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Behind Dalai Lama's holy cloak [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-3-29 20:24:13 |Display all floors
The Age
Michael Backman
May 23, 2007

THE Dalai Lama show is set to roll into Australia again next month and again Australian politicians are getting themselves in a twist as to whether they should meet him.

Rarely do journalists challenge the Dalai Lama.

Partly it is because he is so charming and engaging. Most published accounts of him breeze on as airily as the subject, for whom a good giggle and a quaint parable are substitutes for hard answers. But this is the man who advocates greater autonomy for millions of people who are currently Chinese citizens, presumably with him as head of their government. So, why not hold him accountable as a political figure?

No mere spiritual leader, he was the head of Tibet's government when he went into exile in 1959. It was a state apparatus run by aristocratic, nepotistic monks that collected taxes, jailed and tortured dissenters and engaged in all the usual political intrigues. (The Dalai Lama's own father was almost certainly murdered in 1946, the consequence of a coup plot.)

The government set up in exile in India and, at least until the 1970s, received $US1.7 million a year from the CIA.

The money was to pay for guerilla operations against the Chinese, notwithstanding the Dalai Lama's public stance in support of non-violence, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The Dalai Lama himself was on the CIA's payroll from the late 1950s until 1974, reportedly receiving $US15,000 a month ($US180,000 a year).

The funds were paid to him personally, but he used all or most of them for Tibetan government-in-exile activities, principally to fund offices in New York and Geneva, and to lobby internationally.

Details of the government-in-exile's funding today are far from clear. Structurally, it comprises seven departments and several other special offices. There have also been charitable trusts, a publishing company, hotels in India and Nepal, and a handicrafts distribution company in the US and in Australia, all grouped under the government-in-exile's Department of Finance.

The government was involved in running 24 businesses in all, but decided in 2003 that it would withdraw from these because such commercial involvement was not appropriate.

Several years ago, I asked the Dalai Lama's Department of Finance for details of its budget. In response, it claimed then to have annual revenue of about $US22 million, which it spent on various health, education, religious and cultural programs.

The biggest item was for politically related expenditure, at $US7 million. The next biggest was administration, which ran to $US4.5 million. Almost $US2 million was allocated to running the government-in-exile's overseas offices.

For all that the government-in-exile claims to do, these sums seemed remarkably low.

It is not clear how donations enter its budgeting. These are likely to run to many millions annually, but the Dalai Lama's Department of Finance provided no explicit acknowledgment of them or of their sources.

Certainly, there are plenty of rumours among expatriate Tibetans of endemic corruption and misuse of monies collected in the name of the Dalai Lama.

Many donations are channelled through the New York-based Tibet Fund, set up in 1981 by Tibetan refugees and US citizens. It has grown into a multimillion-dollar organisation that disburses $US3 million each year to its various programs.

Part of its funding comes from the US State Department's Bureau for Refugee Programs.

Like many Asian politicians, the Dalai Lama has been remarkably nepotistic, appointing members of his family to many positions of prominence. In recent years, three of the six members of the Kashag, or cabinet, the highest executive branch of the Tibetan government-in-exile, have been close relatives of the Dalai Lama.

An older brother served as chairman of the Kashag and as the minister of security. He also headed the CIA-backed Tibetan contra movement in the 1960s.

A sister-in-law served as head of the government-in-exile's planning council and its Department of Health.

A younger sister served as health and education minister and her husband served as head of the government-in-exile's Department of Information and International Relations.

Their daughter was made a member of the Tibetan parliament in exile. A younger brother has served as a senior member of the private office of the Dalai Lama and his wife has served as education minister.

The second wife of a brother-in-law serves as the representative of the Tibetan government-in-exile for northern Europe and head of international relations for the government-in-exile. All these positions give the Dalai Lama's family access to millions of dollars collected on behalf of the government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama might now be well-known but few really know much about him. For example, contrary to widespread belief, he is not a vegetarian. He eats meat. He has done so (he claims) on a doctor's advice following liver complications from hepatitis. I have checked with several doctors but none agrees that meat consumption is necessary or even desirable for a damaged liver.
What has the Dalai Lama actually achieved for Tibetans inside Tibet?

