Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is the Dalai Lama betraying his people?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM

These are troubling times for religious folk -- namely for a certain Presidential candidate who, (oops!) put his faith in a very outspoken and video-recorded brand of crazy. Problems with religion aren't self-contained to our little campaign here, though. Besides this whole Israel-Palestine-Iraq-Afghanistan, Islam vs. Judeo-Christianity problem that gets all the news (and body count), on the other side of the world, Tibetans want their freedom.

Silly fuckers.

Find out the Dalai Llama's shocking decision after the jump!


For the past couple of weeks, Tibetan rebels have looted and firebombed China-controlled businesses in Tibetan land. Gatherings and protests have been forming.

Then China mowed them all down "like dogs" and "indiscriminately."

Now their religious leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner and head of the exiled Tibetan government in India, the Dalai Llama, has not only condemned the stand being made as we speak against the Chinese communist ruling party in Tibet but has said he will "resign" as their leader.

WTF?! You can't resign as the reincarnated Buddha! There's no crying in bodhisattva!!

Their Holiness has been quoted as saying the violent protests "won't help" and that "Independence is out of the question." Those words do not appear on his official website, however, and he only intends to step down politically.

He cannot resign fully as Dalai Llama. As reported by the BBC, "according to Tibetan tradition, he will remain the Dalai Llama until he dies, with it being impossible for him lose or give up the position in any other way.

What he has threatened to do, if Tibetans continue to turn to violence, is to resign as the political head of their movement."

This is the latest unfavorable turn for the Central Tibetan government following years of decreased support from younger generations, who reject the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy of civil disobedience. Not surprising, since "it won't help" and "out of the question" hardly seems like disobedience of any kind.

Did Their Holiness do the right thing here? It's pretty easily agreed that Tibet, with no working army, cannot fight the greatest military superpower of all time. But don't they have a right to go down fighting for their right to live anyway? Are they betrayed if the Dalai Llama doesn't support them, at least morally? Or would it be worse if the Dalai Llama betrayed his own beliefs of total non-violence under any circumstance to take up arms by proxy?

If he steps down and allows the younger generation to fight their fight without his involvement, is it a silent green light for the possible genocide of Tibetans? Or is it the right thing in support of his beliefs?

Let's make it clear: the Dalai Llama OBJECTS to the Chinese rule. It's just that his method of fighting them has always been one of diplomatic dialogue, never war.

Can he win either way? You tell us. I want comments, people. Dialogue. Let's do it Buddhist style.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 12, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation