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Youth Forum closed Page1 Religion is Poison Page 2 The Dalai Lama Page 3 A Year of unrest Page 4 Main Events of 2007 Page 5 A life reflecting Page6

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan assassinated.

Page 6 Vol. 02, Issue 06, 31 December, Rs.5 2007

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MandalOffering A Tibetan girl is offering her Mandal pray at main Temple, Dharamsala on 27th December 2007. Image: TPI www.thetibetpost.com

T P I S h o r t s Ta k e s

Germany Border-Free Zone Expanded

Dalai Lama extends advance greetings for New Year and Losar

The European Union’s border-free zone is extended to the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. People from these nations can travel to the existing 15 states of the ‘Schengen’ borderfree zone without having to show their passports. Freedom of Expression

Tibetan Youth Discussion Forum closed TPI, December 19, 2007. The freedom of expression is undergoing serious problem in China and all the Tibetan language websites in Tibet are being closed and opened frequently. Even discussion forum of Woeser in Chinese language has been blocked in last year and also other Tibetan related Medias are facing lot of problem in Tibet under Chinese rule. Recently on December 6, the Youth Discussion Forum of Snowland (Gang-Shoen-Leng-Teg) www.tibet123.com which is the most popular and favorite website among the young-educated Tibetans has been closed by Chinese authorities. When it was about to close, it has 6200 registered members and the number of the member increases day by day. Sometimes, there come around 3000 members (Users) to chat at the same period of time in the discussion forum. Therefore, such type of discussion forum is extremely essential to us at this very critical time. It has become one of the most important platforms for Tibetan youngsters to exchange ideas and experiences between each other. But unfortunately, such an important forum has been closed due to its contents related to the true plight of Tibet. Likewise, the Chinese government never leaves any stone unturned to fail any thought or work which is

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Mongolian religious leader at main Temple in Dharamsala on 27, December 2007. Photo: The Tibet Express, Mr. Ngawang Tharpa

Phayul[Thursday, December 27, 2007 19:40] By Phurbu Thinley Dharamsala, December 27: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today extended a warm advance greeting for the New Year 2008 and Losar (Tibetan New Year) 2135 after finishing five days of teaching at the request of Mongolian Buddhists.His Holiness extended His New Year greeting at a religious ceremony this morning at the Tsuglagkhang (Main Temple) where he was offered a grand long life prayer (Tenshug) by the monks from the Gandan Thegchenling Monastery of Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

“New Year 2008 is around the corner and Losar is also coming soon as well. So I want to say Tashi Delek and Happy New Year to everyone,” His Holiness said. The Dalai Lama also asked the Mongol Buddhists present at the ceremony to pass on his New Year greetings to other fellow Mongolians back in their homeland. “Enjoy the New Year with good spirit and make efforts to begin New Year with a commitment to evade wrongdoings and accumulate more merits,” the Dalai Lama told a large audience of Buddhist devotees. “This could help bring more happiness and pros-

perity into your life and country,” the Tibetan spiritual leader added. Some 250 Buddhists from Mongolia, mainly monks from the monastery, attended the five-day teaching that began on December 22. Hundreds of Tibetans and, a sizeable Buddhists from Korea, Hong Kong and western countries attended the teachings that included the initial two days devoted to the conferment of the Jigjey (Yamantaka) Initiation (Lha Chusoom Jigjey Kawang) followed by three days of teachings on Lobsang Choekyen’s Lama Choepa (Guru Puja) from December 23 to 26.

E Tibet Tibetan kid makes pilgrim’s progress The Tibet Post International. 2007-12-25. FIVE-YEAR-OLD Gonpo Cering is on his way to Lhasa, undertaking a monumental pilgrimage that will take more than five years. To date, the boy has walked for eight months from his hometown in northwest China’s Gansu Province to Sichuan Province which borders the Tibet Autonomous Region. Even the rough weather has not dampened his enthusiasm for getting to the sacred destination, the Jorkhang Temple, in the heart of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. “I will be 10 years old when I see Lhasa,” Gonpo said in a little chirpy voice, a dusty scar clearly visible on his forehead. It will take five years or more for him to see “the Living Buddha.” “I’m not tired, but I miss papa and mama,” he said, the dazzling sunshine beaming off his face. His parents had saved 7,000 yuan (US$945) for their son’s journey. Gonpo can sometimes get extra alms given by other believers he comes across. The belief of Tibetan pilgrims is not a matter of time and money, it’s all about faith. As an honorable part of Tibetan life, devout believers prostrate themselves all the way to Lhasa from their hometown hundreds or thousands of kilometers away. “I prostrated humbly on the mountain, moving toward you, just for feeling your sweet warmth,” wrote Tsangyang Gyatso, the unconventional sixth Dalai Lama (1683-1706) in 18th century Tibet. He was famed for a remarkable collection of beloved poetry and died in his mid-twenties. Last year, 328,000 pilgrims visited the Potala Palace, Norbuglinkha and Jorkhang Monastery, the top three religious sites in Lhasa. Despite the 1,956-kilometerlong Qinghai-Tibet railway that became operational in July last year, most pilgrims stick to the traditional ways to practice their piety.

Tibetan PM, other top officials to attend Long Life Offering Ceremony at Mundgod

Tibet.net[Friday, December 28, 2007 18:00] Top officials of the Central Tibetan Administration including, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, Parliament Speaker Karma Chophel, Justice Commissioner Thupten Tashi Anyetsang, members of the Kashag, will attend a grand ceremony to present long life offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Mundgod, Karnataka

Tibetan PM (Kalon Tripa) Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (L) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (File Photo: Phayul.com) Tibetan PM (Kalon Tripa) Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (L) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (File Photo: Phayul.com) Dharamsala, December 28: In the first week of January 2008, the top officials of the Central Tibetan Administration will attend a grand long life ceremony to express their gratitude to the great service of His Holiness the Dalai Lama rendered to the Tibetan people in particular and world in general. Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche will leave Dharamshala on 29 December for an official visit to Lucknow, Mundgod and Delhi. While enroute to Mundgod, on 31 December, Kalon Tripa will attend a general body meeting of the Coomaraswamy Centre for Traditional Studies in Lucknow. Besides attending the long life prayer ceremony, Kalon Tripa will also attend the teachings by His Holiness on Jamphel Tsencho and Lhamo Jenang at Drepung Lachi Monastery. Kalon Tripa will attend an inaugural ceremony of an assembly hall (Tsuglagkhang) by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Drepung Loseling Monastery. On 9 January, Kalon Tripa is scheduled to address a media workshop to be organised by the New Delhibased the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre. Later, he will also attend the centre's general body meeting. Kalon Tripa will return to Dharamshala on 10 January.

