Obama administration in talks with Dalai Lama

September 14, 2009

The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama today confirmed that discussions between the Dalai Lama and a senior US Government delegation took place in Dharamsala on September 13 and 14. The delegation was led by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, and included Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (designated to serve concurrently as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues) and other US Government officials.

According to a statement posted on the official website of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (http://www.dalailama.com/news/432/htm), Ms. Jarrett personally conveyed the commitment of President Obama “to support the Tibetan people in protecting their distinct … Read more »

Movie Review: ‘Unmistaken Child’

September 7, 2009

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: For Tenzin Zopa, a young Nepalese monk, finding the reincarnation of his dead Tibetan master, Geshe Lama Konchog, is more important to him than his own life.

Since he was 6, Tenzin Zopa dreamed of becoming a disciple of Lama Konchog. While his parents hoped that he would marry and work someday, Tenzin envisioned a life of meditation.

As a young boy, he asked Lama Konchog to take him in, abandoned the material world and learned the rules of the monastic life from one of the most revered monks of Tibet. Twenty-one years later, the death of Lama Konchog left a glaring void in Tenzin’s heart.

In Nati Baratz’s captivating documentary “Unmistaken … Read more »

PTSD treatment for monks

March 28, 2009

NPR: Dr. Michael Grodin discusses his experiences treating Tibetan monks who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Many of the monks were imprisoned or tortured because of their resistance to the Chinese presence in Tibet, and now some of them experience “flashbacks” while meditating. Read more and listen here.

Grodin hypothesizes that meditation may reduce the brain’s ability to inhibit unpleasant thoughts and memories. His treatment combines elements of Western and Tibetan medicine and therapy. Grodin wrote about his findings in the March issue of Mental Health, Religion, and Culture.

A professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University School of Public Health, Grodin is the medical ethicist at Boston Medical

Read more »

A not-so-fine romance

April 3, 2008

Nicholas KristofNicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times: In the aftermath of the Tibet upheavals, the complicated romance between America and China is degenerating into mutual recriminations, muttering about Olympic boycotts and tensions that are likely to rise through the summer.

It would be convenient if we could simply denounce the crackdown in Tibet as the unpopular action of a dictatorial government. But it wasn’t. It was the popular action of a dictatorial government, and many ordinary Chinese think the government acted too wimpishly, showing far too much restraint toward “thugs” and “rioters.”

China and the U.S. clash partly because of competing interests, but mostly because of competing narratives. To Americans, Tibet fits neatly into … Read more »

Monks’ protest disrupts media visit to Tibet

March 27, 2008

London Guardian: A China-organised media trip to Lhasa was interrupted by protesting monks who accused the government of lying to the outside world. More than 30 monks at Jokhang Temple – the most sacred in Tibetan Buddhism – burst in on a briefing during the first foreign journalists tour since riots erupted in the Tibetan capital on March 14. Interrupting a speech about inter-ethnic harmony by the head of the temple’s administrative office, the lamas surrounded the journalists and said, “They are tricking you. Don’t believe them. They are lying to you.” Read more here.

An update on Tibet

March 27, 2008

Tibetan monk cries as he talks to journalistsAs protests for Tibetan autonomy continued into the third week, China further stepped up its crackdown within Tibetan and Chinese provinces. According to Reuters, China sought to contain ongoing protests in its ethnic Tibetan regions, as it stepped up detentions in Tibet’s capital Lhasa and vowed tighter control over monasteries. The western province of Qinghai was the latest area to report anti-government activities, with hundreds of civilians staging a sit-down protest after paramilitary police stopped them from marching.

The Chinese government and some of its citizens also took steps to defuse its escalating public relations problem. Yesterday China allowed foreign journalists into Tibet for a short, supervised tour of Lhasa, The Associated Press reports. … Read more »

Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama stand for?

March 25, 2008

Book coverThe New Yorker: Events of the past week been a reminder of the devotion Tibetans have for the Dalai Lama. However, who the Dalai Lama is and what he believes for aren’t always clearly understood. He has been described as ‘a simple monk’, yet he is also a noble-laureate, participates in neuroscience conferences, and speaks about globalization. To help explain who the Dalai Lama is and his role in the modern Tibet, Pico Iyer has just published a book, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. It is reviewed thoroughly in the New Yorker. Read more here.

Unrest over Chinese rule in Tibet spreads

March 20, 2008

Monk walks past barricades in Gansu provinceFollowing last weekend’s violent protests in Tibet, the Chinese government arrested dozens of people involved in a wave of anti-Chinese violence and sent in more troops to crush further unrest, The New York Times reports. Accounts by the Chinese government and the Tibetan community continued to differ sharply, with the Chinese government stating that 13 Han Chinese died in the Lhasa violence, and at least three rioters. Exiled Tibetan groups have said as many as 100 Tibetans died. Because foreign journalists are restricted from the area, neither account can be independently verified.

China accused the Dalai Lama of instigating the violence, a claim the Dalai Lama has denied. According to the BBC, the Dalai … Read more »

Protests against Chinese rule continue in Tibet

March 17, 2008

Policeman beats monk in Tibet protestsLast week in Lhasa, Tibet, monks and nuns started peaceful marches to show support for Tibetan independence and demand the release of monks who had been detained as they celebrated the Dalai Lama’s receipt of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, CNN reports. Police responded by blocking some marches, firing tear gas into others, sealing off monasteries, and arresting monks and students who joined the protests.

The protesters had been largely peaceful until Friday, when monks attempted to march to the capital, rights groups said. When Chinese police blocked them, laypeople joined the protest and began lashing out at Chinese authorities.

Ethnic Tibetans then turned their anger to shops, market stalls and vehicles owned by … Read more »

Unrest as Tibetan protests spread

March 12, 2008

Protesting TibetanA number of protests by Tibetans and Tibetan sympathizers have led to conflicts with authorities in Tibet and India.

A hundred Tibetan exiles on a six-month protest march to their homeland defied the Indian government’s orders to halt Tuesday, and could be headed for a conflict with the local police. The protestors have been marching from Dharamsala, the headquarters of the exiled Dalai Lama, to protest the continuing Chinese occupation of their homeland. They had planned to arrive at the Tibetan border in August, just before the Beijing Olympics begin.

The Indian authorities have forbidden the marchers from leaving Kangra District, in which Dharamsala lies, but the marchers have vowed to continue towards Tibet. The … Read more »