In my analysis, India and Tibet are connected with each other because of the practices associated with The Sanatana Dharma, even long before the birth of Gautama Buddha.
Sanatana Dharma, in Hinduism, term used to denote the eternal or absolute set of duties or religiously ordained practices incumbent upon all Hindus, regardless of class, caste, or sect. Different texts give different lists of the duties, but in general sanatana dharma consists of virtues such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, generosity, and asceticism. Sanatana dharma is contrasted with svadharma, ones own duty or the particular duties enjoined upon an individual according to his or her class or caste and stage of life. The potential for conflict between the two types of dharma (e.g., between the particular duties of a warrior and the general injunction to practice non-injury) is addressed in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gt, where it is said that in such cases svadharma must prevail.
The term has also more recently been used by Hindu leaders, reformers, and nationalists to refer to Hinduism as a unified world religion. Sanatana dharma has thus become a synonym for the eternal truth and teachings of Hinduism, the latter conceived of as not only transcendent of history and unchanging but also as indivisible and ultimately nonsectarian.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday said that he is the son of India, both physically and mentally.
Speaking at ‘Silver Lecture Series’ function of Mumbai’s Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce, the Dalai Lama said: "Media from China and America asked what makes me a son of India. I answered that my brain is filled with thoughts of Nalanda and this physical body survived on India’s dal, chapati and dosa. So both physically and mentally I am from this country, that’s how I’m a son of India."
He said that according to Tibetan religion, all human beings are created by God. "Today, we have created a lot of problems on our own including greed and exploitation," he added.
The 83-year-old also asserted that everyone’s rights and desires should be respected.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who is on a three-day visit to the city, is expected to address students on December 14 during the 22nd TechFest 2018 at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
THE DISCOVERY OF TIBET – THE ORIGIN OF ANATOMICALLY MODERN MAN
Indian literary traditions suggest that the Anatomically Modern Man may have originated in Tibet. The Tibetan Man exists as a distinct member of Modern Human Family. Tibet and Tibetan Man do not share the identity of China and the Han Chinese Man. While Tibet is one of the most sparsely populated areas of the world, the origin of Anatomically Modern Man can be discovered in Tibet as the rest of the world hosted other members of Hominin Family that disappeared with the arrival of Homo sapiens. Sapiens as a new subspecies of Homo sapiens.
Tibet Discovery Suggests Humans Inhabited ‘Roof of the World’ Far
Earlier Than Believed
By Pam Wright
November 30 2018 12:46 PM EDT
Excavations at the site of Nwya Devu in central Tibet.
(Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology)
At a Glance
· A team of researchers says humans first set foot on the interior of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.
· That’s about 20,000 earlier than previously thought.
The discovery of 3,600 stone artifacts in Tibet’s high plateau suggests humans inhabited one of the earth’s harshest environments far earlier than previously thought.
According to a paper published this week in Science magazine, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences says humans first set foot on the interior of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, which is some 20,000 years earlier than previously believed.
Most archeologists contended that humans first set foot on the plateau about 20,000 or 30,000 years ago but did not settle permanently until 6,000 or 7,000 years ago.
According to archeological evidence, the region is one of the last habitats colonized by Homo sapiens, which is not surprising considering the harsh conditions.
“The high altitude, atmospheric hypoxia, cold year-round temperatures and low rainfall of the plateau creates an extremely challenging environment for human habitation,” according to a press release.
The plateau is known as the “roof of the world” and remains the third least-populated place on Earth.
Stone artifacts on the surface.
(Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology)
The team confirmed the timeline after finding stone artifacts at the Nwya Devu Paleolithic site located 15,000 feet above sea level in the Changthang region of northern Tibet.
The artifacts discovered were buried undisturbed underground, reliably confirming their age.
“It really is the first robust case to be made that there were human populations on the high plateau,” Jeff Brantingham, an archaeologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies the peopling of the Tibetan Plateau but was not involved with this study, told National Geographic.
Interestingly, no DNA was found on the stone tools so it is difficult to determine who made them.
“The authors used the word ‘Tibetan’ a lot, and they act as if the people they’re looking at are in fact Tibetans — they’re not,” National Geographic explorer Mark Aldenderfer, an archaeologist at the University of California, Merced, told the magazine. “We don’t know who these people were.”
Some studies indicate most modern Tibetan ancestry traces back to a population that separated from the Han Chinese roughly 9,000 years ago.
The archaeologists at the Nwya Devu say the tools are nearly identical to tools recovered from Mongolia and Xinjiang.
The site is about 186 miles northwest of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and is the oldest and highest early Stone Age (Paleolithic) archaeological site known on Earth.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.
“It was the year when George HW Bush took a stance against China’s repressive religious policy after he became the first-ever US President to receive the Dalai Lama officially at the White House.”
In my analysis, the time has come to share an old Tibet story. I am happy to tell about the meeting between His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the US President George Herbert Walker Bush in the White House.
A New start: China certainly requires India’s support to resolve the issue in its favour. Perhaps, the Wuhan meet was just about that!
At a recent academic presentation at Tibetology Research Centre, Beijing, Chinese experts on Tibet said when Deng Xiaoping was seeking an accommodation in Tibet in the 1980s, the Dalai Lama was exploring other options in the West to play mischief against China. On his part, Tibet expert Xiaobin Wang claimed that the most belligerent attempt at confronting China came from the Dalai Lama immediately after the dramatic collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was the year when George HW Bush took a stance against China’s repressive religious policy after he became the first-ever US President to receive the Dalai Lama officially at the White House.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was perhaps prompted to believe that the mightiest of empires could be pulled down by shared power of religion. Whether or not such assessments are accurate, there was no doubting the Dalai Lama’s optimism about a Soviet spinoff effect to either opt for a ‘political process’ or face ‘bloody political struggles’ as he also decided to drop the dialogue path.
The US Tibet Policy Act Bill (2001) and Congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama (2007) ensued worst riots across the plateau in 2008.
