The Dalai Lama is an Easter Bunny! ~

Yes, me, a girl who normally completely disassociates herself from the Swiss political matters, feels the urge to comment on some seemingly "shocking" news from 20min.ch ( < again ! I have to admit this "free commuter newspaper" is a really entertaining paper and you can assume that nearly every person at high school/university/office/ who travels in public transport ( and who isn't subscribed to some thick, boring and elitist newspaper ) has at least glanced through that newspaper.
Thus their TV spot claiming 20min to provide topics of conversation is totally comprehensible.

First of all, I have to declare that I am not that detached from world's politics as it seems - I even considered studying international relations 1-2 years ago, but then, discovering that I couldn't take that course without studying swiss politics and other boring stuff too, I decided to leave it and replace it (you know, the 30 bologna ECTS missing) with some "simple" Japanese studies
(I'm starting in September 2010 - and will keep you updated, don't worry!). ~ 

Yes, there will be this series called "lacosta & politics"!!
( and these articles will usually be quite long )


This time it's about the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama and the refusal of our Swiss Federal Council to meet him.
This is soo funny, since Switzerland claims to be soooo "neutral" and "peaceful" and the Dalai Lama should be the best epitome of "peaceful" too...
but anyway, our country is so small and we have to pursue our economic interests and our issues with Tibet (that I’ll explain later on) are annoying China so our Swiss Federal Council is trying not to add fuel to the fire.

But why do I consider this „funny“?

Follow up:

The whole world seems to have some kind of love-hate relationship with China: It doesn’t trust the rapid Economic growth, it criticizes the cheap mass production, the sparse environmental protection, the human rights abuses and the internet censoring regime. And it’s highly afraid of China’s influence.

On the other side it knows that China is a rising sales market and an important country to have „good political relations“ with. – and Switzerland is just a tiny country in the middle of Europe who depends on good political relations with the other countries.

You might say "so what if the Swiss Feder Council" doesn't want to meet the Dalai Lama? Do the all the leaders of other countries meet him? Well, yes, some. But that's not the point.
Switzerland is special.

Switzerland has over 3000 Exile- Tibetians. We even have the only monastic Tibet Institute in the West that is under patronage of the Dalai Lama. ( Tibet Institute Rikon )
This year is the "50 Years Tibetians in Switzerland" anniversary!
So there'll be a conference week-end called "WE ARE TIBET". Where? IN ZURICH!!
So this all going on in Switzerland this year refusing the to meet the Dalai Lama is an insult. And it’s embarassing to see how „afraid“ of China’s reaction the Swiss Federal Council is.


Old times; when our leaders (above: P Couchepin) weren't too afraid to meet the Dalai Lama


That’s my critique of the Swiss Federal Council.

But this doesn’t explain why I compare the Dalai Lama to an Easter Bunny...
So let’s continue to the second part:

My critique of the Dalai Lama.

Let’s focus on the Dalai Lama. He travels the world holding speeches about peace and love and actual political topics.
This time he’ll talk about „Universal Responsibility and Economics“.

That’s really nice and interesting. BUT WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE „DALAI LAMA“?

When you see the Dalai Lama what to you associate with him? Peacefulness, Responsibility, blabla. Aww ~ the Chinese are so mean, how could they dislike such a „holy“ person? Well, HELLO?! This person is not only a symbol of peace - he’s also the leader of an exiled community who tries to impose the image of the bad guy China and of their own pitifulness in the West. THAT’S WHY the Chinese pressure other leaders not to meet the Dalai Lama in a political event.


You will now say: but IT IS TRUE that the Tibetans are pitiful and the Chinese regime are a** holes!!
Well, it’s true. The exiled Tibetans of the late 50s and 60s are pitiful. But they are leading a happy life in the West now. What’s pitiful about them? And what do they know about the situation in Tibet now? (maybe some stupid reports from our corrupted media??)