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Tibetan Students Hold Rally Opposing Chinese Invasion Mangalore: Tibetan Students Hold Rally Opposing Chinese Invasion The Tibet Post International {26, December 2007} Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (KM) Pics by Ahmed AnwarMangalore, Dec 25: Tibetan students studying in various colleges in the city launched a bicycle rally here on Tu e s d a y, D e c e m b e r 2 5 o p p o s i n g China’s invasion of Tibet. The rally was organized by regional Tibetan Youth As many as 25 Tibetan students took part in the rally, which was flagged off at Lalbagh here. The rally will terminate near Mundagod, a town located in the northern part of the state. The rally will move via Puttur, Sullia, Madikeri, Mysore and other places. The rally deserves applause as it is driven by the mission of freedom struggle-like zest. Human right has been violated in Tibet. Dalailama is synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi who struggled to make the nation peaceful. Non-violence movements are essential to establish peace, Captian Ganesh Karnik, MLC opined on the occasion. The nine-day rally aims to spread awareness about the exploitation of China over Tibet and to attenuate the influence of China. The rally’s prime concern is to strengthen the deep bonds that India has with the Tibetans and Tibet, Ngwang Thokme, president of Youth Congress asserted.Congress.


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The Crying Voices of a Snowland “Tibet” Modernization or Han colonization? To lessen the strong influence of religion in Tibet, the Chinese government attempted to replace traditional monastery schooling with modern, secular schools. Currently, the Chinese government claims that it has established more than 3,000 schools in the TAR, special Tibetan schools in inner China, and institutions of higher education, like the School of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, and Tibet University. Some Chinese officials argue that these progressive measures have helped Tibetans both improve their lives and move toward the modern world. Yet, when closely analyzed, the results show a peculiar pattern of discrimination and a far less progressive policy. Contrary to official statements, the majority of schools in Tibet are constructed and funded by local Tibetans. In addition, as of 1995, Tibet continues to be the least literate region in China, with a higher than sixty percent illiteracy and semi-literacy rate 25? Whereas China´s illiteracy rate has fallen to under seven percent. One of the most contentious issues between Chinese and Tibetans is the medium of instruction used in schools. Article 4 of the Chinese Constitution and Article 37 of the Minority Nationality Act of 1984 clearly indicate that the language of each nationality should be adopted both as a medium of instruction in schools and for official use in the government wherever minorities are dominant. In Inner Mongolia, another Autonomous Region like Tibet, there are schools and colleges where the medium of instruction is Mongolian. However, in the TAR, Chinese is the language of instruction in schools above the secondary level, despite the fact that “ninety-five percent of the Tibetan population do not speak or understand the Chinese language.” From the Tibetan perspective, Chinese education policy, rather then modernizing, represents one more tool to eradicate Tibetan civilization and identity. As one might imagine, the use of Chinese as the language of instruction in schools has had highly discriminatory effects on Tibetan students. Higher levels of education in the TAR are in fact dominated by ethnic Chinese. In the School of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, supposedly established for Tibetans and located in the TAR, 446 (71%) of the total 630 students are Chinese and only 184 (29%) are Tibetan. In the Tibet Nationalities Institute in Xian yang, 938 students out of the total 1,165 students are Chinese and only 227 are Tibetan. The Chinese government maintains that only 4% of the population in the TAR is Chinese. If 4% of the population takes more than 70% seats in the educational institutions, then these figures beg the question of who is really being educated in Tibet. The major exception to this pattern is Tibet University in Lhasa where the majority of students are Tibetan (1,018) and Han Chinese are in the minority (208). Still, on closer examination of the data, even at Tibet University one finds that Han Chinese are the majority in science and technical courses, with Tibetans constituting only 26% of the students in these areas. In contrast, Tibetans are heavily concentrated in the humanities, representing 70% of the students enrolled in those courses. Sadly, one of the core parts of the humanities program, the Tibetan language department, has been closed for the past three years, and the local government is pressuring teachers to teach Tibetan history using the Chinese language. The situation worsens at the highest level of education. For the last forty years, fewer than ten Tibetans have graduated or are graduating from Beijing University. When questioned about this statistic, the Chinese respond that Tibetans are unable to compete intellectually with the Chinese. However, if that were the case, why, in just the last ten years, have there been at least ten exiled Tibetans who have graduated or are about to graduate from Harvard University? Exiled Tibetans constitute only 5% of the Tibetan population or 130,000 in total (far less than the 150,000 Chinese students in the US in any given year). Each year hundreds of Tibetan children ranging in age from six to eighteen years cross the Himalayas seeking secular or monastic education in India. The real land of opportunity for Tibetan education is now outside of Tibet.

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Mr. Vincent Brossel Geshe Thupten Phelgye Mr. Shalinder Kumar Mr. Yeshe Choesang Mrs. Rigzin Wangmo Mr. Palden Gyatso Miss. Dolma Lhamo Mr. Tenzin Sangpo Mr. Tenzin Kunga

Tele: 0091-1892-224641 E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com www.thetibetpost.com

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The Tibet Post

Mao: Religion is Poison Urgent Appeal: By Ven Bagdro (To all Tibetan reincarnate beings, I pledge with my hands placed before the heart) The government of China brutally occupied Tibet in 1949 and ironically named it the Peaceful Liberation. It resulted in unimaginable torture and death of tens of thousands of Tibetans, destruction of thousands of monasteries that had been built by Tibetans from enormous personal sacrifices for centuries – its gold crested roof melted and made into bullets, which were inturn used on Tibetans them selves, Buddhist status were destroyed, burned and used to cover up toilets, flat stones with religious inscriptions were purposely placed on the street, and countless scholars and reincarnate beings were killed through struggle sessions which was so intense and inhuman. In 1950, when His Holiness went to China and met with Mao and other leaders, they had expressed their loathing towards religion (religion is poison), which they believed was an impediment to development. In such ways, Chinese have not only undermined Tibetan religion but have attempted to vanquish its source in Tibet. The recent issuance of the Order Number 5 is a blatant interference into strictly religious matter by the Communist regime that does not believe in any religion. It is a shameful act to exert control over religion by issuing this decree which states that Tibetan reincarnate beings must get approval from Chinese government. On a related matter, His Holiness had recently opened up discussion on his reincarnation by pointing out in Japan that his reincarnation could be appointed before he dies. Chinese government was infuriated as this announcement literally told to take their hands off on matter. It is a victory for us. It was a clear indication that this is a matter of utmost important to Tibetans, and that His Holiness has the ultimate control over it. It was also clear from Chinese reaction to His Holiness’ statement regarding his reincarnation that they, the Chinese government care not about Tibetans but their sole desire is to have total control over everything Tibetan, including spiritual and culture. Therefore we in exile, particularly religious institutions must organize protest, in earnest, against the Chinese government. The prevailing situation in Tibet is more appalling than the infamous Cultural Revolution and sacred temples and