Wang insinuated how the West fostered the Dalai Lama to become a potent force and an icon of resistance against China to wage a psychic war against the Communist regime. China’s vitriol against the Dalai Lama as an ‘evil separatist’ never stopped until Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. But the dialogue interrupted in 2010 has never been resumed.
Tibet’s history and polity is rooted in China’s ritualistic order that can’t be changed, Wang asserted. The confusion arose after the British Empire (through eight key conventions between 1876 and 1914) tried to alter Tibet’s status, from a territory of China to a de facto independent nation.
The Dalai Lama’s ‘middle way’ policy is an attempt at regaining a ‘suzerainty’ status like ‘trying to change the liquid, but not the drug’, the Chinese said.
The briefing was a part of the rare trip to Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture organised by China’s foreign ministry to showcase China’s achievements in Tibet. Ganzi (thrice the size of Punjab) proved its economic vitality: the middle class population here drew income from hydropower, geothermal, mining and tourism. The world’s largest methyl card lithium ore reserve is found here. Its agro-products directly go to Hong Kong, to cite few examples.
One could feel the churning — ethnic Chinese own shops everywhere. Tibetans are moving towards Chengdu to buy properties. Most Tibetans were discreet in making political comments. A lama in Xiede town said Xi was revered as lingxiu (wise man) and people are ‘very respectful of Xi’.
Asked discreetly why they were not inviting the Dalai Lama back, the reply invariably was ‘why should we invite him, he left the country by himself!’ Any prospect of his return would be resisted by the power elite network; people are more interested in better living than risking uncertainty, an official said.
Obviously, China still suspects the Dalai Lama’s covert intention to split Tibet from China. It is wary of his ‘disruptive potentials’. It is not ready to risk the chaos ensuing upon his arrival. ‘Tibet is an outlying region and its vulnerabilities could be exploited by anti-China forces,’ noted an official in Khanding.
Yet, I felt, he is still revered as a ‘god-king’ by Tibetan folks, though this question was met with polite reticence by local Tibetan officials. Nobody I spoke to in Ganzi and Beijing thought reconciliation is coming anytime soon. No radical policy change is visible though more and more ordinary Chinese are seemingly getting drawn towards Tibetan Buddhism. I was amazed by the area’s development and natural beauty. But as for the political takeaways, a bit of self-censorship in observation is needed, not only to avoid blocking access by China, but also to be careful to not hurt Tibetan sentiments about narrating China’s ‘Tibet story’.
On the downside, despite China’s high development achievements, some unsettling elements could be felt. The situation concealed as much as it revealed. I could understand the Tibetan obsession for an epistemological and metaphysical-driven life, but failed to figure out why, as practitioners of the most erudite Buddhist philosophy like the Indians, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and others, they fail in adopting the transformative changes.
Perhaps, the greatest challenge before the younger Tibetan masters should include: firstly, to recognise the hard geopolitical reality; secondly, to employ their brand of Buddhism as a bridge to find a common ground; and thirdly, to catalyse Buddhism for bringing about a transformative change in Tibet.
After all, Asian societies have succeeded in spurring an enduring socio-economic change this way.
As for India, the Tibet issue seems no longer a crucial sticking point in its relationship with China. But, China definitely requires India’s support if the issue is to be resolved in its favour. Probably, the Wuhan process was just about that!
The visit has given rise to the idea that it is now time for India to normalise its traditional trade and cultural ties with Tibet that should include reopening of an Indian Consulate in Lhasa. Equally apt to find ways to send high Tibetan lamas back to Tibet if the fruits of investments made by India on them for such a long time are to be reaped fully.
THE LIVING TIBETAN SPIRITS MAKE A DREAM TRIP TO MOUNT EVEREST
As my miserable mortal life journey crawls towards its end without giving me any clue about my destination, I can only afford to make a dream trip to Mount Everest. I give my thanks to photographer Bruce Connolly and ChinaDaily.com.Cn for sharing with me the story about ‘A Road Trip Across Tibet to Mount Everest’. In my analysis, Mount Everest or Qomolangma is my mighty witness testifying in support of true Tibetan Identity. Mount Everest proclaims that Tibet is never a part of China.
Lhasa – the start of the road trip in 2000. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
In 2000, Lhasa was a different city in many ways, compared to what it is today. High on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, it was much more isolated back then. Its airport, a roughly 90-minute drive from downtown, was at that time the only one operating across all of Tibet. In earlier years, flying into Lhasa had been restricted to early morning flights from Chengdu in Sichuan. By 2000, however, it was well-served by modern, powerful jet aircraft capable of landings and takeoffs at high altitudes, able to cope with occasionally difficult afternoon weather conditions. In recent years several new airports have also opened across Tibet.
Despite the advances in aviation technology, flying into Tibet was expensive. Before the completion of the Tibet railway in 2006, roads were the only feasible option for most freight and passenger traffic. It amazed me during my time in Lhasa how so much that made my stay both pleasant and comfortable must surely have come up to the city by road. Two main highways served Lhasa at the time. From Golmud to Xining, Highway G109 was a long, lonely journey through an empty upland plateau. The other route, Highway G318, runs 5,476 kilometers from Shanghai’s People’s Square, via Sichuan and southeastern Tibet ultimately to Zhangmu, the border crossing with Nepal. I would leave Lhasa along G318 on a road trip initially to the base of Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest.
I noticed several oxygen bags loaded into what was a comfortable but strong SUV. Lhasa was modern and well-planned, but outside the city, infrastructure such as road quality was quite variable. The physical terrain often proved very challenging for highway construction, even between Lhasa and Xigaze, Tibet’s second city. Geologically, much of the area is still active. Landslides remained a danger during the rainy season.
Highway 318 at Tingri. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Initially, my departure from Lhasa along G318 followed the road that had brought me a few days earlier from the airport. Nearing the Yarlung Tsangpo Bridge, we turned right for Xigaze. Initially, the route followed a wide valley and the river braided into many channels, with sweeping views toward glacial mountain peaks and ridges. Villages sat near intensively cultivated, irrigated farmland. Then it started narrowing, with scenery becoming increasingly breathtaking. Settlements perched on any patches of level terrain available.
