2018年12月6日星期四

唯色RFA博客:西藏的秘密 ——献给狱中的丹增德勒仁波切、邦日仁波切和洛桑丹增

上个月30日,西藏前政治犯、知名活动家班旦加措在印度流亡藏人中心达兰萨拉因病去世,终年87岁。十四年前,我写长诗《西藏的秘密》,献给多位藏人良心犯包括喇嘛班旦加措。他八十七岁的一生,却整整坐了三十三年的牢。祈愿喇嘛班旦加措,历经苦难和见证,终得以放眼远眺神明的宁静,离苦得乐。


西藏的秘密

——献给狱中的丹增德勒仁波切、邦日仁波切和洛桑丹增

唯色

1
细细想一想,他们与我有何关系?
班旦加措[1],整整被关押了三十三年;
阿旺桑珍[2],从十二岁开始坐牢;
还有刚刚释放的平措尼珍[3]
还有仍旧囚禁在某个监狱的洛桑丹增[4]
我并不认得,真的,我连他们的照片也未见过。

只在网上看到一个老喇嘛的跟前,
手铐,脚镣和匕首,几种性能不同的电棒。
他那凹陷的脸,沟壑似的皱纹,
却还依稀可见年轻时的俊朗。
再美也不属于世俗,因为自幼出家,
外表的美需要向佛陀的精神转化。

十月的北京郊外,秋风萧瑟如换了人间。
我读着在拉萨下载的传记,
看见雪域的众生被外来的铁蹄踩成齑粉。
班旦加措在低语:“我一生中大部分的时间,
都在中国人在我的国家里所设的监狱中度过。”[5]
但还有一种声音,从中可以“辨认出宽恕的话语”[6]

戴面具的魔鬼不定期地原形毕露,
连古老的神祗也敌它不过,
反倒是一个个肉体凡胎凭添许多勇气。
谁若把深夜里的祈求变成阳光下的呼喊,
谁若把高墙下的呻吟变成传向四方的歌声,
那就逮捕!加刑!无期徒刑!死缓!枪毙!

我素来噤声,因为我几乎什么都不知道。
我一生下来就在解放军的号声中成长,
适合做共产主义的接班人。
红旗下的蛋,却突然被击破。
人到中年,迟来的愤怒几欲冲出喉咙。
纷飞的泪水只为比我年轻却蒙难的同胞难以止住。

2
但我认识两个正在狱中的重犯,
都是祖古[7],都是东部的康巴。
晋美丹增[8],阿安扎西[9];或者邦日,丹增德勒;
这分别是他们的俗名和法名。
就像某个遗忘的密码得以启动,
并不遥远的记忆推开在刻意回避时关紧的大门。

是的。最早在拉萨的邮局。他请求我写一封电报。
他笑吟吟地说:“我不知道中国人的字怎么写。”
他应该是我众多朋友中的第一个祖古,
一次藏历新年,我们走进帕廓街的一家照相馆,
在花里胡哨的布景前亲切地合影。
我还把他带到朱哲琴的MTV[10]中,表演优美的手印。

一个戴眼镜的卫藏女子成为他的伴侣。
他俩办了一所孤儿院,五十个孩子都是流落街头的小乞丐。
我也认领了一个,但有限的怜悯很快因突发的意外而中止。
他俩为何被捕,我一无所知,据说与某个早晨,
在布达拉宫广场升起的雪山狮子旗[11]有关。
但我得承认,我并不想了解太多,也从未有过探监的念头。

是的。几年前的雅砻江边,他凝望着在洪水中翻滚的苹果:
“看,报应来了。”他的痛楚让慕名而来的我不知所措。
他当然著名。在这个纷纷变节和沉默的年代,
走遍乡村传扬佛法的他,直面政府批评时弊的他,
是那么多农民、牧人和他抚养的孤儿心中的“大喇嘛”,
更是官员们的眼中钉和肉中刺,不拔除不足为快。

一次次精心设计的圈套,终于在“911”之后把他套牢。
堂而皇之的罪行,要借“反恐怖”的名义杀一儆百。
据说私藏炸药和淫秽录像的他,策划了五起甚至七起爆炸案,
但我记得,身陷囹圄的半年前,他难过地说:
“我的阿妈病死了,我要为她闭关,修法一年。”
一个立下重誓的佛教徒,怎会与杀生夺命的爆炸案有牵连?

