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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - XIV Dali Lama and Tibet - October 3.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
New College
Henry Shiu

October 3, 2012. Lecture 3 - The XIV Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile 14th Dali Lama Brief Bio  Lhamo Dhondrub born July 6, 1935 to a peasant family in the small village of Taktser in north eastern Tibet  According to Tibetan tradition he was recognized at 2 years of age as the reincarnation of the 13th Dali Lama, 14th incarnation of the Dali Lamas before him and, the incarnate of Avalokitesvara said to be the bodhisattva of compassion of all Buddhas o Avalokitesvara depicted as both/either male and/or female  February 22, 1940 the Dali Lama renamed Jestsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsa Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso – Holy Lord, Gentle Glory Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom was officially recognized as the XIV Dali Lama of the Tibetan people  1949 the invasion and beginning of the Chinese occupation of Tibet…prior to that the Dali Lamas’ had political influence in Tibet regarding the governing and education of Tibetans  November 17, 1950 His Holiness assumes official responsibility as the political authority and the Head of State of the Tibetan Government like the Dali Lamas before him  1951 the Seventeen Point Agreement was formalized between the Chinese Government and delegates representing the Dali Lama recognizing China’s rule over Tibet regarding external affairs, and the Tibetan Government who would manage internal affairs  The hope was to keep Tibetan religious and cultural heritage intact; however the marriage between the Communist Chinese and the Religious Tibetans would not last for long  Tenzin Gyatso’s determination for peace was evident very early; in 1954 at the age of 19, he went to Beijing to partake in peace talks with Chinese leaders including Mao Tse-tung (AKA Chairman Mao)  Much of Tibetans’ education prior to the Chinese invasion and occupation was delivered by the monasteries which were based on the philosophy and traditions of Mahayana Buddhism  The Tibetans have been forced to give up a great part of their culture and heritage to the occupying Chinese in addition to a losing many of their lives over the last 50 years  Attempts to reach a compromise with the Chinese regarding the governing of Tibet and the plight of the Tibetan peoples have been thwarted over the years and continues to deteriorate drastically  1959 the Dali Lama flees from Tibet to the village of Dharamsala India along with other Tibetans… numbers are imprecise ranging from 10 000 – 80 000 refugees fleeing to India at the onset of this initial Chinese occupation of Tibet  After DL fled Tibet His Holiness continued as the political and spiritual leader of Tibetans in exile and was actively involved in drafting a Tibetan constitution in an effort to re-shape the Tibetan government to be more democratic in practice  DL also attempts to reform Tibetan monasteries and the institution of Dali Lamas itself  In 1989 XIV Dali Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  His sense of humour and pragmatic attitude is ever present in spite of the hardships and the loss of dear family members; his unwavering belief in the basic goodness and similarities of the human experience is well known through his lectures and writing and in his own words in these next two quotes: o “The XIV Dali Lama may be the most popular Dali Lama of all, but if the Chinese had treated the Tibetans like real brothers, then the Dali Lama might not be so popular, so all the credit goes to the Chinese.” o “Old friends pass away, new friends appear *said as a matter of fact cheerfully+. It’s just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”  This 50-year-old non-violent campaign to liberate Tibetan peoples has been ongoing for the Dali Lama through various means, one of which is the proposed Five Point Peace Plan (Zone of Ahimsa) o A call to make Tibet a peace zone o Stop the Chinese population from overtaking the land and enterprises of the native Tibetan inhabitants o Maintain human rights and democracy for Tibetans o Preserve and restore the natural environment and stop the production of nuclear weapons and waste o
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