Too much global pressure on China won't help Tibetans

Sep 5, 2010

Category: Shamarpa Rinpoche

New Delhi, Sep. 5 (PTI) -- While Tibetan activists around the world seek greater support for their cause, the Shamarpa, the top monk of one of the oldest Tibetan schools of Buddhism,
believes that too much international pressure on China may only make things worse for the community.

According to the revered monk, who forms the second line of reincarnation of Karma Kargyu
order of Tibetan Buddhism, emergence of China as a strong power is a fact that Tibetans can do nothing about, and should hence take steps towards reconciliation, rather than pinning hopes on global support.

"Internationally, I don't think pressure is good...China is becoming very powerful, and more
pressure will only explode things," the 14th Shamarpa Mipham Chokyi Lodro, told PTI in an interview.

"Reconciliation is good," says the Shamarpa, the holder of the traditional ''red crown'' of the Karmapa.

The Tibetan unrest has come up at the international stage several times, and had become a contentious issue during the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch rally when Tibetan supporters protested against China at several places around the world.

US President Barack Obama''s visit to China in November last year had left disappointed many who felt he could have used it to press for better human rights situation in Tibet.

However, the Shamarpa says, "there is hardly anything anybody can do about it".

While he does not advocate the antagonising of China, the Shamarpa rues the fact that the
Tibetans in their own homeland feel a loss of identity and culture.

"The Chinese government spends a lot of money to develop Tibet. However, the people feel they have lost their identity.

They don't have a cultural identity like neighbouring people of Nepal and Bhutan do. This is what they crave for," he says.

As people debate whether the Tibetan movement runs the chance of turning violent once the Dalai Lama is no more at the helm, the Shamarpa does not subscribe to the view.

"I don't think the movement will turn violent, it''s obvious no result will come out of violence," he says.

China would do good to grant the demand of autonomy, he says, but adds that he does not see
it coming in the near future. "To my understanding, China does not trust Tibetans."

The Sharmapa Lamas have historically recognised the Karmapa reincarnates. But the controversy over the recognition of the 17th Karmapa and what he calls the snatching away of the right from his office, has also left him disappointed.

Since the death of 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in 1981, two candidates have been enthroned and have been independently performing ceremonial duties of a Karmapa.

While Ogyen Trinley Dorje was recognised by the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, Trinley Thaye Dorje has been endorsed by the Shamarpa. The situation has led to deep divisions among Kagyu followers all over the world and has now even reached the Supreme Court of India.



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