3
我还认识一位喇嘛,他教给我皈依和观想的经文。
但那天在色拉寺,他的学生对我哭诉,
正在修法的他,突然被警车带往有名的古扎看守所,
理由是他涉嫌这个或者那个企图颠覆政权的案件。
我和几个僧人赶去看望,路上尘土滚滚,不像今天铺上了柏油。
酷日下,见到的只是持枪的士兵冷若冰霜的脸。

如同突然被抓,他又被突然释放,结论是证据不足。
在劫后余生的感慨中,他送给我一串奇异的念珠,
是用牢里的馒头、窗外开得黄灿灿的鲜花和亲人送来的白糖捏成的。
每一颗都有密密的指纹;每一颗都彷佛留着体温,
诵念的佛经,九十多个屈辱中的日子。
一百零八颗念珠啊,坚实得像一粒粒顽强的石头。

我还见过一个阿尼[12],她的年纪才是我的一半。
当她沿着帕廓,边走边喊,那藏人皆知的口号,
就被冲上来的便衣蒙住嘴巴的夏天,
我正为二十八岁的生日挑选美丽的衣裳。
而我十四岁时,一心想在来年考入成都的高中。
我写的作文,有一篇献给正跟越南人打仗的解放军。

七年后,被逐出寺院的她替一位好心的商人打工。
她个子矮小,强烈的阳光下戴一顶难看的毛线帽。
“换一顶布帽子吧。”我打算送给她。
但她不肯。“我头疼,带毛线帽要好受得多。”
“为什么?”我从未听过这样的说法。
“因为我的头在监狱里被他们打坏了。”

至于点头之交的洛丹,有着令人羡慕的职业和前途,
却在一次通宵狂饮之后,独自搭车去了甘丹寺。
据说他在山顶抛洒隆达[13]时,喊了几声那致命的口号,
驻守在寺院中的警察立即将他抓获。
党的书记批示“酒后吐真言”,
一年后,拉萨街头又多了一个被关过的无业游民。

4
写到这,我不愿把这首诗变成控诉,
但被囚禁的人,为什么,穿袈裟的比不穿袈裟的更多?
这显然有悖常识,谁不知道暴力与非暴力的界线?
果然是罗刹女的骨肉,宁肯把苦难交给自己的喇嘛和阿尼。
让他们挨打,将牢底坐穿,甚至赴死。
担当吧,喇嘛和阿尼,请你们为我们担当!

无从知道,那难捱的分分秒秒,那难忍的日日夜夜,
怎样地折磨着一个人的肉体和精神?
说到肉体,我不禁暗自发抖,
我最怕的就是痛,一个耳光都会把我打垮。
羞愧中,我替他们数着彷佛没有尽头的刑期。
西藏的良心啊,不止一颗,在现实中的地狱持久地跳动。

而在那转经路上的甜茶馆,无关痛痒的小道消息满座飞;
而在那转经路上的茶园,快乐的退休干部把麻将打到天黑;
而在那转经路上的小酒馆,腆着肚皮的公务员每晚喝得大醉;
唉,让我们快乐地消极下去吧,总比当一名“昂觉”要好得多。
所谓“昂觉”,就是“耳朵”,就是那些看不见的告密者。
多么形象的外号!多么幽默的拉萨人!

背叛与出卖,在窥探和窃窃私语中悄悄地进行。
干得越多,越能够得到丰厚的赏赐,足以变成一个大人物。
一次走在街上,奇怪地,我一下子紧紧蒙住自己的耳朵,
担心它稍有疏忽,就落入别人的掌心;
担心它也变成“昂觉”,伸向各个角落,越来越尖,
就像童话中那个小孩的鼻子,一说谎就变长。

究竟有多少可疑的“耳朵”就在身边?
又有多少不是“耳朵”的“耳朵”却被错怪?
如此奇异的人间景象,比糖衣和炮弹更容易摧毁一切。
想到这些,我忧伤地、不情愿地发现:
还有一个西藏,就藏在我们生活的西藏的另一面,
这让我再也不能写下一首抒情的诗!

5
但我依然缄默,这是我早已习惯的方式。
理由只有一个,因为我很害怕。
凭什么呢?有谁说得清楚?
其实人人都这样,我理解。
有人说:“藏人的恐惧用手就可以感触到。”[14]
但我想说,真正的恐惧早已融入空气之中。

就像提起过去和今天,他突然的啜泣令我惊骇。
绛红色的袈裟蒙住他的脸,我却忍不住大笑,
为的是掩饰猛然被揪疼的心。
周围的人们向我投来责备的眼光,
只有从袈裟中抬头的他,当我们双目交织,
微微的颤栗,让彼此觉察到恐惧的份量。

一个新华社的记者,一个藏北牧人的后代,
在中秋之夜喷着满口的酒气,用党的喉舌呵斥我:
“你以为你是谁?你以为你的揭露就会改变这一切吗?
你知不知道我们才在改变一切?你捣什么乱?”
我的确犯规了吗?我想反驳,却从他的嘴脸看出走狗的凶相。
而更多的人,更为严重的捣乱,是不是足以被清除出局?

我彷佛听见她们用诵经的嗓子轻柔地唱道:
“芬芳的荷花,在太阳的照射下枯萎了;
西藏的雪山,在太阳的高温下烧焦了;
但是永恒希望之石,保护我们这群誓死追求独立的青年。”[15]
不,不,我并不是非要将政治的阴影带进诗中,
我仅仅在想,那囚牢里,才十多岁的阿尼为何不畏惧?