monasteries have been turned into money generating museums for the Chinese authorities. For example, seven thousand to ten thousand Chinese yuan generated from Tsuklakhang (main cathedral), Potala Palace, and Norbulinka are being gobbled up by Chinese officials and their cronies, while depriving any fund to the temple or palace. Tibet has been turned into a living hell by the Chinese government at this modern period. Recently Chinese government destroyed statues of Padmasambava (Guru Rinpochi) in Samye temple and Ngari respectively. Likewise, a religious institution in Sertha was destroyed few years ago. Prominent Tibetans such as the Penchen Gedun Choekyi Nyima, Chatral Rinpoche, and Trulku Tenzin Delek have been arrested, imprisoned (many have been tortured) and currently their whereabouts are not known. Furthermore, restrictions have been applied on keeping picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in temples or in individual homes. As evident from the above points, the situation in Tibet is critical and we cannot afford to stand by and watch. The Tibetan people, particularly the religious institutions and reincarnate lamas in exile must take initiative – not rely on His Holiness for everything – organize a mass movement as we Tibetan Buddhists should take the Barminas Buddhist monks’ protest as an example. Hereby, as a request all the foreign Tibetan Buddhist followers as well as Tibetan Buddhist institutes and centers should also take this event as a serious issue and stand for and take immediate. The religious teaching by His Holiness after the Tibetan New Years is an opportune time, when many Tibetan would gather at one place, to hold mass meeting for protest against the Chinese government. The actual action must be carried out right after meeting. This is a fight against the gross human rights violation in Tibet, particularly undermining Tibetan religious freedom and not a fight over petty politic. The above petition has been submitted to the Office of Tibetan Cabinet, the Private Office of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama, All Departments of the Central Tibetan Administration, monasteries and religious institutions, Non-governmental organizations, and the presses. The purpose

is to stress the urgent need to act based on prevailing situation in Tibet. I have assumed this position for the critical nature of the situation dictates an inner call for an action and until that no sleep would come at night and no nourishment can be obtained from eating. The Chinese is systematically destroying the fundamental Tibetan fiber and danger of losing it is eminent. I speak it from the heart and it is true; I have no personal purpose attached with this request. [Author’s brief Bio] I am Ven Bagdro, a former political prisoner and I was a monk from Garden monastery [Tibet]. I was one of the uprising participants in 1988, March 5th and at that time I was shot in my leg by Chinese police. On 18th April 1988, I was arrested and first imprisoned in Gutsa Detention Center and received inhuman tortured caused my three bricks got broken and one of my kidneys was ruined. I was detained at Gutsa Detention Center for one year and transferred to Drapchi prison. I was released after more than two years in Drapchi based on my health. Because of heavy and inhuman tortured that I received while my imprisonment in Drapchi, I was totally sick and event I became near to die with lack of nutrition and I had only 39 Kgs at that time. As everyone knows that prison in Tibet is completely different from other world’s prisons in worse way. Because in the prison, prisoners particularly political prisoners would be used for newly trained doctors and medical student’s. And worse than that huge quantity of political prisoners’ blood was drained and taken to the Mainland. Anyway after I was imprisoned totally for three years in Tibet, I was released in 1991 and I fled to India and now I am living in India in Dhasa. Since I came to India, after such various of supports and opportunities, I went to more than 30 different countries and enabled to share my and express my experiences. Plus, base on my individual history, so far I have written five books and my book called ‘the hell on earth’ is the most successful. I hope if you have some little time then, please do read this book and you will find out my entire personal life history from it.

Spiritual Leaders Answer Life’s Most Complex Questions By Lillian Kwon Christian Post Reporter Mon, Dec. 24 2007 12:03 PM ETAcclaimed French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet explored some of the most complex questions bewildering the world’s population in a television documentary that aired Sunday. Enlarge this Image In God’s Name Filmmakers Gedeon (left) and Jules Naudet pose with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who is featured in ‘In God’s Name,’ a two-hour television special addressing challenging and profound questions. And who better to answer these questions than 12 respected spiritual leaders whose faiths represent 5 billion followers worldwide, said one filmmaker. Both filmmakers, who created the awardwinning “9/11” documentary, were in the World Trade Center creating a piece on New York’s firefighters when the terrorist attacks took down the Twin Towers on Sept. 11. Convinced that he was going to die, Jules Naudet asked himself questions that he believes most people asked themselves that day. “These questions popped into my head: Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?” said Jules. “I think the common one most people asked was ‘Where was God that day?’” “How do you deal with death having been confronted by it so directly, so violently?” Gedeon posed. “How do you make sense of it?” The questions took the filmmakers around the world to spiritual leaders of 12 different faiths in search for answers to the meaning of life. “It’s been some of the darkest moments in

religious life in all of history when in the name of God, we kill people,” said Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American and president of the Lutheran World Federation, in the documentary. “I believe in the reality of spiritual warfare,” said Dr. Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. “I believe God and Satan are constantly battling for the hearts and souls of men and women.” In the two-hour television special - “In God’s Name” - on CBS, the featured spiritual leaders spoke about violence, hatred, faith, peace, unity tolerance and hope. What the filmmakers discovered was that these leaders have much more in common than most think. “Suddenly, we became much more respectful of different faiths, different cultures, much more tolerant also,” said Gedeon. “We found out in the end that there is much more that those leaders have in common than things that divide them.” “That was one of the extraordinary things to discover,” he added. The documentary conveys a message that there is more that unites everyone, across religions and faiths, than that which divides them, Jules explained. “There is so much misunderstanding and so much preconceived ideas that we have, and unless we make the effort to knock on the door of a neighbor and talk to them and discover basically at the end that there’s really not much difference at all,” Gedeon highlighted. One of the biggest misunderstandings following 9/11 is about Islam. “We consider that looking at Islam as a vio-

lent religion is the worst misunderstanding about Islam,” said Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon’s most senior Shia cleric. And people on the right tend to only listen to people on the right and think the people on the left are wrong, Jules cited Hanson as saying. And people on the left behave the same way. “We have a tendency to only listen to our own voices,” said Jules. “I don’t think the way we’re living today is what God intends for us,” said Hanson in the documentary. But in the midst of tragedies and divisions, the spiritual leaders believe God is there. “God comes and appears in the corners of life where you weren’t expecting and will open a door in any kind of situation even when you think ... the hope is nothing more,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams. “The rough and difficult time is what brings people together and strengthens their faith,” commented Alexei II, patriarch of Moscow and head of the Russian Orthodox Church. “We have a saying, ‘unless there’s thunder, people don’t make the sign of the cross.’” Other leaders featured in “In God’s Name” include Amma, a Hindu spiritual leader; Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church; the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists; Michihisa Kitashirakawa, Jingu Daiguji (High Priest) of the Shinto Grand Shrine of Ise; Yona Metzger, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Sheikh of AlAzhar and a prominent Sunni Muslim leader; and Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar of the Akal Takht, the Sikhs’ highest authority.


