cheng and her big group of technicians. The ongoing human genome project may one day provide us with some evidence for this.

11. This is my final post on this matter. Whoever wants to follow up, make sure that you behave yourself.

Sorry, Comments are closed for this entry

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