那么书写吧,只是为了牢记,这可怜巴巴的道德优越感,
我当然不配,只能转化为一个人偶尔流露的隐私。
远离家乡,身陷永远陌生的外族人当中,
怀着轻微的尴尬,安全地、低声地说:
细细想来,他们与我怎会没有关系?!
而我只能用这首诗,表达我微薄的敬意,疏远的关怀。

2004-10-21 初稿,北京
2004-11-10 修改,北京

注释:

[1]班旦加措:图伯特境内的普通僧人。19593月拉萨抗暴事件发生后,28岁的他因拒绝出卖上师被捕入狱,随后不断加刑,受尽煎熬,直至1992年已60岁时才获释。之后他偷渡印度,在达赖喇嘛居住的达兰萨拉,向世人讲述了记载他苦难一生的传记《雪山下的火焰》。补充:20181130日他在达兰萨拉因病离世,终年87岁。
[2]阿旺桑珍:图伯特境内的普通尼姑。1990年因参加拉萨街头的抗议游行,年仅12岁的她被捕入狱,是西藏年龄最小的女政治犯,9个月后才获释。又因参加1992年的示威游行再次被捕,坐牢长达11年。在狱中,她和另外13名尼姑将关押在扎基监狱(即西藏第一监狱)的生活编成歌曲,用偷运进来的录音机录下后再偷送出去,引起极大震动。她们被称为“扎基歌尼”(在扎基监狱唱歌的尼姑)。2003年在国际社会的强烈抗议下,身体状况极差的她提前10 年获释。补充:目前在美国生活。
[3]平措尼珍:图伯特境内的普通尼姑。1989年,因“反革命宣传煽动罪”被判处9年徒刑。1993年,因和囚禁在扎基监狱的13名尼姑录制向往自由和歌颂达赖喇嘛的歌曲被加刑8年。2004224日,在国际社会的强烈抗议下,身体状况极差的她提前13个月获释。她也是最后一个获释的“扎基歌尼”。补充:目前在瑞士生活。
[4]洛桑丹增:拉萨人,生于1966年,被捕之前是西藏大学藏文系二年级学生。198935日在所谓的“拉萨骚乱”中,他被指控谋杀了一位中国武警,尽管没有任何证据显示他跟这宗案件有关联,但他被判死刑,缓期两年执行。在国际社会的抗议下,改为无期,后又改为18年。从2004年起,他还将服刑10年,目前被关押在林芝地区波密县监狱。这是一所专门关押重大政治犯的监狱,有25人,一人已疯,洛桑丹增本人因遭毒打,心脏和肾脏都严重受损,直不起腰来,双目出现阵发性失明,头部经常剧烈疼痛。很多人都担心,按照他的身体状况,他恐怕很难捱到2014年。补充:2013年以保外就医名义获释,更多详情不明。
[5]摘自《雪山下的火焰》(第十一章 在废墟中),班旦加措口述,次仁夏加记录,廖天琪译为汉语,台湾前卫出版社。
[6]摘自米沃什(Czesiaw Miiosz,波兰)的诗《吹弹集》,杜国清(台湾)译。
[7]祖古:藏语,化身,指的是乘愿再来的转世高僧,又称仁波切。
[8]晋美丹增:图伯特康区北部的一位仁波切,法名邦日。1997年,他和妻子尼玛曲珍在拉萨开设了一所名为“嘉措儿童之家”的孤儿院,收留了50名在街上当乞丐的孤儿。1999年,他俩被指控从事间谍和危害国家安全活动而遭逮捕,被分别判处15年和10年徒刑。孤儿院也被迫关闭,相当一部分孩子由于无家可归,重新流落街头。补充:据闻其其已获释,他或于2009年获释,更多详情不明。
[9]阿安扎西:图伯特康区南部的一位仁波切,法名丹增德勒,雅江和理塘一带的百姓称他“大喇嘛”。他深入农村牧场讲经传法,从事众多慈善事业,创办孤儿学校,扶助孤寡老人,修路修桥,保护生态,教育百姓戒烟酒禁赌博不杀生,是深受当地百姓爱戴的仁波切。但200212月,他被当局以“煽动分裂国家”和“制造系列爆炸”的罪名判处死刑,缓期两年执行。而这一黑箱操作的大案存有很多疑点。两年来,国际社会、流亡藏人社区和中国的一些知识分子强烈呼吁,要求中国政府遵守法律,重新公开审理此案,却至今不被理睬。此案同时牵连当地许多藏人,一位名叫洛让邓珠的藏人已被枪决,还有达提等藏人被判刑入狱。补充:2015712日,被囚十三年的丹增德勒仁波切突然在狱中去世,有诸多证据被认为是遇害,而他的骨灰则被党的干部从亲人手中抢走,抛入河水中。
[10]1996年,因歌曲《阿姐鼓》成名的中国歌手朱哲琴,到拉萨拍摄歌曲《央金玛》的音乐电视,其中有几个镜头是一位僧人的手印,那僧人就是邦日仁波切。“手印”是佛教术语,在梵文中是mudra,又称为印契,指在修法时,修行者的双手与手指所结的各种姿势。
[11]雪山狮子旗:图伯特国旗。
[12] 阿尼:藏语,出家为尼的女子。
[13]隆达:藏语,印有佛经的纸,有五种颜色。抛洒“隆达”是一种宗教仪轨,藏人相信,把印有经文的五色纸张抛向天空,当风吹来时,所有的祈祷和祝愿会被四面八方的诸佛菩萨听见。
[14]2002611日的德国之声报道:“瑞士新苏黎世报对西藏做了详细报道。……第一篇文章显然是以西藏实地采访为基础,先报道了在西藏街头的景象以及藏人的自我意识,然后,文章退一步写道:‘但是,当我们试图接近藏人时,这些自豪的山民就变成了胆小怕事的策略家。人们不禁怀疑,他们是否在否定自己。……许多人都害怕,一旦提起自己的民族,会带来麻烦。……西藏到处飘扬的是中国国旗,藏人的恐惧用手就可以感触到。”
[15]1993年,在拉萨著名的扎基监狱,阿旺桑珍、平措尼珍和12名尼姑用她们不屈服的歌声,向世人揭露了黑暗和残暴的真相,表达了深藏在藏人心中的期望。这是其中的一首歌,后来曾在国外电台中向听众播放过。