The Dalai Lama is an Easter Bunny!
His modern image has as much to do with Tibet as
the Easter Bunny has to do with the original Easter Story (including resurrection of Jesus)


Most of you will have watched the movie „Titanic“. So try to recall the image: Who was able to leave the ship? Who was left trapped inside? Did you notice the brutal injustice?? Only the rich (and the middle-class) people were allowed to get on the small boats and save themselves. No one cared about the poor ones. They were left behind to drown with the ship.

Do you get the hint? Who was able leave the country, start a new life outside and keep whining about the loss of properties and statuses? Only the rich and middle-class people. The poor people who couldn’t afford or didn’t know how to leave the country had to stay and adapt to the new political circumstances. That’s the only reason why the Western world even knows and cares about the „poor“ Tibetans in China. (there are so many other minority groups that are being suppressed by the Chinese, but what do WE know about them? Nothing! Why? Because there are no rich exiled communities to make "publicity"!)Because we have a huge pile of exiled Tibetans who have fame and fortune and a charismatic leader who tries to approach his listeners with moral topics (cleverly combining them with actual political events).


I know that many, many people like to go listen to his speeches.
- Why?
I think it’s some modern way of feeling „good“ after attending such a meeting.
Christians (maybe I should say catholics), do you know the feeling after listening to a good and touching sermon?
Don’t you kinda feel „purified“ just by listening to what the pastor says?
It’s now like you’re leaving the church and becoming a better person, but you still feel as if you’d „done your share“.
That’s my interpretation of why the speeches of the Dalai Lama are so popular. People like to listen to other people preaching about how to be „good“. It’s some kind of illusion and detachment of the brutal everyday life.


The Hallenstadion, a place where we hold concerts and sports events.
This is the place where the Dalai Lama hold his speeches.
(the picture was taken during one of them)
...
scares the shit out of me.

Of course I have to admit that I haven't been there in the late 50s and 60s when the Tibetans had to leave their homes stealthily and start a new life abroad. I don't know the struggles and maybe tragic stories of many Tibetan households.
I don't wanna let you think that I don't respect you.
I just think that our Western population has a very one-sided view about Tibet. (yes, the one YOU Tibetans promote) HEY! I mean, you've been living in exile for 50 years... so if you're under 50 years old and still declaring that the Chinese are your enemies (what don't think anyone does though) and shit I CANNOT take you seriously... you've grown in the West... what do you know about the "old" Tibet? What do you know about the "poor" Tibet now? What the western media decides to show us? Well, I have to disappoint you. Western media is not necessarily transparent. They show you what they wanna show you.


I don't wanna blame the Tibetans in Switzerland. I think many of the young Tibetans are quite open-minded about this topic.
But I HATE IT when other Swiss people try to talk with me about the "Tibet issue" (because they know that I study Chinese) without knowing anything about it, or after reading an article in 20min. Many of them are completely ignorant and think they can impose their "opinion" about Tibet and China on me. That's why I wrote this article with my very own opinion about the whole matter.

// by the way, I haven't just "puked out" this article from nowhere. I've done some research. So feel free to add your own opinion or give me some other interesting sources on the topic but don't call me superficial!! //

I know, you'll hate me for this entry. But this is the lacosta & politics series. If you don't like my opinion just skip this posts, I will always mark them with the button you saw above.
just to warn you...

4 comments

Comment from: Leaa [Visitor] · http://cassisroses.blogspot.com
Heey lacosta!

well I won't hate you for this post, in fact it's very brave of you to stand up and state your COMPLETELY different opinion than most people have... but I do have some critique/questions/remarks? Don't know how to call it.. ^^

Mind that I live in Holland, so I look at it from my point of view, I don't have any knowledge about the Swiss politics.. exept that they are always neutral! (xD)

- Here in Holland aren't just old 50 Tibetans that have been in holland for 50 years.. in fact, we have a housecleaner that is from Tibet.. and she has only been here for a few years ^^ So I do think that a lot of exiles know what they are talking about.
- Also the news we know about Tibet isn't just from exiles, but also from journalists and such.. or is Tibet just like North-Korea and can't anyone enter? (I don't really know that but I figure that if it's open journalists will enter)
- You say that the Dalai Lama gives you the same effect as a pastor or priest would. Yes, in fact he does give that.. but for a lot of people that effect doesn't stop at: 'I feel like I did something good now', it begins with that.. I'm a christian myself and every sunday I go to church, when I hear about inspiring stuff it inspires me to do that same thing! So I don't just think: 'Oh I should do this more and more...' but I actually do this more and more...
- I also think that because the Dalai Lama has so much influence, he inspires and motivates a lot of people!