The road started along a ledge cut below almost vertical cliffs. High gullies were filled with long fingers of snow. Below the road, sheer drops reached the river that appeared to be cascading around huge rocks. Workers tirelessly cleared fallen boulders from roadside ditches. Flocks of sheep and goats also shared the road space, with drivers carefully edging past. Gradually the valley widened, and the river slowed, allowing flat-bottomed ferry boats to carry villagers across. Both road width and quality improved. Where bridges spanned river junctions, small restaurants and shops had opened, providing supplies for travelers. At intervals, pack horses gathered beside narrow trails leading to seemingly inaccessible villages.
Eventually, the valley really did widen and the waters calmed, becoming almost lake-like. A tugboat pulled a pontoon carrying vehicles across to the far shore. Some of the landscape appeared as a small sandy desert with protective trees planted along the highway. I noticed poles being erected to carry electricity to some villages while concrete-lined aqueducts helped irrigate reclaimed land for arable farming.
Rounding a bend, I saw a concentration of modern buildings, some even medium-rise. We arrived at Xigaze, at an altitude of 3,836 meters, the highest city I had ever reached. Since that 2000 road trip, travel to and from Xigaze has greatly improved. Not only has the road been upgraded but the railway has been extended from Lhasa and a modern airport opened. Partly in response to such infrastructure investments, tourism has grown significantly, not just to Xigaze but across much of Tibet.
I stayed at the Xigaze-Shandong Hotel, which then was the city’s tallest building. I discovered at that time a certain arrangement existed, where the more developed parts of China were paired up with areas of Tibet to assist in regional assistance programs such as infrastructure projects. Xigaze had relationships with Shanghai and Shandong, Lhasa with Beijing, and so on.
It was an unexpected joy to find excellent accommodation in what in theory was then a remote location. After a spicy Sichuan-style lunch in the hotel, I spent the afternoon visiting Tashilhunpo Monastery. Founded in 1447, it was the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama — Panchen meaning “great scholar”, the title bestowed on the abbots of Tashilhunpo.
I was spellbound by the magnificence of the monastery as I walked through its halls illuminated by trays of butter lamps. One chapel was home to a 26-meter-high copper image of the Maitreya, or Buddha of the future. Around the walls were around 1,000 gold paintings of the Maitreya.
Within an assembly hall dating from the 15th century, chanting monks sat on carpets while above them long thangka images and colored scarves hung from the ceiling. A large throne in the middle was where the Panchen Lamas once sat.
A doorway within Tashilhunpo Monastery Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
I wandered the alleys between prayer halls crowded by people chanting, prostrating themselves, walking clockwise along balconies or spinning personal prayer wheels. Some, along with young monks, scooped up chunks of butter from large bowls and smeared it into lamp bowls. The butter produced a distinctive aroma that seemed to permeate everywhere. Above the monastery’s perimeter wall, people quietly followed the Tashilhunpo Kora (pilgrimage).
That evening I tried writing in my diary but found it a challenge because I had experienced so much throughout the day. I did realize that this hotel would offer the last comfortable bed for the next few days, as there were no more cities ahead on this route, with only small trading towns and to look forward to.
Leaving Xigaze early next morning, I saw many people already walking around the monastery. The road was initially unpaved, passing many exposed multicolored rock formations that stood as a testament to the massive tectonic movements that had uplifted the area’s geology. The land became increasingly dry with small patches of cultivation, mostly barley and potatoes, where water could be sourced. Occasionally someone on horseback would tend herds of black-coated yaks.
Villages. Photo by Bruce Connolly/ChinaDaily.com.Cn
The road would climb up and over several passes usually crowned with prayer flags, such as the 4,500-meter-high Tso-La Pass and the 4,950 meter-high Yulang-La Pass. The visibility was so clear, giving excellent views of distant peaks. At one point I saw the heavy walls of what had been a fort guarding a pass. Descending, lower areas would have limited cultivation, although I did observe groups of farmers scattering seed potatoes onto plowed soil. Ponies pulled wooden carts along the farmers.
Along G318 there also was a regular procession of blue trucks laden with goods, for this road was also the main lifeline to western Tibet.
Some 150 kilometers from Xigaze is Lhaze, a small county whose main street had many small restaurants with name boards in English such as “Chengdu Restaurant”, for it was where G318 to the Nepalese border splits from the highway to western Tibet. Apparently, travelers heading up toward Mount Everest maybe would stay one or two nights, for it was the last real town on the route.
Rongphu Monastery at 5030 meters. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
The road climbed again up a narrow valley where herders would camp while tending their yaks. This led up to Gyatso-La Pass, at an altitude of 5,220 meters, one of the highest along the route. Stopping briefly, I thought it was amazing how people gathered around, yet there was no sign of any habitation. The landscape felt like arctic tundra vegetation, and beyond it, I could finally see the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. However, clouds were building up over those peaks for the monsoon would soon push up from the Indian sub-continent. In this area, the road was not surfaced and it was a constant struggle for work crews to keep it open.
When we reached distance marker 5,115, a sign declared we were entering the Mount Everest Protection Area. Scattered trees indicated the approach toward a small village, Tingri, where the main road turned off to Shegar. Notices proclaiming “guesthouse” and restaurant adorned building exteriors signaled the area was used to visitors. I had lunch in a restaurant that amazingly had television, hi-fi, and a fridge! Boys tried to sell fossils dug up locally while people gathered for onward transport by truck or bus.
Soon after the village was the 63-kilometer route leading up to Mount Everest. As we drove gradually higher, I was enthralled with the geology exposed everywhere, often showing bedding planes of the rocks tilted vertically. That gravel road gradually climbed up through a wide valley with an increasing sensation of being on the roof of the world as we reached the 5,120-meter-high summit of Pang-La Pass. Beyond it lay one of the most spectacular views in the world. Along the horizon stood the glacial peaks of the Himalayas, with Mount Everest, or Qomolangma, at the center. It was so stunning I could easily have stayed there all day.