(转自自由亚洲唯色博客:https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/zhuanlan/weiseblog/weise-12032018103337.html





2018年11月27日星期二

王力雄《纪念嘉日·洛珠坚赞》英译版:Gyari Lodi



Gyari Lodi (taken from the unfinished book “Dharamsala Stories”)

Wang Lixiong

October 31, 2018

Translated by ICT


Gyari Lodi has played a very important role in exiled Tibet.  In his identity as the Dalai Lama’s special envoy, he has two key areas of responsibility:  one is the relationship with the United States, the other is contact with China.  To some extent their relationship with the United States can be seen as the lifeblood of exiled Tibet, and this relationship rests almost entirely in the hands of Gyari Lodi.  He has lived in the United States for decades and worked for years, creating countless relationships among the upper echelon in America, from the White House to Congress to celebrities; he can handle them all with ease.  In this regard, there’s no one in exiled Tibet who could take his place.  His achievements are known and recognized by all.

Contact with China is exiled Tibet’s future, and Gyari Lodi’s trajectory in that respect has been a fluctuating line. From the beginning the exiled Tibetans were full of hope, but after a series of fruitless meetings he was subjected to increasing criticism.  Some people on the internet have even accused him of “seeking profit, like a typical Western politician,” saying he “accepts Chinese hospitality, tours around like a tourist, and then says China has good intentions,” and there are Tibetans who told the Dalai Lama that he “chose the wrong person and sent him to negotiate, pointlessly, which will never achieve any results.”

Woeser wrote an article about this, entitled “Talk talk, watching the Special Envoy’s hair turn gray, I feel sad.”  The article says:  “From 2002 to 2008 we could all see it, talks occurring every year, every year has long days and short days, and the representatives of the Dalai Lama and officials from the Chinese Communist Party United Front Work Department meet up; what they talk about isn’t very clear to the outside world, but what their talks won’t do is very clear to the outside world…  There’s never a miracle, all we have is the cold truth becoming increasingly clear, that during the talks which take place far from Tibet and out of sight of the people of the Land of Snows, the representatives of the Dalai Lama turned into China’s alleged Tibetan compatriots returning to visit China.  During the recently-concluded seventh meeting, the Chinese official media referred to repeated requests from the Dalai’s side, reporting that even the Chinese side can’t stand it, saying that these aren’t negotiations or talks, they should be called reprimands.”  Woeser’s article concludes: “All of this media attention means we’ve seen the Special Envoy’s image many times.  Taken six years apart, his exhaustion and aging is surprising and sad - is his white hair from age, or has it been accelerated by the talks?  So then, how many more times do you want to talk?  Can’t the two sides end this game of cat and mouse that has no end in sight?

This time in the United States I met with Gyari Lodi when he sent someone to drive me to his home.  I’ve been to his home on the outskirts of Washington before, and from the outside it looks humble, but it’s said that the area is good, a place where the rich convene.  Gyari Lodi is wearing a red Tibetan shirt, and he hugs me like an old friend.  We haven’t seen each other in seven years, and in the meantime we’ve both experienced many things.  As we chatted, I said that he looks good, and he smiled and said that he got a special haircut yesterday and put on some red clothes today so that I would see that he has a good complexion, and that he’s not as tired and old as the Woeser article said.  He hopes that I’ll tell Woeser about his appearance!  (Later I told Woeser about his complexion online, and Woeser said ‘nying je,’ a Tibetan interjection with no exact equivalent in Chinese, with multiple meanings such as ‘it’s a pity’ and ‘heartache’ and more.)