The Tibet Post

TPI DALAI LAMA

As Dalai Lama gains, Tibetans lose while the Tibetan pontiff was on an 11-day tour of the country. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to defy Chinese threats and the advice of some of her colleagues, and received the Dalai Lama in Berlin. Once again, Beijing frowned and screamed, but the lady was courageous enough to tell them to mind their own business: she could invite whomever she wanted in her own country. An Israeli newspaper promptly nominated her ‘Man of the Year,’ saying: “the leader of a center-right party was revealed in 2007 in all her stature as the high priestess of human rights everywhere… Like every country, Germany has economic interests in its relations with other countries, The Dalai Lama. Photo: TPI especially with Russia and Sify.com[Monday, December 24, 2007 17:12] China… Nevertheless, these interests do Claude Arpi is an expert on the history of not blind the chancellor.” Tibet, China and the subcontinent. He was “A government’s foreign and defence born in Angoulême, France. After gradu- policy must be based on values and not ating from Bordeaux University in 1974, interests,” Merkel told the Bundestag. he decided to live in India and settled in And showed other political leaders, (inthe South where he is still staying with cluding her dynamic neighbour and French his Indian wife and young daughter. He is President Nicolas Sarkozy) that it was the author of numerous English and French possible to officially receive the Dalai books including ‘The Fate of Tibet,’ ‘La Lama without being scared of China’s Politique Française de Nehru: 1947-1954,’ threats. ‘Born in Sin: the Panchsheel Agreement’ A few days later, the Dalai Lama met and ‘India and Her Neighbourhood.’ He Alfred Gusenbauer, the Austrian Chancelwrites regularly on Tibet, China, India and lor in Vienna. And after the Capitol Hill Indo-French relations. In the present ar- function, he was received by Stephen ticle, he contrasts the growing recognition Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister in of the Dalai Lama with the plight of the Ottawa. The Tibetan Diaspora in Dharamsala, Tibetans under China. In ancient Rome, at the end of each year, Himachal Pradesh where the Dalai Lama one used to speak of either an Annus resides, and elsewhere in the world is obhorribilis (a horrible Year) or an Annus viously jubilant. But on December 10, the 59th Internamirabilis (a Year of Wonder). The year 2007 seems to have been a com- tional Human Rights Day, the Tibetan bination of both mirabilis and horribilis Centre for Human Rights and Democracy for another leader, the Dalai Lama, and his (TCHRD) had this chilling message: “In the past eleven months, the human rights Tibetan cause. and freedom of Tibetans in Tibet have The wonders first. In October, as the 17th National Congress witnessed an unprecedented beating at the of the Communist Party of China geared hands of Chinese authorities.” up for its grand finale, in another Con- Though awarded the 2008 Olympics gress, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, Games, Beijing continues to practice a sysTenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama tematic denial of human rights to the Tiwas awarded the Congressional Gold betan people (and often the Chinese). A Medal by the House Speaker Nancy few examples will highlight the dichotomy Pelosi, as President George W Bush and between the growing popularity of the Dalai Lama and the worsening situation in his wife looked on. “He [the Dalai Lama] has used his posi- Tibet. tion to promote wisdom, compassion, and On January 1, a set of “Measures for the non-violence as a solution — not only in Regulation on Religious Affairs” was proTibet — but to other world conflicts,” mulgated by the 11th Standing Commitdeclared Pelosi, who never misses a chance tee of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. In to speak about China’s human rights March, this was used to ban Tibetan Comrecord. “The United States must continue munist Party members and civil servants to be committed to meet the challenge that in Lhasa from visiting temples. Why? BeTibet makes to the conscience of the cause the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultaworld.” This was the first time that President Bush tive Conference was being held in Beijing had agreed to appear in public with the at that time. Dalai Lama (though he had been ‘privately’ According to TCHRD, “(officials) were received him in the White House in the issued stark warning of facing expulsion past). “More than ever before, the leader- and dismissal, if they prayed at Buddhist ship in Beijing will have an unfiltered, un- temples in the Capital.” diluted opportunity to hear the message The tragicomedy was revived on May 17, of His Holiness,” declared Lodi Gyari, the when the Communist government in Dalai Lama’s special envoy for the nego- Beijing decided to implement the “Meatiations between Dharamsala and Beijing. sures on the Management of the ReincarAs expected, Chinese Foreign ministry nation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Budspokesman Liu Jianchao reacted sharply. dhism”. The Dalai Lama was the main tar“The Chinese government strongly op- get; it was Beijing’s way of responding to poses the US Congress giving the Dalai the growing popularity of the Tibetan Lama a so-called award.” But though the leader. Chinese government urged the US not to Article 2 of “Measures…” explains their go ahead with the ‘extremely erroneous purpose: “Reincarnating living Buddhas arrangements’, an official visit to China of should respect and protect the principles Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defence, of the unification of the State, protecting scheduled a week later was not cancelled. the unity of the minorities, protecting religious concord and social harmony, and Business is business! In fact, 2007 probably saw the Tibetan protecting the normal order of Tibetan leader being received publicly by more Buddhism. (They)... may not re-establish feudal privileges, which have already been heads of state than earlier. On June 15, the then Australian Prime abolished.” Minister John Howard met him in Sydney It makes an even more pointed reference