I do agree with you on one thing though.. that people should stop painting China so black-white. On the one hand the bad-evil-corrupted China and at the other hand the growing-helping-economics China. Personally I see China as a gray area.. just like every other country. I mean.. America also has good and positive things right? Switzerland must have too.. and I know for certain that Holland has good but definitly also bad qualities. So I don't get why especially China has to be so black-white..

Alright this post is already way to long! Sorry if I don't make sense sometimes.. I wrote this in a flash + enlish isn't my first language.. I'm not even sure if some of the things I state are correct, but it's the way I see it! ^^ Don't try to attack you or anything, but I find it interesting to talk about! Can't wait till the next Lacosta & Politics! 8D
04/04/10 @ 18:20
Comment from: lacosta [Member] Email
@ Leaa:
first of all, THANKS for taking your time and writing such a long comment (nearly as long as my article *haha*). I think it's very interesting to know other peoples opinion of this matter. here is my reply to your statements:

- I don't criticize the Dalai Lama as symbol of peace and anyone who likes to listen to his speeches. (of course the Dalai Lama-Easter Bunny comparison is a provocation) I just think that his speeches of peace have nothing to do with his original "job" as Dalai Lama, as leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He's now more like a "preacher of peace" or something like that ^^'

- It's true (and I don't wanna deny it though I haven't written much about it) that there ARE problems in Tibet and that the Chinese have destructed a lot of cultural relics. And the media is right to report that. Sometimes. But sometimes it's just over-exaggerated... and I hate how people trust any stupid newspaper. (the 20min is a very hand, but also very superficial newspaper)

- I don't know how religious you are and you will have to be patient with me, because I'm atheist and sometimes what I write can seem quite rude if you're religious.
Anyway, I know many religous people who "instrumentalize" the churchgoing. They are vicious (drinker, smoker), like to rant and are sometimes even rude to other people. and then they go to church, feel "good" and believe they can keep going like before. that's really buggin me sometimes >.<''

- of course, if you feel inspired by other peoples speeches and try to improve yourself then that's a good thing! (I also have that kind of feeling when I listen to positivity tapes) so please don't feel offended when I talk about that in my posts! ^_^''

- but I think if you agree that China (nor any other country) isn't black-white then you're already quite close to what the whole article was all about! =D

thanks for commenting and I'll excuse my offensive writing style, but if it's not provoking it's boring, right? ^_~
04/04/10 @ 19:11
Comment from: Leaa [Visitor] · http://cassisroses.blogspot.com
Haha I won't comment on everything again.. but I just wanted to say something about the Christian thing. I totally agree with you. There are a lot of Christians around the world that claim they are a christian.. and then do everything God tells us not to do. I'm not saying that good Christians are like saints that never do anything wrong.. but there are a lot of hypocrits.. I agree. ^^

And thanks for your comment on my blog ;) The BBB challenge is indeed a lot harder than I thought! But it does make you think about your blog and such ^^ And can't wait for your basic Korean learning blog! <3 I've already learned the basic hangeul.. and I'm trying to master a bit more now.. but it's hard with my own study and such!
04/05/10 @ 13:03
Comment from: Vivi [Visitor]
*****
Wow...interesting standpoint O_O
I applaud you for your clever view and opinion. Yes, this Tibet vs. China is very politically controversial XD

Pretty much all the Tibetans are very happy now. They have access to the mainland, students even get lower-cost access to good universities!

As a Chinese person...yes, we're still improving our country and all ^_^; Dalai Lama and his crew just want attention...

BTW, I wouldn't even call him a symbol of peace. For his 16th birthday, his birthday present was a human skull from a sacrifice....uh....p-peace?
04/02/11 @ 22:38

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