I told Gyari Lodi:  It certainly isn’t his responsibility that the talks haven’t borne fruit.  This kind of negotiation won’t get results no matter who tries to lead it.  Although I’ve been watching it from the start, I didn’t think it would work (that was the difference between Gyari Lodi and I in the beginning):  First, history is developing, and the current government cannot rule China forever.  Right now the talks are going nowhere, but that doesn’t mean they’ll go nowhere in the future.  From this perspective the current talks can prepare us for the future; another important thing is that the lack of results shows people that there is no hope of settling the Tibet issue with an authoritarian China.  It’s always right to go on the road of negotiation, and if the weaker side doesn’t try all kinds of paths to reach reconciliation, it will always regret missed opportunities for reconciliation.  Seven years of fruitless negotiations makes people realize that actually there is no such opportunity, dispelling unrealistic fantasies.  You’ve made all this effort yourself, and you’re no longer expecting the other side to give you a gift.  I said, you’ve done this because of your humility and perseverance.  This is part of the Bodhisattva spirit of saving all living things - “I won’t go to Nirvana until everyone can go to Nirvana.”

These words aren’t a compliment, they’re my sincere thoughts, and it’s basically the same as an article I wrote entitled “The Talks Without Results have an Impact.”  From his demeanor, Gyari Lodi seemed quite perceptive as I spoke.  However, I later learned that he had seen my article earlier, because his people translate Chinese articles about him into Tibetan, and it’s said that he takes those articles very seriously.

When I first visited America in 2000 he asked me to meet, as he was quite appreciative of an article I had published a few months earlier entitled “The Dalai Lama is the Key to the Tibet Issue,” and said that he could recommend it to be published in The Diplomat, America’s most important magazine.  Unfortunately, I had already sent it out in Chinese, and The Diplomat will not use articles that have already been published.  In my nearly 17,000 Chinese character article, my main argument concluded:

“For China’s long-term interests, Beijing’s wisest approach isn’t the current strategy of delay, nor is it to pin their hopes on the death of the current Dalai Lama.  This is deeply unwise.  They should instead seize the opportunity of the Dalai Lama being alive and healthy, and when addressing the Tibet issue they should try reach a permanent solution as quickly as possible.  The passage of time is not only unfavorable to the Dalai [Lama], it’s equally bad for China and even more disadvantageous.  The Dalai Lama shouldn’t be put forward as an obstacle and enemy to the resolution of the Tibet issue, because he’s more like the key that completely solves the Tibet issue.  Of course, if handled poorly the same key that opens the door can also be the key that locks it shut.”

As for the “locked door,’ I wrote:  “Whichever way the Tibet issue develops, his [the Dalai Lama’s] attitude is very important, as the people of Tibet follow him in their hearts and follow his will, the monks would go through hell or high water for him, the exile government would do anything for him, and the international community respects his opinion and gives him the utmost support.  If he’s pushed into a hostile position, with no dialogue and no way for cooperation, harboring grievances, then once the shockwave of social transformation arrives there’s no guaranteeing that he won’t be tempted to follow the tide and turn towards the position of Tibetan independence.  At that time, the various factors that have promoted Tibetan independence would integrate and join forces under his banner, and the chances of Tibet separating from China would be greatly increased.  In this regard he plays a greater role than 100,000 troops, and his old lama’s body could mobilize the endless wealth of the West.  Anyone who looks down on him is making a great mistake, and will pay a heavy price.”

The impact of my saying this, as Chinese person, wasn’t the same as when Tibetans say it.  Tibetans generally appreciated my article, including the Communist Party’s aging Tibetan high official Phuntsok Wangyal, who included it in a letter to General Party Secretary Hu Jintao on how to resolve the Tibet issue.  This put my conclusion in an important position.  Tibetans regard the Dalai Lama as the key to the Tibet issue, both out of great trust in and reliance on the Dalai Lama, but also because of the great difference in strength, as Tibet has almost no capital with which to compete with China.  He undoubtedly greatly increases Tibet’s weight and bargaining power, and can also inspire confidence among the Tibetans.

Later some people looked at the dates; my article was published in 2000, the Chinese government began contacting the Dalai Lama in 2001, and in 2002 they began talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives.  Could there be a connection?  Although the purpose of my article was to encourage Beijing to be wise, I had no expectation that they would really put these solutions into practice.  Even if they hear about some thinking from outside the system, this small and unseen abacus can’t change the underlying strategy, and no one is being responsible for the nation’s long-term interests.  I later met Professor Elliot Sperling of America’s Indiana University in Dharamsala.  He believed that the only purpose of the talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama is to get the Dalai Lama to repeatedly declare to the world that Tibet belongs to China and that Tibet does not pursue independence, depriving appeals for independence inside Tibet of their legitimacy.

Beijing has largely achieved this goal.  On October 29, 2008, British Foreign Secretary Miliband said, in a statement on the British Foreign Ministry website, that the British government explicitly recognizes Tibet as a part of China and that China has sovereignty over Tibet.  This is the first time in history that Britain formally recognized China’s sovereignty over Tibet.  Although everyone on Earth knows that Britain is doing this as a transaction to get China’s help during the financial crisis, when Woeser and I met the Counsellor of the British Embassy during a party in Beijing and asked him about it, he responded that even the Dalai Lama has acknowledged Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, and that we can’t refrain from acknowledging it if he doesn’t.

