Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm with Span

From Spanblather:

I'm still not really back to blog, but I'm perplexed by the Dalai Lama Fever that seems to be gripping our politicians - to meet, not to meet, to meet with this hat on or that one.

Maybe I've been watching too much Penn & Teller*, but what's so fabbo about shaking the hand of a man who wants to return Tibet to a repressive theocratic state? I mean sure, some self-determination would be ace, and I'd like to see an end to the Chinese occupation, but I'm not convinced that having the country run by misogynistic priests is really the best alternative.
I am so sick of the sort of hippie liberal who says stuff like "The Dalai Lama is so wise and spirtual, and so we must support Tibet's independence from China.

1. I don't like or trust great spiritual leaders. People who are called 'great spiritual leaders' do not usually have much interest in promoting freedom, liberation and equality for the oppressed and exploited.

2. If you believe in self-determination, and I do, it doesn't really matter whether the figure head of that struggle is a 'great spirtual man', like the Dalai Lama, or half a dozen chickens.


  1. Anonymous7:21 am

    Im not so sure the dali lama does want tibet to be a repressive theocratic state. that sort of comment sounds like you haven't listened to many of his speaches.

    in fact of recent times he effectively says chinese rule is good -they jsut want some level of autonomy.

    Having said that it would obviously be more theocratic than an anti relgion comunist state. Dali lama is (or at least presents himself to be) pretty "pop buddist". he's the sort of a buddist some famous actor might become.


  2. Thanks Maia, much appreciated.

  3. The Dalai Lama says, "You can own a home with 1,000 rooms, but you can only be in one room at a time".

    You are right about the world not needing another theocracy.

    Really good blog. I like your Pat Robertson quote on your header.

  4. I'm sorry, but I don't really see what's wrong with the Dalai Lama. From what I know of his political goals, they seem pretty unobjectionable to me. And I've read a couple of his books and found them very helpful. I guess that makes me a hippie liberal :)

    However, I support Tibetan independence not because the Dalai Lama is so wise and spiritual, but because the Chinese occupation is so brutal and wrong. I find it frankly bizarre to be concerned about misogyny among the Dalai Lama's priests when Tibetan women have suffered almost 50 years of horrific human rights abuses under Chinese occupation. See, for example, this report by the Tibetan Women's Association, which details the torture, rape, violence, forced abortions and forced sterilizations they have endured under Chinese occupation.

    I'm not sure exactly what kind of state the Dalai Lama has in mind if Tibet ever regains its independence, but I very much doubt it would be worse than this.

  5. Anonymous5:18 am

    I had given authorization to the Chinese Republic's secret service to hunt down Dalai Lama and bring him back to the mainland to stand trial. If found guilty, the consequence would be castration.

  6. "a man who wants to return Tibet to a repressive theocratic state"

    Actually, he's spoken to the contrary of this. What the Dalai Lama advocates against is the systematic eradication of Tibetan culture and occupation by the Chinese. It seems that your beef is more with people who pick and choose what they like about the Dalai Lama and go around making pronouncements as though they were HH himself.

  7. Anonymous10:20 am

    I'm no expert on Tibet, but it seems to me that the Dalai Lama is pretty vague about politics - either deliberately or simply because it isn't his area of expertise.

    Much of his sctick comes from answering questions in a very happy, wooly sort of way. Having a clear political position tends to get in the way of being feted as an international nice guy.

    Problem is this doesn't do much for the Tibetans living under a vicous Chinese colonisation. He's good for arousing a general feeling of sympathy, but hopeless at getting any real political clout.

  8. Anonymous12:02 am

    I'm disappointed to see NZ feminists expressing such ignorant opinions. I don't mind either of you not liking the Dalai Lama, or religious leaders etc. But at least ground your critiques in something real.

    Here's the official Tibetan stance on future Tibetan governance, written by the Dalai Lama:

    Personally, I have made up my mind that I will not play any role in the future government of Tibet, let alone seek the Dalai Lama's traditional political position in the government.


    Principal Features of the Constitution

    Salient Features:

    The Constitution of Tibet will be the supreme law and source of all political powers in Tibet.

    Hardly the words of "a man who wants to return Tibet to a repressive theocratic state"

  9. Anonymous7:35 am

    Ah, thank you Weka. Actually someone did some research. Those reading this comment, I would highly suggest reading some of His Holiness' books, they are very beneficial for your mind. The Dalai Lama is strictly non political in agenda, he simply stands up for human rights and teaches Buddhist principles of compassion.

    By the way, in Buddhism, there is no castration nor misogyny, one of the main principles they develop in meditation is equanimity and extending compassion to all beings regardless of who they are.