If his goal has been independence for Tibet or, more recently, greater autonomy, then he has been a miserable failure.
He has kept Tibet on the front pages around the world, but to what end? The main achievement seems to have been to become a celebrity. Possibly, had he stayed quiet, fewer Tibetans might have been tortured, killed and generally suppressed by China.

In any event, the current Dalai Lama is 72 years old. His successor — a reincarnation — will be appointed as a child and it will be many years before he plays a meaningful role. As far as China is concerned, that is one problem that will take care of itself, irrespective of whether or not John Howard or Kevin Rudd meet the current Dalai Lama.

"It will be one problem (DL) that takes care of itself."

According to the writer, this group do not seem to be fit to organize a 'p1ss-up in a brewery'.

Let alone a government.   

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Post time 2010-3-30 18:51:50 |Display all floors


The fact that no one asks, except as you state the communists, and fact writers.

Is the anomaly.

Not the other way round.

QUOTE: "Rarely do journalists challenge the Dalai Lama."

QUOTE: "It is not clear how donations enter its budgeting. These are likely to run to many millions annually, but the Dalai Lama's Department of Finance provided no explicit acknowledgement of them or of their sources."

If this is supposed to be a government, it seems hardly transparent which you seek from others.

It is a fair question to seek clarification of this non-worldly group.
Even companies produce accounts.

Sounds more like a nepotistic clique.

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Post time 2010-3-31 11:01:37 |Display all floors
Originally posted by seneca at 2010-3-30 19:24
That old bugbear U.S.$ 1.7 million from the Cyanides to the DL's deep pockets gives the author's personal position relative to the Chinese Communists away, as does his pesky question about what the ...

Not bloody confrontations between T.  b's  and Hans but more between foreign T.  b.  implants from south of the border and people who live in L.h.a.s.a.

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Post time 2010-3-31 12:44:01 |Display all floors
Nice article.

A rare honest account.

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Post time 2010-3-31 13:50:04 |Display all floors


Yes, I posted these three articles together to show that this issue is multifaceted.

Nepotism, greed, corruption, incompetence, bigotry and hypocritical.

A political stooge paid for by its masters and handlers (satsu).  

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Post time 2010-4-20 05:14:34 |Display all floors
The Dalai Lama has broken the fundamental laws of Buddism. Buddhists believe the Lama is the Boddhisattva - an enlightened being who came back to the world to help bring nirvana to people. Someone who is "enlightened" should take no part in politics or worldly concerns for that matter. Buddha teaches that there is "no world" and life is a cycle of ignorance, which leads to desire, which leads to old age and death. In essence, before reaching enlightenment, you must realize anicca (no world), anatta (now self), and suffering (dukkha). These are the 3 realizations that Buddha encountered before enlightenment during his 4 visions under the fig tree.

Buddhists are not supposed to engage in "idolatry", one should only rely on oneself and take ultimate responsibility. Those who hang up pictures of the lama and worship him are not real Buddhists. I have been studying buddhism for a while and realize there are 2 main sects of Buddhism: Theravada and Mahayana. But both divisions of Buddhism follow the same general concept and teachings.

What I am trying to say is that the Dalai Lama has broken the fundamental rules of Buddhism. He has engaged in worldly, political affairs, he has not followed the life of an ascetic, and he has mingled with politicians and other powerful people. He may wear a robe, but it is all for show. Guatama Buddha would be turning in his grave (metaphorically because enlightened beings do not have graves).

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Post time 2010-4-20 07:05:30 |Display all floors

more than just a quik stroll...

someone like him & knows exactly what his speech is gonna do to others; nothin but bad medicine...again, i'm strongly agreein with WETA0s' comment on the other post (leave this ol fool alone so that people would have a quite understandin of what he's capable of doin)  

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