Back then, I looked at one the proposals in my article: “Early on he (the Dalai Lama) expressed his acceptance of ‘Tibet staying in China,’ if said in a legal statement, could completely legitimize China’s sovereignty over Tibet, immediately resolving the long-standing Tibet issue.  One of the reasons for the dispute over Tibetan sovereignty is the lack of such a legal statement in line with international norms.  The Dalai Lama is an internationally-accepted representative of the Tibetan people, and if he were to sign such a statement it could be regarded as the Tibetan people’s choice, and would be the best guarantee for putting an end to Tibetan independence.  There would be no need to mention Tibetan independence ever again in Tibetan or Western society, and the tangled history would be limited to academic debate, with politics written off.  Such a legal statement could only be recognized by the world if it was written by the Dalai Lama, and only the Dalai Lama could get the majority of Tibetans to agree.”  If Beijing was really inspired by these words, then what I advocated – resolving the Tibet issue through dialogue with the Dalai Lama – was cast aside, and the negotiations were only used as bait, inducing hope in the Dalai Lama to get him to repeatedly declare to the world that Tibet is not independent, achieving the effect Sperling spoke about.  This certainly wasn’t my intent, and the idea pains and torments me, but some Tibetans still think I gave the Chinese government this idea.

When I met with Gyari Lodi again in the United States, eight or nine years had passed.  Time is the greatest teacher, and we all come to understand some issues.  I told Gyari Lodi that when I wrote: “The Dalai Lama is the Key to the Tibet Issue,” the main objective in my heart was Communist Party decision-makers, and that I wanted them to read it, and to affect them so they understood that settling the Tibet issue with the Dalai Lama through a win-win situation is the best way.  But the Dalai Lama’s role as the key may or may not be played, depending on whether or not the Communist Party chooses to use him as a key; if not, then he loses his role as the key.  From the experience of these years we can already see very clearly that the Communist Party can’t be counted on to solve the Tibet issue, you can only count on yourself.  The key has changed, and for this reason I would take “The Dalai Lama is the Key to the Tibet Issue” and change it to “Democracy is the Key to Resolving the Tibet Issue.”

In addition to replacing “Dalai Lama” with “Democracy,” I also added the word “resolving.”  At the time there were many people who put the title of my article as “The Dalai Lama is the Key to Resolving the Tibet Issue,” and I always wanted to correct them by pointing out that the word “resolving” isn’t there because, as the article says, “if handled poorly the same key that opens the door can also be the key that locks it shut.”  I think it’s very important to highlight this point for China, because where China is concerned an independent Tibet certainly isn’t the solution to the Tibet issue.  But if we see democracy as the key, then the resolution of the Tibet issue has been put into the hands of the Tibetans themselves, and now independence is fine, and staying within China is fine too, they’re both resolutions.  Moving the issue from China’s hands to Tibet’s hands is a natural change.  And I haven’t changed my position because I’ve changed, but rather because those who decide China’s position haven’t changed, forcing me to make a change.

There’s another reason for this.  When people are young, they think they have more time.  Back in 2000 I felt like 2020 was very far away, so I wrote in the article that “the Dalai lama is 65 years old, and with today’s standards of human health it’s no challenge to live for another 20 years.  China’s political transformation will almost certainly arrive within the next 20 years.  With these time constraints, the Dalai Lama’s role is very important.”  After another decade the Dalai Lama is almost 75, and the Communist Party believes it has entered “the best period,” and now at this age I know that another decade will pass by very quickly, and the Dalai Lama will be 85, and I dare not conclude that China’s political transformation will certainly arrive.  So, I need to take into account a scenario where the Dalai Lama passes away while the Communist Party still holds power, and the Tibet issue still hasn’t been resolved.  Without the Dalai Lama, what could be the key?  In my view there is nothing other than democracy.

Tibetans don’t necessarily like the idea of changing the key to the Tibet issue.  “The Dalai Lama is the Key to the Tibet Issue” has become a common saying, and many people know the title of my article.  If I change it, would that be misunderstood as me losing confidence in the Dalai Lama?  Would it bring other reactions?  Gyari Lodi’s assistant, Bhuchung, tactfully told me not to put it that way in public.

Bhuchung is the Vice President of the International Campaign for Tibet, which has tens of thousands of members and is one of the most powerful Western organizations working to aid Tibet.  He’s also a member of the Tibetan negotiating delegation, so it’s reasonable to say he doesn’t have a lowly position, but the impression that he gave me was that he’s mainly an assistant to Gyari Lodi.  Many of Gyari Lodi’s affairs are handled by Bhuchung, and he arranged my first meeting with Gyari Lodi in 2000.  With other people Bhuchung is often cracking jokes, whereas in front of Gyari Lodi he always maintains a respectful and subordinate posture, like a secretary always ready to take notes.  He was there every time I meet with Gyari Lodi, but he almost never made any statements.  Suggesting that I not publicly change the key was the first time he ever expressed his own opinion to me, and I could see that he either strongly disagreed with the idea himself, or knew clearly that Gyari Lodi would agree.