at the Nobel Peace Prize laureate: “Reincarnating living Buddhas shall not... be under the dominion of any foreign organisation or individual.” The 14 articles of the “Measures…” describe in great detail how “reincarnating living Buddhas should follow application and approval procedures.” From September 1, the party and its religious department took over the monopoly over the selection. On July 19, the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Nagchuka County arrested two elderly women — Odho and Apha Bomo. Their crime: Asking for the release an imprisoned Tibetan called Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. This reincarnate Lama from Lithang in Kham Province was arrested in 2002 and charged with alleged involvement in a series of bomb blasts. He was later condemned to death without proper trial. Despite several campaigns for his release, he is still in jail without proper trial. On August 1, a Tibetan nomad chief called Runggyal Adak spoke on the occasion of the annual horse race festival in Lithang, Eastern Tibet. He dared to criticise the lack of religious freedom in Tibet and asked for the Dalai Lama’s return. He was immediately arrested. Within days, hundreds of Tibetans staged a protest around the police station where Adak was detained, and the authorities had to rush additional contingents of People’s Armed Police (PAP) to check the situation. Finally some local Tibetan leaders urged the nomads to leave in order to avoid a bloodbath. According to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Runggyal Adak was prosecuted for ‘masterminding’ the ‘August 1 incident’ and ‘inciting to subvert State power’. On November 20, he was convicted to eight years imprisonment. Subsequently a purge of the local leadership started in several Tibetan counties. Tibetan officials were replaced by Chinese. Incidents of People’s Armed Police (PAP) destroying statues of the Buddha or Guru Padmasambhava have also been reported. As a consequence to the Lithang incident, in September the Chinese authorities started a “Patriotic Education Campaign” in Eastern Tibet. Those who did not obey were jailed. All this is happening in the country, which was given the task to organize the next Olympics. When the Dalai Lama received the Gold Medal in the Washington, the Chinese authorities, recalling the massive demonstrations of 1987, deployed the PAP in several strategic monasteries. Another incident of shooting at Tibetans fleeing to Nepal through the Nangpa Pass was reported on October 18; nine have gone missing and four were arrested from the original group of 46 Tibetans. The Chinese government’s announcement strikes primarily at the current negotiations which the Tibetans started with China in 2002 (six rounds have been held so far) and more particularly at the ‘genuine autonomy’ envisaged by the Dalai Lama. But can there be any autonomy if even the innermost traditions are controlled by the party and its leadership? A recent report released by the Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala lists hundreds of other issues such as the forced changes in the lifestyle of the nomads, the poor state of education, unemployment and social exclusion, the urban inequalities, the damming of rivers in Tibet (Brahmaputra is one of them), the extraction of natural resources or the collateral of tourism on the roof of the World (38 lakh visitors in 2007). Which brings us back to the original question: As far as the Dalai Lama is concerned, was 2007 an Annus Mirabilis or an Annus Horibilis? The views expressed in the article are the author’s and not of Sify.com. By the same author: Burma’s freedom cry | India-China: Imperfect harmony | Kissinger, China, and Indian amnesia

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The Meaning of Dreams December 27, 2007 - Bryan Schwartzman, Staff Writer Dreams permeate the book of Genesis. From Jacob’s nighttime visions of God to his son Joseph’s use of dream interpretation in the service of pharaoh in Egypt, the Bible’s first book captures the potential transformative power — and, at times, the paralyzing anxiety — brought about by the powerful images that inhabit, and often haunt, a mind at rest. Yet the remainder of the Torah — indeed, the entire scope of Jewish tradition — remains deeply ambivalent about the nature and role of dreams, according to Rodger Kamenetz, author of the newly published The History of Last Night’s Dream. In that book and at a Dec. 13 talk at the Free Library of Philadelphia — an event co-sponsored by the Kehillah of Center City — the English and religious-studies professor at Louisiana State University asserted that the remainder of the Bible either contains scant references to dreams or takes a far more circumspect view of their value. In short, he claimed that as the Jewish religious tradition emphasized the word at the expense of the image — part of the campaign to root out idol worship — dreams have largely been considered something either ignored or feared. And, he added, that’s been a loss to all who seek greater spiritual and inner awareness. “Below the surface of our dream is a hidden depth,” he explained. “In dreams, we can recover our hidden lives. We can use dreams to change ourselves from the inside. Most dreams are about a struggle.” Kamenetz is, of course, best known for his 1994 book The Jew in the Lotus, which chronicled a meeting of Jewish leaders with none other than the Dalai Lama in India and helped coin the term JUBU (which has also come to be spelled BuJew). The book examined the lives of Jews who, in varying degrees, incorporated elements of Eastern rituals into their religious practice. “The Jew and the Lotus spoke to a generation of Jewish religious-seekers,” noted Rabbi Leonard Gordon, religious leader of

Germantown Jewish Centre, in his introduction of the speaker. Kamenetz explained that his encounter with the visual Buddhist tradition led to his interest in dreams and daytime visualization techniques. The new book is partly a personal journey describing his work with dream teachers — including an 87-yearold mystic in Jerusalem — and partly a history of dream interpretation from Genesis to Freud. Freud Got It Wrong It’s nearly impossible to discuss the role of dreams in Western thought without mentioning Sigmund Freud and his much-debated book, The Interpretation of Dreams. In his talk, Kamenetz said that Freud got it all wrong. “Freud, the ancient rabbis, the church fathers — they all taught that dreams are messages that need to be decoded,” said Kamenetz, adding that rather than trying to solve a puzzle, people should surrender to dream images and experience them on a more visceral level. He also noted in his book that present-day psychiatry has gotten away from the notion of interpreting dreams. The shift takes place in Genesis itself, began Kamenetz. Early on, Jacob and Joseph simply accept their dreams. Later on, dreams start to produce great anxiety and must be explained away, noted the author. “Couldn’t we be given a dream that would show us the essence of who we are?” posed Kamenetz. But where does this all lead? What, exactly, is Kamenetz proposing that people do? “I want people to bring more imagination to their religious experience,” he said in an interview following his talk and book-signing. “People who are looking to find a deeper connection to God can find that through dreams.” But how? “In terms of working with dreams, it’s difficult to do it by yourself. You need a teacher,” replied Kamenetz, who didn’t exactly go on to answer how to locate such a person. “Anyone can write down their dreams and share them with people who love you.”

The BJP has taken Himachal Pradesh too Friday, December 28, 2007 (New Delhi) Results of all 68 seats of Himachal Pradesh assembly election have come out. BJP has won 41 seats and Congress lost by winning only 23 seats. BSP secured only one seat. On sweeping the poll, BJP leader LK Advani said poll victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh reflect beginning of process of change that will reach national level. BJP workers have been celebrating and brought out the flowers and laddoos in Shimla and Hamirpur. Meanwhile, CM Virbhadra Singh has offered to step down. He said that he would not continue till March 9, 2008. The BJP victories included Solan, Kotkehloor, Kinnaur, Gagret, Bilaspur, Lahaul and Spiti, Ani, Palampur and Karsog and Geharwin and Hamirpur. The Congress wins included Satokgarh, Nahan, Baijnath and Kasumta. Incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh defeated his traditional BJP rival Khusiram Balnatah by a margin of 14,137 votes from Rohru seat in Shimla district. While Virbhadra polled 30,079 votes, Balnatah bagged 15,942 votes. This was fifth straight defeat of Balnatah in the hands of Singh from the same seat, which formed part of his princely Bushehr state. BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate PK Dhumal led the saffron surge in regaining power winning from Bamsan in Hamirpur district while 16 others were declared elected. Dhumal won by 26,000 votes. Himachal also witnessed a high voter turnout and women played a decisive role and it has also helped Dhumal win the LS seat. Dhumal accepted congratulations from the media and said senior leader Shanta Kumar was also with him on the party’s decision to project him as Chief Minister. And as the results poured in, BJP President Rajnath Singh said he was grateful to the people of the state for voting the BJP. Senior Congress leaders Vidya Stokes and Thakur Ram lal were trailing in Kumarsain and Kotkaehloor respectively. Vote counting for Himachal assembly elections is underway and the new government is expected to be formed by December 31. The state underwent polls in two phases of voting, first on November 14 and then on December 19 to elect 68 legislators, as instructed by the Election Commission of India. More than four lakh people voted for the Himachal Assembly elections at 6232 polling stations in the state. Although, the BJP and the Congress, the two main contenders for power are both claiming that they would emerge victorious, the con-

