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Health By Laden Tshering Samdup
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 14 August 2017
Features

Interviews Democracy is not a subject alien to Tibetans,


Weather and they have been practicing democracy for
centuries. I have seen many quotes by great
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statesman on democracy, but I have yet to
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find a better one than the Tibetan verse of
Election 2016 ‘The Four Immeasurables’ (tse me shi) to
Links succinctly and comprehensively describe the
aspirations of a democracy.
Arts and Letters
The Four Immeasurables Laden Tshering Samdup
CTA

Dalai Lama May all sentient beings have happiness


McLeod Ganj and the causes of happiness;

Miss Tibet May all sentient beings be free from suffering


Music Tibet and the causes of suffering;

TCHRD May all sentient beings never be separated from


Support Us the happiness that knows no suffering;
Help us to serve you
better. Donate May all sentient beings live in equanimity,
through PayPal or
contact us. free from attachment and aversion.
sem chen tam chay de wa dang
de way gyu dang den par gyur chig

sem chen tam chay dug ngel dang


dug ngel kyi gyu dang del war gyur chig

sem chen tam chay dug ngel me pay de wa dang


mi drel war gyur chig

sem chen tam chay nye ring chag dang


nyi dang drel way dang nyom la nay par gyur chig

I find this verse resonates well with the aspirations of a democracy, because
whatever rights a democracy guarantees its citizens — be it the right to
speech, right to education, right to profession, etc. — they ultimately
converge to give happiness to its citizens, remove their suffering, and last
but not least, these rights are to be enjoyed by all irrespective of their
colour, caste, creed, etc.

So Tibetans don’t need a Constitution to reinforce their allegiance to


democratic values. This simple but all-encompassing verse is sufficient, and
they use it every time they say their prayer.

The right to exercise one’s franchise while electing one’s leader is the sine
qua non of democracy. This system of representation is supposed to
safeguard the interest of its citizens, but we are all aware of the pitfalls of
such a system.

The Tibetan system of reincarnate Lamas appears to have done a much


better job. The present Dalai Lama, His Holiness, was chosen from a simple
farmer family and not as scion of some powerful political family, indicative
of the equal opportunity nature of the system. From the age of two he was
trained and educated to be a benevolent leader. His wisdom, his leadership,
his statesmanship, and worldwide accolades have garnered him followers
not only in the Tibetan community but outside as well. He stands out as a
shining example of the success of the system of reincarnate lamas.

The Tibetan Government in Exile and Tibetan Diaspora across the world will
be celebrating 57th Tibetan Democracy Day, come 2 September 2017. As
usual, there will be gathering of dignitaries, low tone and tenor speeches,
small tete-a-tete, and everybody will disperse to meet again in 2018 to
celebrate the 58th Democracy Day.

Fifty-seven years is a pretty long and tiring wait by any standard. However
Tibetans have not lost hope and still look to the Tibetan Government in Exile
to give them freedom and democracy. They are silently tolerating the
oppression and brutalities of the Chinese occupation forces. These are the
silent majority, the 98% of Tibetans living now inside Tibet, whose welfare
must be kept uppermost in the minds of TGiE. It is understandable that
their guest status hinders TGiE from taking any strong actions that could
destabilize the relation between their host country India and China, but with
the winds of change blowing and India itself in serious predicament, it’s now
time to shed the complacency and to up the ante.

China appears to be intoxicated by economic success, with unfettered and


indiscriminate use of oppressive measures. They are now raring to use their
power to subdue the rest of the world. They have adopted a war-like
posture against Western powers lead by USA over the South China Sea, and
war may be imminent with India on various border issues.

China has a penchant for distorting historical facts to its advantage. Its
historical basis for laying claim on the South China Sea was
unceremoniously dumped by The Hague Tribunal. There is not an iota of
doubt that if their historical basis for invading and conquering the
independent nation of Tibet is similarly scrutinized, it would meet the same
fate. Doklam is the latest in the series of Chinese white lies and they have
the impetuosity to threaten India, again quoting a historical basis of 1962
war.