A wide section of Yarlung Tsangpo near Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
From the summit, the road descended through a moon-like landscape reaching a small agricultural village, Tashi Dzom. Notices again in English advertised accommodation and dining. Turning right into a broad valley, we encountered a river spreading over a wide terrain of gravel and stones, which was actually meltwater draining off the northern slopes of Mount Everest. Jeeps carrying tourists descended as we headed higher, passing Chodzom, possibly the world’s highest village, again offering a hotel built in a local Tibetan style. The route went up through boulder fields, the descending river now milky white as it carried so much gravel and crushed stones. At an altitude of 5,030 meters sat Rongphu Monastery, the last inhabited building before the base of Mount Everest. I would stay there overnight, but first, the last section of the road had to be skillfully accomplished.
The going was extremely rough, bumping over many rocks and glacial debris while driving through streams. Great mounds of stones and silt had been carried down and deposited by the Rongphu Glacier. Reaching the road’s end, I found myself lacking the energy to manage anything beyond a slow walk up a gravelly hill. There was no vegetation on this stark landscape, but it was very inspiring. My only disappointment was that Everest was wrapped in clouds. It was windy and felt very cold.
Across the high, arctic, plateau lands. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
I returned to the guesthouse for a simple meal of egg fried rice and pot noodles, and went to bed, trying to sleep, an almost impossible task. This proved fortuitous. As dawn was breaking I went outside for a glimpse of the grandeur of Mount Everest exposed before me. I sat on a rock trying to take it all in, the world’s highest peak. At last, I had arrived at this breathtaking vista, which I had seen so many times in books from years back. Within 30 minutes the clouds once again enveloped it!
I enjoyed a simple breakfast, and then weathered a bumpy descent as villages such as Chodzom were waking up. I watched people heading out to the fields, some by horseback, and children going to school.
Back over the Pang-La Pass, with its many prayer flags, it felt like time for a memorable look back toward Mount Everest, sadly almost obscured by clouds. Soon we returned back to the G318, stopping for lunch at Tingri before arriving in Xigaze once again. I had accomplished an incredible journey, thanks in part to the amazing skills of my Tibetan driver.
Amazing colors of the land alongside the highway. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Dawn over Mount Everest – thirty minutes later it clouded over. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
End of the road to Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Glacial meltwater river from Mount Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Groups of monks at Tashilhunpo Monastery Xigaze. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn ]
Highway 318 to Xigaze along Yarlung Tsangpo River. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Incredible geological formations alongside road up to Pang-la Pass. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Pang-la Pass 5120 meters. Looking towards the Himalayan foothills. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Prayer flags on high passes along the highway. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Rough driving on G318 and a former fort above the road. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Villages along the road to Everest. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
Villages and a mill where there was water. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE REMEMBERS THE 41st US PRESIDENT
Special Frontier Force remembers the 41st US President George Herbert Walker Bush for he served as the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency. In President Ford’s final year in office, Bush was appointed the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which was in disarray after years of scandalous revelations. Though he was only there a year, he was credited for restoring the agency’s morale, and he was well thought of by longtime hands. The main building at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., was renamed in his honor in 1999.
Special Frontier Force deeply mourns the loss of President George H W Bush while acknowledging the role of the US Central Intelligence Agency fostering friendly relationships between the people of the US, India, and Tibet.
George Herbert Walker Bush, whose lone term as the 41st president of the United States ushered in the final days of the Cold War and perpetuated a family political dynasty that influenced American politics at both the national and state levels for decades, died Friday evening. He was 94.
Bush was the last president to have served in the military during World War II and the last whose worldview had been shaped by the imperative to contain Communist expansionism. His experience in international diplomacy served him well as he dealt with the unraveling of the Soviet Union as an oppressive superpower, and later the rise of China as a commercial behemoth and potential partner.
As cautious and restrained as he was in foreign matters, Bush had an inclination for personal risk-taking that showed up early in his life, when he became a carrier pilot in the war — one of the most dangerous jobs in the military — and then stuck out on his own at war’s end, eschewing a comfortable job in New York to become an oilman in Texas.
Steeped in noblesse oblige and the importance of public service, Bush always felt the lure of political life. It finally snared him in 1962 when he was chosen to head Houston’s fledgling GOP. He spent the next three decades in the political limelight, enjoying a roller-coaster career that saw more defeats than victories yet improbably landed him in the White House.
Bush was elected president in 1988 as the successor to Ronald Reagan, a conservative icon whom he ran against and then served as vice president. Unlike Reagan, he was a pragmatic leader guided by moderation, consensus building, and a sense for problem-solving shorn of partisan rhetoric. Like his father, who served in the U.S. Senate, he swore no allegiance to orthodox tenets. That put him at odds with a take-no-prisoners attitude of a new breed of Republicans and helped do in his reelection bid, sending him home to Houston in forced retirement.
Most of Bush’s political career was spent in appointed jobs, where he demonstrated loyalty and a quick-study competence, rarely making headlines. Expectations were modest when he became president. Many in his party hoped he would simply follow in Reagan’s footsteps. Instead, he quickly distinguished himself as the postwar order began to undergo dramatic changes.
Bush was put to the test shortly after taking office. Surging movements in Eastern Europe saw an opportunity to free themselves from the Soviet yoke, thanks in part to the liberalizing influence of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Bush’s measured response allowed events to unfold, including the destruction of the Berlin Wall, without triggering potentially catastrophic responses from Soviet hard-liners.
Bush again displayed his diplomatic skills in the summer of 1990 when he coordinated a multinational response to the military invasion of tiny Middle East nation Kuwait by neighboring Iraq and its dictator, Saddam Hussein. The victorious Operation Desert Storm brought high approval ratings that appeared to guarantee a second term.