But Gyari Lodi himself didn’t echo Bhuchung’s statement; he told me a story:  He had recently met an old lama who had come out of Tibet in Nepal.  The old lama was very troubled by the impasse in the Sino-Tibetan dialogue- with the Dalai Lama’s age increasing, once he was gone what could Tibet do in the future, who could they rely on?  The old lama hoped Gyari Lodi could give him an answer.  Gyari Lodi told him not to worry, because the Dalai Lama already has a madey trulku.

Madey trulku refers to a Tibetan Buddhist rinpoche (called ‘Living Buddha’ by the Chinese) who personally selects their reincarnation while still alive and instructs and nurtures the reincarnation before they die.  This way the reincarnation can take over immediately after the previous one passes away, thus avoiding the interval between two incarnations of a rinpoche.  The old Tibetan lama was very surprised when he heard Gyari Lodi’s words, and asked, “Where is this madey trulku?”  Gyari Lodi replied, you ought to see it!  Madey trulku is by the Dalai Lama’s side every day, and is carefully nurtured by the Dalai Lama, and has already begun to shoulder the heavy task of leading the Tibetan people.  The old lama asked, even more urgently, who is this madey tulku?  This time Gyari Lodi smiled and told him- it’s democracy!

This is a truly moving story, like one of the classics.  But the simple word ‘democracy’ can be a blurry concept, because nowadays which country on Earth doesn’t strike up the banner of ‘democracy?’  Even the Communist Party flaps its mouth about ‘democracy.’  This gives ‘democracy’ an almost absurd nature.  If we want it to be the Dalai Lama’s madey trulku, we need to look at the specific contents of democracy.  This kind of democracy must be able to unite Tibetans behind the Dalai Lama, and lead to wisdom and reason.  Exiled Tibet has always been very proud of its democratic achievements, and Gyari Lodi’s remarks at a seminar in America are representative.  He said: “Today we have a fully-functional democracy, so if at last we return to Tibet, I tell my friends, we won’t have returned empty-handed.  We will bring a precious gift – a gift called democracy – back to our home in Tibet, and perhaps this gift could enrich China.”

I’m doubtful about this kind of argument.  I’ve analyzed the exiled Tibetan democratic system, and if this system were implemented in Tibet in the future it’s very likely that there would be a trend towards the pursuit of Tibetan independence, defeating the Dalai Lama’s promise of “remaining in China.”  Then Chinese ethnic sentiment would also use the banner of “democracy” to defend the country, inciting large-scale Chinese support.  The result of democracy would be war between Chinese and Tibetans (including other minorities who seek independence), which would bring disaster to both peoples.  In this the Tibetan people would have more to lose, while fascism would return to China.

I see it like that because the transition from authoritarianism to representative democracy is often accompanied by a serious “public square effect,” in which the elite, the public, and the media have extreme interactions.  The elites fight over popular votes, the public grows more intense because of elite incitement, and the media links the entire society together, like a group of people in a public square becoming more excited, cheering, or creating a disturbance.  Especially during early democratic transitions, political parties and the media suddenly have free space, but a system of checks and balances has yet to be formed.  The goal is to stake claims, and all parties fight for the upper hand, to see who can get the most votes and popular support.  On any topic – for Tibet, it would be independent statehood – there’s extreme speculation, so that social sentiment increasingly runs in just one direction.  Modern media and communication technologies can greatly magnify this “square,” expanding it rapidly, so that rulers and power blocs can only give up on rationality and join the “square.”  The “public square effect” is an important part of why modern democratic transitions and ethnic conflict go hand in hand.  If Tibet doesn’t want to fall victim to Bosnian War-style bloodletting, it must seek to avoid the “public square effect” democratic model, instead of just unthinkingly taking the concept of democracy to be a politically-correct concept.

Although there are successful democratic models in the world, that doesn’t mean that societies with different base conditions can adopt the same model.  Copied carelessly, democracy very rarely produces pleasant fruit.  It’s easy to see that in reality, some countries that copy the same democratic model get real democracy, others get the mere form of democracy, and others remain essentially authoritarian.  This is enough to explain the problem with copying democracy.  When people do small projects there are normally several options to compare and choose; how can there be just one model for implementing social changes?

In the end, what kind of democracy does exiled Tibet have?  The institutional design on paper is another copy of the Western representative framework.  If we can say it has a difference, it’s in the combination of politics and religion.  Is that a step forward, or backward?  This is debated within the exile community.  However, after a system is implemented it creates “inertia,” just as “path dependence” makes raw rice into cooked rice.  Vested interest groups form within the system, which use the rules to hinder any changes to the system.  They’re strong inside the system, and the rules are in their favor (which benefits them, and makes them strong), and want to use the rules themselves make it almost impossible to change the rules- and this is why social change sometimes requires revolution.  In a so-called revolution the old rules are essentially unable to make change, and so the original rules are abolished and a new set of rules are created to make change.