Whether China can walk the talk on Doklam issue is a different issue, but
what can certainly occur is another historical basis that has the potential to
hit the Chinese a sledge hammer blow. This history is reiterated in the
annals of the great Second World War. During the Second World War Nazi
Germany, a totalitarian regime like the CCP, had embarked on a
harebrained scheme of world domination and had been able to conquer
almost all of Europe and bring its people under its tyrannical rule.
Fortunately for the conquered nations, Germany’s might was challenged by
the Allied powers of Great Britain, America, etc., and war was ongoing.
Partisans or freedom fighters emerged from within the vanquished nations
and fought the War of Resistance. They collected vital military intelligence
and passed it on to allied powers. They sabotaged German military troop
movements, supplies and communications.

Their tales of valor and sacrifices have become national folklores. Ultimately
they gained freedom and mighty Germany was reduced to rubbles. It
sounds a bit like a fairy tale, but it is possible to have a repeat of that
scenario albeit at a different place and by a different set of people.

Here it is worth recounting the history of Operation Anthropoid, undertaken


by Czech freedom fighters and considered the most important event in the
history of World War II. France and Britain had capitulated to Hitler’s
demands, and Czechoslovakia had ceased to exist as a nation. However
these brave freedom fighters became martyrs to successfully conclude the
operation on 27 May 1942 in Prague. SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard
Heydrich, Head of the Nazi’s dreaded secret Police Gestapo, was
assassinated. Hitler’s reprisal was severe and 5,000 Czech civilians were
said to have been executed. However, the Allied Forces restored the
nationhood of Czechoslovakia and the Czech government-in-exile gained
legitimacy.

Let’s cross our fingers and hope for a speedy end to days of celebrating the
Democracy Day with a heavy heart and grimace born out of extreme
frustration and sense of helplessness. At the same time we must realize that
we are not all Lamas, and a free and democratic Tibet is not going to be
offered to us on a platter by someone else as ‘Cho’. So let’s pull up our
pants, look back over our shoulders at our unfortunate brethren we left
behind and be the pathfinders of their salvation. Lead kindly light.

Tashi De Lek to ALL.

About the author

Laden Tshering Samdup is a retired businessman living in Kathmandu. He has MA (Hons) in


economics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science from Pilani, Rajasthan, India. He can
be reached c/o Boudha Peace School, Phulbari, Kathmandu, Nepal.

More articles by Laden Tshering Samdup on Tibet Sun.

Copyright © 2017 Laden Tshering Samdup

Published in Tibet Sun

Posted in Opinions » Tags: China, Exile Tibetans, Human Rights, India, Tibetan
Cause

Comments
There are 2 comments so far.

2. chewang Ngokhang, from Southern California, says:


on 15 August 2017 at 2:46 am

At a time when prominent Tibetan lamas are falling from fame, it’s a relief
to hear of ancient Tibetan Buddhist concepts of democracy from a lay
person. It surely feels like a breath of fresh air.

As a result of many Tibetan monks’ return to Tibet, coupled with their


intense efforts to spread Buddha’s peaceful teachings, today Buddhist
population in China is said to be hovering around the population of North
America — the majority being among the youth and elite.

It is also said these days at Zhongnanhai (central headquarters for the


Communist Party) every other quarter has a Buddha’s statue or some
image, and some even display the Dalai Lama’s (His Holiness’s) picture. Let
democracy and freedom ring in China.

1. Sandra S. F. Erickson, from Natal, RN, Brazil, says:


on 14 August 2017 at 7:59 pm

It is indeed a very profund commentary on the nature of democracy; it


shows perfectly how advanced Tibetans are in terms of teaching, learning
and struggling to put into practice a political system that can take care not
only of people, but of all beings in Mother Earth. Thank you for this lucid
comment.

Sorry, commenting is closed for older stories.

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