Domestic matters proved a different sort of challenge. Plagued by inherited budget deficits and a Congress under the control of Democrats, Bush was pushed into a tax increase that belied his explicit promise to allow none. He agreed to it because he recognized it was in the country’s best interest, but the political damage was severe. His reelection bid fell short, a failing that haunted him for years. Uncharacteristically, it even caused him to wonder whether history would regard him as a failed president.
“I think over the years he fares well,” said presidential historian Henry Brands, the author of seven presidential biographies and a professor at the University of Texas. “If voters have a referendum and they vote you down, that automatically puts you down a rung. It’s unfair. Bush always was rated very highly by historians more than he was by the public. I think that is changing.”
Bush was born into privilege and reared in the cradle of America’s economic aristocracy, yet from an early age, he refused to ride the coattails of entitlement. Approaching his graduation from Yale University in 1948, he was offered a job at his family’s Wall Street investment firm, close to his native Connecticut. He turned it down. Whatever his destiny, he vowed that it would be fully earned.
So began a remarkable journey that would lead him from the elegant estates of New England to the dusty plains of West Texas, to the leafy precincts of Houston’s nicest neighborhoods, to foreign capitals and back to America’s own, into political campaigns at the humblest level and one that ultimately netted him the White House.
Bush’s long life encompassed the full arc of the 20th century, beginning in an era of steamships and a new ideology called Communism and ending as American spaceships explored distant planets and the hammer-and-sickle was mostly a fading emblem on old flags. He was to be the last president of his generation, which came of age during the Great Depression, participated in a cataclysmic world war, and ushered in unprecedented American power and prosperity.
Turning away from the preordained comfortable life, Bush struck out for Texas and found success, first as an independent oilman and later as a young Congressman from Houston. The misfortune of bad timing hurt him at times in his pursuit of higher office, yet a string of high-profile appointed positions reflected the faith others had in his ability and kept alive his dream of fulfilling his father’s prediction that someday he would become president.
“The world was fortunate to have his background and instincts at a turning point,” said Robert Gates, who served as Bush’s CIA director and deputy national security adviser. “The collapse and end of the Cold War look sort of pre-ordained in hindsight, but for those who were there, it was not clear how it would happen.”
Gates, who served in eight presidential administrations, suggested that Bush never received the credit he deserved for quietly “greasing the skids” that saw Communists slide from power in the Soviet Union.
Though Bush came to be widely respected by foreign leaders and diplomats, his political profile at home was different. He had long been dogged by assertions that he was a bland and hazy character, aloof and dilettantish. The image baffled him and many who knew him. He was chided for a lack of apparent vision, yet it was not his nature to view himself as a visionary.
To some, Bush paled in comparison to his strong-willed predecessor in the White House, but he was simply a different breed of politician: a traditional Republican whose belief in limited government was in no way at odds with his view that public service was a calling.
Reagan’s famous maxim that government was not the solution to a problem but the problem itself was not Bush’s view, which might explain why his single term arguably resulted in more significant legislative achievements than Reagan’s two, among them the Americans with Disabilities Act, a bolstered Clean Air Act, and an increased minimum wage.
His ethical standards rarely were questioned. His judgment was the product of studied deliberation and ample give-and-take with advisers. He regularly entertained Democratic leaders at the White House and made a great effort to develop personal relationships over drinks and a game of horseshoes, just as he had in the diplomatic world over many years.
“President Bush was inclined to forgive and forget past slights, defeats, and even outrages,” said longtime aide Chase Untermeyer. “Thus did he offer rides to Maine for Senator George Mitchell, make the daughter of Senator Sam Nunn the head of the Points of Light Foundation, and — to clinch the case — become buddies with Bill Clinton.”
Bush was by nature a practical manager. He believed his job was to get something done, taking incremental steps when big ones were unobtainable. He had no use for those who would sacrifice progress on the altar of philosophical purity, nor did he regard opponents as enemies.
He was defeated in an unusual three-way contest with Democrat Clinton and Texas billionaire Ross Perot — a sour coda to a stellar career. Though he had been ambivalent about even running for reelection, the loss would gnaw on him. He believed that he left the job he signed up for unfinished.
Bush was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Mass., to Prescott and Dorothy Bush, the second of five children, four of them boys. His was an idyllic childhood spent among the nation’s economically privileged, with numerous trips to family estates in Maine and South Carolina.
Although the hardships of the Great Depression did not severely affect the Bushes, his parents tried to stress that good fortune should not be taken for granted, insisting on modesty at all times, along with concern for those going through hard times. Work mattered. Life, they insisted, was no country club affair.
Bush attended Phillips Academy, a famous boarding school in Andover, Mass., where he excelled academically and athletically. He was a favorite of his classmates, often chosen to captain the teams he was on and known to call out bullies who bedeviled the less popular students.
As he grew to adulthood, he slowly soaked up the history of generations of Walkers and Bushes and began to understand the expectations for those of his class and background — a demand for service to the public good largely divorced from personal gain. It made a deep impression on him.
“Bush was a figure of an older, fading order of American power,” wrote Bush biographer Jon Meacham in “Dynasty and Power,” a 2015 authorized biography. “When his family and … friends looked at him, they saw a man who could have spent his life making and spending money, but who had chosen to obey the biblical injunction, drilled into him by his parents, that to whom much is given much is expected.”
Bush’s first great test came as his days at Andover were ending, graduating in the face of a world succumbing to a widening war. He might have been able to use connections for a service academy appointment or a plum job that did not place him in harm’s way. Like many of his friends and others of his class, including Joseph and John Kennedy, he chose the opposite path.
Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy upon finishing high school in 1942 and hoped to become a pilot. He earned his wings and was commissioned an ensign before his 19th birthday. His wartime duty was spent in the Pacific flying a three-man Avenger torpedo bomber.
Bush piloted 58 combat missions from the carrier USS San Jacinto, but one stood out. During a Sept. 2, 1944, attack on Japanese positions on Chichi-Jima, one of the Bonin Islands, his Avenger was badly hit by flak. He was able to complete the bombing run but ordered the other two crewmen to “hit the silk” as the plane headed toward the water. He did likewise and was able to haul himself into a life raft after popping up from the sea, dazed and out of breath. His crewmates were never found.
Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, yet never considered himself a war hero despite the efforts of later political advertising. “They wrote it up as heroism,” Bush said late in his life of the paperwork leading to the decoration, “but it wasn’t — it was just doing your job.”
In January 1945, while on leave, Bush wed his pre-war fiancee, Barbara Pierce. The two had met at a dance when he was at Phillips and she at a tiny boarding school in South Carolina. Her family, like his, came from old money, and among her ancestors were early New England settlers. A distant relative, Franklin Pierce, was the 14th American president.
He graduated in under three years because of an accelerated program offered to veterans eager to make up for lost time. He again excelled at sports and captained the baseball team, for which he played first base. He was just as adept in the classroom, gaining Phi Beta Kappa distinction and an economics degree. Yet, as he acknowledged, what should have been idyllic college years had been altered by the war. The class of 1948 were serious men intent on getting out and getting going.
As graduation approached, Bush balked at an offer to join a prominent investment bank started by his maternal grandfather. To a friend he wrote that it bothered him to take advantage of “the benefits of my social position.”
A close family friend encouraged him to think of the oil business, which would take him to Texas. Oil drilling was as foreign to him as tightrope walking or fashion design, but it appealed to his taste for risk and held the promise of great wealth.
In the summer of 1948, Bush loaded up his new Studebaker, a graduation gift, and pointed it southwest, ending up in Odessa several days later. Barbara and their new baby, George, flew down after he had found lodging in a weathered duplex, their first Texas home. Their new life began. The family friend had provided an entry-level sales position with an oilfield tool company, the bottom rung on the ladder. It should be noted this was no ordinary friend — Neil Mallon was the head of Dresser Industries, a leading oilfield equipment company.
By 1950, he, Barbara, and their two young children were living in Midland, where he had formed an oil company with a neighbor, John Overbey. Financial backing came from Bush’s father and some of his father’s friends and business contacts.
With no geologic or engineering background, Bush learned the business from the ground up, “walking fields, talking to people, and trying to make deals,” Overbey later recalled in an interview. Three years later, he and Overbey joined up with two brothers, Hugh and William Liedtke, to form Zapata Petroleum. An offshore subsidiary was formed a year later.
Zapata raised more money and gambled on an interest in a field in Coke County that skeptics claimed was played out. One of the brothers, Bill Liedtke, said years later that the young company drilled 130 wells and never had a dry hole. As for politics, there wasn’t much time for it, though Bush did later mention his modest role as a Republican precinct worker. In one particular primary, he later recalled, perhaps apocryphally, only three GOP voters showed up: him, his wife, and a drunken Democrat who wandered into the wrong polling station.
Bush enjoyed his time in Midland, learning a business, tending to a growing family and making friends who would prove important later. The closeness of the city’s business community was evident when the Bush family’s life was interrupted by tragedy. The second of the children, daughter Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia in 1953 before the disease became largely curable.
His fledgling business career was all but put on hold for more than six months as he, Barbara and Robin made repeated trips to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Barbara tried to approach their new circumstances with stoic resolve, to the point of booting visitors out of Robin’s hospital room if they cried. Her husband became increasingly emotional and often was the one who had to leave the room. Robin died later in 1953.
“I hadn’t cried at all when Robin was alive, but after she died, I felt I could cry forever,” she recalled in a 1988 interview with Texas Monthly. “George had a much harder time when she was sick. He was just killing himself, while I was very strong. That’s the way a good marriage works. Had I cried a lot, he wouldn’t have. But then things reversed after she died. George seemed to accept it better.”
The Bushes lived in Midland for almost a decade. It was where he made his first real money — his own money — and where he established his image as a true if transplanted, Texan, one who could down to a bowl of chili at lunch and chicken-fried steak at dinner, snacking in between on pork rinds. Everyone in town knew George Bush — “Poppy,” his childhood nickname, had been jettisoned along with the Brooks Brothers suits — but isolated West Texas was not where he needed to be.
During the early 1960s, Bush began to feel the political itch, or to be more precise, respond to an itch that had been there for years, and waded into a successful race for Harris County GOP Chairman to make sure it did not fall into the hands of perceived extremists in the party’s right wing, many of whom were members of the conspiracy-hawking John Birch Society.
Though little known outside of Houston and Midland, Bush campaigned vigorously as a different sort of Republican, less in step with the northeastern wing of his father and closer to the politics of Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. He went full-tilt conservative, opposing, among other socially progressive initiatives, the pending Civil Rights Act.
“This mean, humorless philosophy which says everybody should agree on absolutely everything is not good for the Republican Party or our state,” Bush wrote to a friend after the loss. “When the word moderate becomes a dirty word, we have some soul-searching to do.”
In November 1966, Bush ran for Congress and won, becoming the first Republican from Houston and the star of the growing Texas GOP. He ended up with a plum appointment to the Ways and Means committee — a party nod to the importance of Texas. His voting record was predictably conservative, though not as hard right as his previous rhetoric suggested, and he ended up voting for the Civil Rights Act, as a result receiving stacks of hate mail and some death threats.
Mike Tolson is a senior Chronicle reporter who specializes in long-term projects. He can be reached by e-mail at Mike.Tolson@chron.com.
BLESSINGS FOR PEACE – MY PRAYERS TO TIBET’S MOUNTAINS FOR JUSTICE
Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility define the Tibetan Living Experience. Tibetans pray to their Mountains to receive the Blessings for Peace. I am praying to Tibet’s Mountains to give us Justice in addition to Peace.
From the meandering Brahmaputra River winding its way through the Himalayas to the magnificent vision of the Kangchenjunga melding with the sky above, here are some colorful and dramatic paintings of Tibet’s mountains.
The painting – titled "Tangla. The Song about Shambhala" – shows a mythical paradise. Shambhala is believed to be the birthplace of Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. (Found in the collection of State Museum of Oriental Art.)
