Articles in Magazines and Newspapers



Books by His Holiness the Dalai Lama


My Land, My People, Memoirs of The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Portola Publications, 1983;

A Policy of Kindness, Snow Lion Publications, 1990;

Worlds in Harmony, Parallax Press, 1992;

Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama, Harper San Francisco, 1991;

The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus, Wisdom Publications, 1996.

Books on Tibet and the Dalai Lama

Norbu, Dawa, Red Star over Tibet, London: Collins, 1974;


Grunfeld, A.Tom, The Making of Modern Tibet, New York: M.E.Sharpe, 1996;


Patterson, George N., Patterson of Tibet, Death Throes of a Nation;


Smith, Warren W., Tibetan Nation: A History of Tibetan Nationalism and Sino-Tibetan Relations, Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996;


Sharma, Swarn Lata, Tibet: Self-Determination among Nations, New Delhi: Criterion Publications, 1988;


Articles in Magazines and Newspapers


Gleick, Elizabeth, Dalai Lama, People, 04/06/98, Vol. 49, Issue 13;


Harary, Keith, Dalai Lama: His Resolutions, Omni, Jan 1991, Vol. 13, Issue 4;


Platt, Kevin, After Decades, Tibet wont Bend to Chinese Ways, Christian Science Monitor, 07/29/97, Vol. 89, Issue 170;


Thurman, Robert, The Dalai Lama on China, Hatred, and Optimism, Mother Jones, Nov/Dec 1997, Vol. 22, Issue 6;


China, the Dalai, and Talk of a Deal, The Economist, 11/07/98, Vol. 349, Issue 8093.

[1] The Chinese Constitution, unlike the Soviet constitution, did not give the national minorities the right of secession. The Communist Chinese aim has always been to assimilate the national minorities, including the Tibetans, and to absorb them totally within the political, economic, and social structure of the Communist State.

This is contrary to the orthodox Marxist-Leninist approach to nationality, though it is not the only instance where Mao Zedong deviated from the recognized line. When the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia under Lenin, they proclaimed the right to self-determination, including the right of secession as a fundamental right of the national minorities, though in practice no nationality has been allowed to exercise that right.

Initially the Communist Chinese approach was similar to that of the Soviet Union. In the 1931 Constitution of the so-called Kiangsi Soviet of which Mao Zedong was chairman, the national minorities were promised the right of self-determination and secession from any Union of Chinese Soviets that might be established in the future. In his statement On Coalition Government, published in 1945, Mao reaffirmed this by suggesting that the various races should form a Union of Democratic Republics of China. In 1949, however, when the Communist Chinese State was founded, the idea of independent republics was dropped in favor of autonomous areas, and the Common Program by which the new government was guided made no mention of the right of secession. The National Constitution of Communist China, which was promulgated in 1954, went further. It stated unequivocally that China is a unified, multinational State.

Federalism is an idea foreign to the Chinese, who regard themselves more as a civilization than as a nation, and a civilization in which anyone can be accepted. Hence the inherent expansionist thrust in Chinese society and civilization which made it far more propulsive than that of the USSR.

[2] See Bond, Michael Shaw, A Long Road to Freedom, Geographical Magazine, Vol. 71, Issue 4, April 1999, p. 26.

[3] Mao Zedong, Selected Works, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1977, Vol. 5, p. 64.

[4] This was accomplished by 1957, when four highways began to connect Tibet with China proper and Xinjiang and after most members of Tibets traditional ruling class had been coopted into the transitional Communist setup in Lhasa.

[5] Topgyay, charismatic Kham tribal chieftain, was a leader of the tribes revolt.

[6] Reports on the number killed ranged from one claim that more than 10, 000 were killed or sent to prison to a report originating in New Delhi that 15, 000 had died. The Dalai Lama claimed only that some thousands were killed. See Noel Barber, From the Land of Lost Content: The Dalai Lamas Fight for Tibet, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969, pp. 179-180.

[7] His previous visits were as a religious leader. Since his first visit to the West in 1973, he has met many world leaders, among them the Presidents of the USA, France and Germany, the Prime Ministers of the UK, Australia and New Zealand, members of European royalty, including Prince Charles and the King of Norway, and civic and religious leaders, including His Holiness Pope John Paul II, seeking support for the Tibetan cause.

[8] The Tibetan government-in-exile on September 2, 1991 declared the Strasbourg proposal invalid because of the closed and negative attitude of the Chinese leadership towards the ideas expressed in the Strasbourg proposal had become ineffectual.

[9] For example, he told a recent press conference in London that as soon as Tibet had autonomy he would retire and hand over powers associated with his religious authority to a local government, which must be elected. He repeated that he was not seeking independence, but a genuine autonomy with, I believe, a mutual benefit for China and the Tibetans. See https://www.tibet.com/NewsRoom/retire.html

[10] In 1963, the Dalai Lama promulgated a democratic constitution, based on Buddhist principles and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a model for a future Tibet.

[11] However, it would seem to be difficult to prevent the monasteries becoming involved in the politics of a newly independent Tibet. Since the monasteries in exile have access to funding from the West, and have built up money and manpower over the past forty years, they could become very powerful culturally and economically when they returned to Tibet. It is natural that they might fight for representation in the parliament.

[12] Beijing has advanced the population transfer of Han Chinese into Tibet since 1987.


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