test seems to be heading for a close finish. The poll results will decide the fate of 335 candidates, including Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Rohru constituency and BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal from the constituency of Bamsan. Both of them are leading contenders of the Himachal elections. Contenders profile Virbhadra Singh was born to Raja Sir Padam Singh of Bushehr on June 23, 1934, in Shimla. He completed his education at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He also served as a captain in the Indian Army. Singh was elected to Lok Sabha in 1962, 1967, 1972 and in 1980. He was also a member of Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1976. Virbhadra Singh took the charge as Deputy Minister, Tourism and Civil Aviation, from December 1976 to March 1977 and was the Minister of State for Industries from September 1982 to April 1983. He was also elected to the State Legislative assembly from Jubbal-Kotkhai Constituency, twice, before being elected from Rohru Constituency in 1990, 1993, 1998 and 2003. Now the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra has held office since March 6, 2003. He also served in that position from 1983 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. The BJP chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal was born to Captain Mahant Ram on April 4, 1944 in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh. He completed his education at Punjab University, Chandigarh and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Dhumal is an MP in the Lok Sabha from Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency. He was the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh from March 1998 to March 2003 and was earlier elected to Lok Sabha in 1989 and 1991. He also served as the leader of opposition in state legislative assembly of Himachal Pradesh from 2003-2007, before winning the bye-election in 2007. Presently the leader of the 18-member BJP group in 68-member Himachal assembly, PK Dhumal is the only non-Congress Chief Minister who completed his full term from 1998 to 2003. If Virbhadra Singh is confident that Congress would return to power in the state as it has a large support, the BJP because of its impressive victory in Gujarat is upbeat about their success. In the 2003 elections, Congress had won 43 seats and BJP only 16. Nine seats went to independents and other parties.(With PTI inputs)


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The Tibet Post

China and India Make Nice Anand Kumar 30 December 2007, Driven into each other’s arms by global concerns over energy, Tibet and other issues, India and China conduct their first ever joint military exercises

India and China last week concluded their firstever war games near Kunming in Yunnan province. Although the eight-day exercise, which ended December 28, involved only two companies of about 100 soldiers from each side, it was an important development for world politics as well as South Asian ones. Both emerging economic powerhouses have hitherto been known for their strained bilateral relations, beginning with the bloody SinoIndian border conflict in 1962. Frequent Chinese incursions on the Indian and Bhutan borders and the Chinese cold response to the US’s acquiescence to Indian nuclear ambitions only made it worse. Of late, however, there is a conscious attempt to put the bitter past behind and the latest military diplomacy is regarded as part of that effort. “The joint training is aimed at enhancing understanding and mutual trust,” said a statement issued by the foreign office of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. "It is also aimed at deterring the 'three evil forces' separatists, extremists and terrorists - and promoting the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India." The drill, termed as "Hand-in-Hand 2007," focusing on counter-terrorism, was the outcome of an agreement on defense cooperation signed in May 2006 during a visit to China by former Indian defense minister Pranab Mukherjee. The details were worked out by military officials of both countries during meetings held in Kolkata and Kunming in recent weeks. China sent another positive signal last year by agreeing to reopen the strategic Nathu La pass to border trade, thereby

accepting Sikkim as a part of India. Given the bitter past relationships between the two countries, the joint exercise largely cosmetic, in which neither of the participants were expected to show major military prowess. The main purpose was to build confidence between the two armies for further cooperation. But both India and China have certain other objectives which are no less important. The exercise is largely regarded as part of China’s charm offensive. China wants to reassure others of its “peaceful intentions.” It also wants to train its young officers by giving them exposure of other armies and would like the increased interaction to reduce apprehensions about the ongoing modernization of the People’s Liberation Army. Recent developments over Tibet have also prompted Beijing to seek somewhat improved relations with India. China has been concerned ever since the US Congress honored the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award conferred by US lawmakers. The Dalai Lama’s widely publicized visit to Capitol Hill was followed by a trip to Canada and a meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. These visits have worried the Chinese, who see the widely-respected religious figure leader as once again trying to bring unwanted attention to Tibet. On the other hand, to Chinese comfort, New Delhi has always regarded Tibet as an autonomous region of China. Beijing was also reassured by the fact that soon after the Tibetan spiritual leader returned to India,

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Tibetan Students Hold Rally Opposing Chinese Invasion

TPI. December 26, 2007. Mangalore: Tibetan Students Hold Rally Opposing Chinese Invasion The Tibet Post International {26, December 2007} Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (KM) Pics by Ahmed AnwarMangalore, Dec 25: Tibetan students studying in various colleges in the city launched a bicycle rally here on Tuesday, December 25 opposing China’s invasion of Tibet. The rally was organized by regional Tibetan Youth As many as 25 Tibetan students took part in the rally, which was flagged off at Lalbagh here. The rally will terminate near Mundagod, a town located in the northern part of the state. The rally will move via Puttur, Sullia, Madikeri, Mysore and other

places. The rally deserves applause as it is driven by the mission of freedom struggle-like zest. Human right has been violated in Tibet. Dalailama is synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi who struggled to make the nation peaceful. Non-violence movements are essential to establish peace, Captian Ganesh Karnik, MLC opined on the occasion. The nine-day rally aims to spread awareness about the exploitation of China over Tibet and to attenuate the influence of China. The rally’s prime concern is to strengthen the deep bonds that India has with the Tibetans and Tibet, Ngwang Thokme, president of Youth Congress asserted.Congress.