A 1924 work titled "Padma Sambhava." Padmasambhava was an Indian sage who is said to have introduced Tantric Buddhism to Bhutan and Tibet in the eighth century. (Found in the collection of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City, New York, U.S.)
In my analysis, Tibet Separatism is just a natural phenomenon for it is entirely derived from the actions of various Natural Forces acting over thousands of years to create the separate Tibetan Identity which refuses to merge with identities of other foreign nationalities. Tibetan Identity will always exist as a ‘Separate’ Identity and no man will be able to wipe it out by building roads, bridges, railways, airports to plunder the natural resources of Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan Separatism does not constitute any kind of political activity. In fact, Tibetan Separatism represents the reality of Independence granted by the works of Mother Nature.
China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans claim they were essentially independent for most of that time
Press Trust of India
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama interacts with the leaders of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) at his residence, in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, on October 24. (HT File Photo)
China on Tuesday hit out at the Dalai Lama who is on a visit to Japan, saying that countries should not facilitate the Tibetan spiritual leader’s “separatist activities”.
On the Dalai Lama’s reported comments that China and Tibet should co-exist and prosper together, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here that the Tibet issue is an internal matter of Beijing.
“As for the Dalai Lama’s speech, it is not up to me to answer this question. I can tell you that the 14th Dalai Lama is a political exile and he is engaged in separatist activities,” he said.
“We hope the relevant parties will not provide facilitation for his separatist activities,” he said.
China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans claim they were essentially independent for most of that time. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.
The Dalai Lama is on a 10-day teaching tour of Japan. China routinely objects to his foreign visits.
MY REFLECTIONS ON HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY 2018 – MAN’S EXISTENCE AS A SOCIAL BEING
On Thursday, November 22, 2018, Thanksgiving Day, I want to share my thoughts on the ‘Social’ dimension of man’s existence in the natural world. Man’s mental health and well-being are determined by his ability to formulate harmonious social relations. Man uses food and drink as tools to develop and to sustain his social relationships.
In my analysis, the singular reality called Man represents a biological or biotic community of independent, individual cells apart from trillions of individual microorganisms that man hosts by providing them food and shelter all the time.
The Tradition of Thanksgiving Day
The tradition of Thanksgiving Day – Man lives by giving Thanks during all days of his life.
In the United States, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of feasting, and it often serves as a public expression of thanks to God in the form of a prayerful eating of food. It commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest and a friendly relationship between Plymouth Colonists and Native Americans in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington was celebrated on November 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday.
GRATITUDE IS AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The word “Thanks” is used to acknowledge the feelings of gratitude for a benefit that we have received; grateful acknowledgment of something received by or done for one. Giving thanks is an act that reveals the spiritual nature of a relationship between two or more entities involved in interactions. The term ‘spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship, partnership, an association, or bonding between two living entities based upon characteristics such as cooperation, mutual assistance, tolerance, sympathy, compassion, voluntary subservience, and functional subordination to provide some benefit to the members of a biotic community participating in the biotic interactions at a given place, and in a given environment. The human organism represents a biotic community of interacting living cells. It is estimated that the human body consists of about 100 trillion cells, and the human body carries about ten times as many bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are important to the health of humans. The man has no cortical awareness of the colonization of his body by microbial flora and has no direct awareness of the biotic interactions that take place inside his gut. The biotic interactions between the gut cells of the human body and the bacterial cells have the characteristics of spiritual biotic interactions.
Living cells have a corporeal substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm that demonstrates the ability that I choose to describe as Spiritual Biotic Interactions. The Biological Membrane or Cell Membrane separates the cell from its environment and other living cells present in the environment. Cells use unique proteins, biological molecules and receptor sites to recognize the other living cells and use chemical signals to facilitate the interactions. Such interactions between living cells involve cognitive abilities, the characteristics of consciousness or awareness.
The biotic interactions take place at the cellular level and are dependent upon the conscious nature of living cell that gives it the ability to recognize the presence of other living cells in its external environment. The anatomical organ known as the brain does not play any role in these spiritual biotic interactions inside the human gastrointestinal tract. Each time we eat a meal, consume any food or drink, the act of eating gets transformed into ‘Thanksgiving’. The man has no choice and has no control over the beneficial effects his eating contributes to the microbial flora of the gut with whom he had established a mutually beneficial social relationship. Whether he likes it or not, whether he knows it or not, man lives by providing a Thanksgiving meal during all the days of his existence. Each meal functions as a serving of ‘Gratitude’. While his existence is dependent upon Lord God Creator’s Power/Force/Energy known as Mercy, Compassion, Grace, and ‘KRUPA’, the man may or may not publicly express his thanks in acknowledgment of that Compassion. However, man has no escape from the act of giving thanks and living as a Natural Host to trillions of unknown microbes.
MAN’S ESSENCE AND EXISTENCE – THE IDEA OF THANKSGIVING:
The idea of giving thanks to God is associated with the fact of celebrating the success of a bountiful harvest. Man expresses joy and happiness for success in his physical and mental endeavors. The success is often measured by the gain in material prosperity, social position and public acclaim. The desire for success is often driven by ambition, a craving for a desired object called success. It gives the impression that man would be forced to experience pain, misery, sorrow, and despair if he encounters failure in his physical and mental work. I ask readers to examine the reality or the truth that establishes man’s biological existence in the physical world. The man may try his very best to define the purpose of his mortal existence or his Essence in terms of his physical and mental output. Man is conditioned to think that his experience of joy and happiness in life is a simple product of his physical and mental work. In my opinion, man is conditioned by Fear, the fear of failure in his struggle for Existence. When properly examined, it must be recognized that human existence primarily involves what may be called Divine Grace, Mercy, and Compassion or Providence. Human Existence shows the characteristics of a design, or plan to achieve a desired goal or objective. For man need not struggle to keep his existence, there is no need to fear and man has no reason to strive to avoid failure in life. When the expectation about failure is emptied from the mind, man liberates himself from the thoughts of fear. In the absence of fear, and in the absence of the expectation of failure, man finds the experience of a living condition that is characterized by Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility. Without the experience of peace, harmony, and tranquility in the living condition, there will be no true or real joy and happiness in life. The Freedom from Fear, the lack of concern about an outcome that could be called Failure gives the man a true ability to give Thanks to God for His benevolent guidance. Today, in giving Thanks to God, I want to proclaim my Victory over Fear, the Fear of Failure in my life.