There are two types of revolution: bottom-up and top-down.  The former requires the transfer of power and the overthrow of the old authorities, and the implementation of new rules by new authorities, which often leads to significant unrest during the process of taking power, and comes at a significant price.  In the latter, the original power-holders consciously carry out what is referred to as reform or change, but in fact this is also a revolution in which the old rules are abolished and new rules are created.  It costs much less, as long as personal interests are put aside, and with far-sightedness, wisdom, and skillful operation, the resistance of vested interests of the high-ranking authorities can be overcome.  Someone who can play this role only comes by once in a hundred years, or perhaps a thousand.

I regard the Dalai Lama as someone who could play such a role.  The reason I wanted to go to exiled Tibet to investigate the progress towards democracy is because the Dalai Lama is there.  Whether or not their experiment will succeed, without the authority of the Dalai Lama it could not have been done at all.  So I said the following to Gyari Lodi:

“Although I no longer describe the Dalai Lama as the key to the Tibet issue, and instead say that democracy is the key to resolving the Tibet issue, I think that having the sort of democracy that can resolve the Tibet issue depends on the Dalai Lama.  This sort of democracy isn’t just democracy for exiled Tibet, it’s also democracy for inside Tibet, and for Chinese society, and it could even make a contribution to world democracy.  From this point of view, the Dalai Lama is the key to Tibetan democracy, and we can therefore say that the Dalai Lama is the key to the key to resolving the Tibet issue.”

Saying it like this seemed to be more acceptable, and everyone seemed satisfied.  While I waited in America to head to India I repeatedly contacted Gyari Lodi, and met with him in his home a good number of times, eating meals prepared by his wife.  He often received important people, I forget their names; not American senior figures or State Department officials, but Indian defense ministers and their like.  I used each of our contacts to speak about topics related to democracy by stages, and although it wasn’t clear what he could do to help, he had a high position and having his support would always have some benefit.

Unfortunately Gyari Lodi and I could only communicate through interpreters, which is a considerable obstacle.  Generally communicating through interpreters isn’t an issue, but during in-depth conversations the quality of interpreting becomes crucial.  In 2002, during a four-week visit to the United States, a professional interpreter from the State Department who accompanied me and who was, in my opinion, quite capable, told me at the end of the trip that he had only been able to translate 85% of my ideas.  At the time I thought, oh god, the essence of my words must be among the 15% which wasn’t translated!  When Gyari Lodi and I spoke we used two interpreters, so they could rotate in and out or complement each other, and one of them had previously been a scholar at the Central Nationalities University in Beijing.  Neither of them were good at expressing themselves, or at least the Chinese I heard had many problems.  What I said to Gyari Lodi about democracy by stages would be even more indecipherable if the interpreting was incomprehensible.  Gyari Lodi was confused about democracy by stages until right before I went to India, but what he said on that day was interpreted very well, like poetry.  He said:

“I believe you’re very clear about democracy by stages, but, like in tantric study, will the disciple be able to learn?  Looking at opportunities and blessings, I still don’t have this good fortune, but I’ve certainly taken advantage of your time here to take the opportunity to thoroughly understand it.  Or so I’d say!  Our Tibetan Buddhism has terma and to retrieve them you need a dakini [a female being who acts as a muse for spiritual practice], which you already have, but you also need Dharma Protectors, and I can be one.  Today is the first day of Saga Dawa, indicating good fortune in the future.

“Saga Dawa” is the month-long festival for Tibetan Buddhists commemorating Sakyamuni’s birth, enlightenment, and death.

Terma is a word referring to hidden treasure, a means of passing on the Dharma in Tibetan tantric Buddhism.  The last hopes of Tibetan tantric Buddhism may be pinned on terma, because terma can never be destroyed!  Terma materials can repair the Dharma, and they can take the form of Buddhist statues, heavenly nectar, and more, but the most important ones are Buddhist scriptures, which must be recovered at a specific time by a treasure-revealer.  When Gyari Lodi said these words he put a metaphor into my heart, of a treasure-revealer uncovering the Dharma, and the Dakini refers to Woeser. The treasure-revealer will get married, and his wife is a Dakini who can help him reveal treasures.  I wrote down Gyari Lodi’s poem and sent it to Woeser, making her very happy.  And, I think I have a truly powerful Dharma Protector…

       (Note:  This unfinished section ends here.  If not for the death of Mr. Gyari Lodi, it would still just be on my computer.   I hope to finish “Dharamsala Stories” one day, with my observations on exiled Tibet and my reflections on Tibet’s future from the three months I lived in Dharamsala.   This section was written before I went to Dharamsala, and later I replied to a suggestion from Gyari Lodi, who invited me to help write a book –  “Reflections from a distance” and “The wisdom of writing a great history.”)


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王力雄:纪念嘉日·洛珠坚赞 http://woeser.middle-way.net/2018/10/blog-post_31.html