31 December, 2007 Dharamsala

A Year of Unrest Across China RFA[Tuesday, December 25, 2007 12:00] Police cars near a crossroads in Dongzhou. Photo: The Epoch Times Police cars near a crossroads in Dongzhou. Photo: The Epoch Times HONG KONG—China saw a turbulent end to a troubled year, with several people detained across the country in connection with mass civil rights activities ranging from land disputes, to complaints against the government, to industrial action. Police chief Zhou Yongkang has said that “actively preventing and properly handling” mass incidents was the main task for his Ministry of Public Security this year. But in the space of just a week more than a dozen riots, strikes, and demonstrations were reported by RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese services. In Dongguan city, a booming manufacturing city in south China’s Guangdong province, villagers were beaten by police after several hundred of them tried to blockade the village committee offices in protest at a land deal they say was unfair. “Almost all our villagers, about several hundred villagers, went to protest. When we blocked the committee office, the...armed police beat us,” one villager told RFA’s Cantonese service. A familiar story The story of Dongguan’s Baima village is a familiar one now in villages across China, where property prices have boomed in the last decade. This has rendered responsibility contracts signed by many rural families next to worthless, as local officials use a combination of back-door deals, re-zoning, and bribery of elected village chiefs to turn massive profits on land sold for development. More than 8,000 farmers from six villages in

Villagers beg for news of the dead in Dongzhou, December 2005. Photo: The Epoch Times

Wuqing district of the northern port city of Tianjin have protested a massive land grab by local government amounting to around 10,000 mu (670 hectares) since 1992. The local government initially began to build a reservoir in the nearby area, and began to requisition the land from farmers without any compensation. It then converted the reservoir site to highly profitable, large-scale fishfarms after a directive from higher up warned them they had acted illegally. Government statistics counted around 74,000 protests across the country in 2005, involving more than 3.7 million people, a sharp rise from 58,000 in 2003, and 10,000 in 1994. A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has estimated that 35 percent of “mass incidents” in China are sparked by rural communities fighting for their rights, 30 percent by workers, 15 percent by ordinary citizens, 10 percent from other disputes, five percent as a result of “social disturbances,” and five percent by organized crime. Those who protest official corruption or seek redress for official wrongdoing often end up in a worse state than if they had done nothing at all. In Guangdong’s Dongzhou village, more than 1,000 armed police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of villagers who tried again to block the construction of a key pylon near a disputed power plant. “They used tear gas and scattered the crowd,” a resident of the troubled village near the southern port city of Shanwei told RFA’s Mandarin service. Earlier, several hundred villagers had converged, beating on cymbals, on the same intersection where police opened fire on a crowd of protesting villagers on Dec. 6, 2005, killing at least three people. The authorities later said police had fired “in alarm” after being attacked by homemade explosives, but villagers deny attacking first. All economic crises Academics have calculated that demonstrations involving more than 100 people occurred in 337 cities and 1,955 counties in the first 10 months of 2006, amounting to

between 120 and 250 such protests daily in urban areas, and 90 to 160 in villages. Tian Ren, management professor at Texas’ Drexel University, said the problem of social unrest went hand-in-hand with China’s political system. “From the point of view of social control, all these crises are in fact economic crises. And in the background of China’s economic crises is a political crisis,” he said. “While the government continues to insist that these are crises of social order, completely separate from the economic and political crisis, it is espousing a view that does not have the participation of the other players.” U.S.-based social scientist Liu Xiaozhu said China’s central government is well aware of the problem; they are simply unable to deal with it at its root, in the current political climate. “They have a very sensitive system of gathering information, but the entire political arena is shrouded in fake speech, and befogged by an atmosphere of empty words and automatic clapping,” Liu said. Reporting banned “Anyone who tries to speak the truth is immediately attacked. This forces them along the shadowy path of cheating and fakery, which results in the oppression of ordinary citizens.” Central government officials have admitted publicly on many occasions that corruption and official misbehavior could endanger the Communist Party’s hold on power, and have paid their dues to the problem of corruption with some highly publicized criminal trials of top officials, and a Web site dedicated to fighting corruption. The site crashed soon after its inception, staggering under the burden of so many complaints. It has since resumed operation. State media, however, remain tightly controlled in what they can report, and, with a doubling of national security convictions in the past year, reporters are extremely cautious about stepping out on a limb to cover local civil and economic rights issues. But U.S.-based professor Zhou Zehou of York College said Beijing was well aware of the negative impact that media controls have on social stability. “If the media had been allowed to report the outbreak of SARS, its negative impact would not have been so great, and the mortality rate would not have been so high,” Zhou said. An Qi, a former reporter and editor at a number of state-run newspapers in China, is currently studying journalism in France. She described the bans imposed by the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee: “According to the propaganda department, there are 21 bans: no stories on unemployment, no stories on the upsurge of migrant workers…Radio stations are not allowed to report on workers’ strikes in foreign countries,” An said. Meanwhile, ordinary people across China doggedly continue protests against what they see as violation of their rights. Some brave starvation and injury and even risk their lives to get their voices heard. Beijing-based petitioner Wang Guiying was one of those who tried to present a 10,000name petition to Party leaders during the 17th Party Congress in October. She was recently detained while begging on Tiananmen Square and beaten by security guards until her leg broke. Wang is now stuck in a rented room with no money to ease the pain of the broken limb, and no money to buy food. “They found the break in the bone in her right leg at the hospital,” a Beijing social welfare official told RFA’s Mandarin service. “She was also found to have sustained other injuries. She is unable to move independently. What makes this situation much worse is that they have no money to live on.” “One the one hand they have no money to buy food, and on the other there is no money to buy medicine. She and her sister are in great difficulty. This is a typical example of where walking the petitioner’s road can get you.” Original reporting in Mandarin by Ding Xiao, Wen Jian, Shen Hua and Xin Yu, and in Cantonese by Lee Kin-kwan and Bat Tzimo. RFA Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. RFA Cantonese service director: Shiny Li. Translated and written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