I extend my best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of my readers.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
John Milton (1608 – 1674), in his greatest poetic achievement of ‘PARADISE LOST’ describes Man’s First Disobedience of God, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein Man was placed. Adam, the first Man who was created in God’s image and likeness brought Death into the World. God declares that Adam and Eve could no longer abide in ‘Garden of Eden‘, the Paradise. God sends Angel Michael with a Band of Cherubim to dispossess them. Michael reveals to Adam the ‘Law of Temperance’ which could help him to live for many long years. Angel Michael also comforted Adam by assuring him that if he observes the ‘Law of Temperance’, Death would be like the gentle act of gathering a ripe fruit when fully mature.
PARADISE LOST, BOOK XI ( 520-540) :
In John Milton’s epic poem of Paradise Lost, angel Michael explained ‘The Law of Temperance’ to Adam, the first created man to face the threat of death.
I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?
There is, said, Michael, if thou well observe
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
Into thy Mother lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly pluckt, for Death mature:
THE NATURE OF TEMPERANCE
The essence of Temperance is choosing moderation and deliberately avoid excess. In Indian Culture, and Tradition, living in moderation and living in virtue are almost identical. Socrates suggests that one should “choose that which is orderly and sufficient and has a due provision for daily needs”. He compares the intemperate man “to a vessel full of holes because it can never be satisfied”. Socrates describes the temperate man as able to satisfy his limited desires, whereas the intemperate man of boundless desire, can never pause in his search of pleasure. According to Freud, when “the ego learns that it must inevitably go without immediate satisfaction, postpone gratification, learn to endure a degree of pain, and altogether renounce certain sources of pleasure”, it “becomes ‘reasonable’, is no longer controlled by the pleasure-principle, but follows the reality-principle”, which seeks ” a delayed and diminished pleasure, one which is assured by its realization of fact, its relation to reality”.
TEMPERANCE AND COURAGE
Saint Thomas Aquinas and ‘The Law of Temperance’.
Thomas Aquinas has defined Temperance as “a disposition of the soul, moderating any passions or acts, so as to keep them within bounds. Temperate refers to a man who abstains from bodily pleasures and delights in this very fact. A man not only acts temperately but is temperate in character, when his desires are themselves habitually moderated to be in accord with reason. A temperate man is not pained at the absence of pleasure or by his abstinence from it. Temperance contributes the virtue of Fortitude which strengthens men against “the enticement of pleasure” as well as against the fear of pain. A man who is able to stand firm against the onslaught of pleasures is more able to remain firm against the dangers of death. And so “Temperance can be said to be Brave”. The endurance of pain is central to the nature of Courage. Temperance and Courage are not distinct virtues as both are based upon an ability to stand firm against pain and danger.
NINE YEARS LONG SERVICE MEDAL – A SALUTE TO THE LAW OF TEMPERANCE :
During my service in the Indian Army Medical Corps, I learned the values of Temperance, Fortitude, Courage, and delaying gratification of desires, and avoid seeking physical comforts and pleasures.
During the first nine years of my Indian Army Service, apart from taking part in the War of Liberation of Bangladesh, I participated in a variety of Army Operations that keep the men ready and prepared for a battle. Military Training and Service can be best described as habituation for a temperate character. The nature of Army Operations and Tactics always demand to overcome the onslaught of sense pleasures and voluntarily delaying the gratification of personal desires. A lifestyle based upon physical ease and comfort and indulgence in food and alcohol is not compatible with the Army way of life. The nature of Army Operations is influenced by terrain, climatic conditions, distances and the availability of transportation. There is no scope to cater for physical comfort, relaxation, and entertainment. The supply of rations and food provisions is limited because of the problems of their bulk and weight. Army Rules and the Code of Conduct would emphasize that men should honor their commitment to serve more than anything else. Such commitment to Serve with Honor would only be possible only when the man in uniform lives in accordance with the Law of Temperance.
Dr R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
TIBET AWARENESS – TIBET IS THE CORE ISSUE FOR INDIA
There should be no border dispute between India and the People’s Republic of China as they do not share a common border. The problem of China’s military occupation of Tibet should be addressed by the global community of nations to secure Peace, Security, and Justice in South Asia.
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India as China is trying to "influence" all of its neighbours, Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government in exile has said.
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India, says Lobsang Sangay (Reuters)
Tibet should be one of the core issues for India as China is trying to “influence” all of its neighbours, Lobsang Sangay, the head of the Tibetan government in exile has said. China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for most of that time. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland.
Sangay, who is currently here, has met a number of senior US administration officials, congressmen and senators and members of the think-tank community like the Hudson Institute. Explaining his quest for India making “Tibet a core issue”, Harvard educated Sangay said that after the occupation of Tibet, the People’s Liberation Army has now moved near the border of India.
“Now they are influencing all of India’s neighbours, from Pakistan, to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is a reality now,” he said in an interview to PTI.
India and Tibet have had historically, cultural and civilizational ties for hundreds of years, he said, adding Tibet is the source of water for India and South Asia. “For these reasons, Tibet is very important for not just India, for whole of South Asia and ASEAN countries too. Hence, Tibet should be one of the core issues for India,” Sangay said.
“China has already said Tibet is one of the core issues. So, India should also table Tibet as one of the core issues and address this issue with Tibetan people in mind,” he said. Responding to a question, Sangay said that the people of Tibet are following the middle way approach by seeking “genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution”. “This is the reasonable moderate line,” he said.
For that there should be a dialogue between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government, he said. He sought the revival of a dialogue that happened between 2002 to 2010. “We think, that kind of dialogue will lead to the resolution of the Tibetan issue,” he said.