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Beijing Clamps Down on Text Messages AP[Monday, December 24, 2007 17:53] ByANITACHANG Chinese authorities commonly use vague charges to detain dissidents. Chinese authorities commonly use vague charges to detain dissidents. BEIJING:ABeijing city regulation clamping down on people who send text messages that “spread rumors” or “endanger public security” is a threat to freedom of expression, a watchdog group said Monday. China Human Rights Defenders, an international network of activists and rights monitoring groups, said the recent regulation on text messages “raises serious concerns over the restriction of freedom of expression in China.” The group said in a statement that an average of 180 million text messages are sent every day and that text messaging has become one of the most important means of receiving information unavailable in the mainstream media. The 2008 Olympics, which Beijing is hosting, offer a high-profile opportunity for protesters to air their grievances against China on issues like religious freedom, human rights and Tibetan independence. Beijing police will work with government agencies and telecommunications companies to investigate and punish those using text messages to “spread rumors” or “endanger public security,” the city government said in a notice posted on its Web site late last month. Chinese authorities commonly use vague charges such as those to detain dissidents or others it views as a threat to the ruling Communist Party. Although the notice did not detail specific punishments, a story in the city’s Communist Party mouthpiece newspaper, the Beijing Daily, earlier this year said people who spread rumors or other false information are subject to detention for up to 10 days and a fine of up to $70. China has more than 500 million cell phone users and text messaging has become an increasingly effective way to spread word of meetings or demonstrations. China has more than 500 million cell phone users, and text messaging has b·ãome an increasingly popular. This summer, plans to build a chemical plant in the southern coastal city of Xiamen were suspended after residents sent nearly 1 million text messages to friends and family, urging the government to abandon the project because of its alleged health and environmental risks. Meanwhile, a Tibetan language online discussion forum was shut down this month for having content that was against Chinese law, according to a notice on its Web site. The popular forum, which was hosted at www.Tibet123.com, was shut down for containing “illegal content,” according to a notice on the Web site. The notice says it “strongly condemns the ‘rotten apple in the barrel’ who published harmful information.” The notice then invites people to leave comments. It is not clear if the notice is from the site moderator or the government. Media rights group Reporters Without Borders has called the site “the most dynamic forum in the Tibetan blogosphere” with over 6,200 registered members. The Paris-based group said the site has been closed since Dec. 6. It was still inaccessible Monday.


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The Tibet Post

Maoists to re-join govt in Nepal

Prajna Datta Varma Monday, December 24, 2007 (Kathmandu) The three-month deadlock in Nepal has ended. The Maoists have agreed to rejoin the Girija Prasad Koirala government under a new deal signed on Sunday night. In the 22-point agreement, the two sides agreed that after the elections scheduled to be held in April next year, Nepal will be declared a Federal Democratic Republic through the interim parliament, subject to ratification by the Constituent Assembly. Road to democracy A political deal for peace with the Maoist former rebels and the government will see the centuries-old monarchy abolished. After the elections in April 2008, Nepal will be declared a federal democratic republic. ‘’Mainly in case of Republic, it will be now a Federal People’s Republic, the implementation will be effective after the first meeting of the Constituent assembly election,’’ said Arjun Narsingh, Nepali Congress Spokesperson. ‘’We all have agreed to hold mixed type of elections, in which 42 per cent candidates (will be chosen) through regular elections

and 58 percent candidates through proportionate election, (that is, 240 seats through regular voting and 335 through proportional polling), and besides, 26 seats will be nominated - altogether 601,’’ he added. After three months of political turmoil, the Maoists pulled out of the government in September, demanding an immediate end to the monarchy. This delayed the constituent assembly elections, which were scheduled for November. ‘’In the case, the king tries to abort the election, the two third majority of the interim legislative body will replace the kingship with the republican state,’’ said Bharat Mohan Adhikari, Communist Party of Nepal. ‘’Maoists have agreed to join the Cabinet after the implementation of this agreement,’’ he added. Elections twice delayed The aborted November polls, Nepal’s first national votes since 1999, to map the country’s political future, including that of the monarchy, was expected to cap the landmark peace deal between the government and the Maoists. The deal came about after the government and Maoist chief Prachanda signed a pact in 2006, marking the end of a conflict, which caused over 13,000 deaths. The dates of the twice-delayed elections are yet to be announced. As part of the deal, the Maoists have agreed to return all land and properties captured by their cadre, while the government has pledged a commission to trace people, mostly Maoists, who went missing during the violence.

Narendra Modi to be sworn in as CM tomorrow

Gandhinagar (PTI): Narendra Modi, who pulled off a stunning repeat win for the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly elections, will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Tuesday for a third consecutive term. Modi(57) will be sworn in by Governor Naval Kishore Sharma at 1250 PM at the Sardar Patel stadium after he was unanimously elected on Monday as the leader of the Gujarat BJP Legislature Party. As a formality, all the 117 newly-elected BJP MLAs held a meeting at the Town Hall here where they chose Modi as their leader. The meeting was also attended by senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, who is party’s incharge of Gujarat, and Venkaiah Naidu. Modi’s swearing-in ceremony Modi will coincide with the birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Earlier, Modi was scheduled to be sworn in on December 27. He single-handedly ensured that the saffron party came close to a two-third majority winning 117 seats in the high-profile elections. After he was elected, an emotional Modi addressed the issue of his perceived larger than life image when he told his legislators he was not bigger than the party. “Those who say Modi is bigger than party do not know what the history of BJP and Jan Sangh is,” Modi said. Gujarat Assembly polls - 2007

“Son cannot ever be bigger than a mother”, an emotional Modi said, suggesting that he cannot be bigger than the party. While talking on the issue, Modi appeared to be touched and was almost in tears. “It is “vikrut manskita” (perverted mindset) to say that Modi is bigger than the party”, he said and had a dig at the media saying “My image appears to be bigger because of the limitation of your lenses which stop at me. “My image appears to be bigger because of the limitation of your lenses which stop at me. But if you were to widen your focus, you could see thousands of BJP workers who have lifted me up on their shoulders,” Modi said in an apparent dig at a section of the media, which has been projecting him as bigger than the party. Modi also said “In the days of Jan Sangh, candidates of the party used to lose their deposits in most of the elections. At that time, many dedicated workers and families sincerely worked for the party. Modi first became Chief Minister in early 2001 after Keshubhai Patel was asked to quit following the state government’s alleged mishandling of the post-earthquake situation in the state. His second stint started in 2002 when he led the party to a thumping victory winning 127 seats in the elections held a few months after the communal riots. Earlier, Modi handed over the resignation of the entire state-cabinet to Governor Naval Kishore Sharma after the present term of the government ended on Monday. While accepting the resignations, Sharma asked Modi to continue as the “care-taker” chief minister till the new government is formed.

31 December, 2007 Dharamsala

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Main events of 2007 In October 2007, US President George W. Bush meets the exiled Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama, angering China.

PARIS: Ap, 28, December 2007. Main world events in the year 2007: JANUARY An Indonesian passenger jet carrying 102 people crashes into the sea, killing all aboard. Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman in the post of Speaker of the US House of Representatives, as her Democratic Party takes control of Congress. US President George W. Bush announces plans for a “surge” of extra troops into Iraq. US military losses in the war pass the 3,000 mark. US forces in Iraq arrest six Iranians, provoking the fury of their government, which says they are diplomats. They are not released until November. Storms across much of northern Europe kill at least 47 people. FEBRUARY General David Petraeus takes over as head of US forces in Iraq. US officials increasingly accuse Iran of stoking the violence in Iraq. A suicide bomber hits the main US base in Afghanistan just as Vice President Dick Cheney is visiting. Up to 20 people die, most of them locals. MARCH After talks with the United States, North Korea says it is willing to begin scrapping its nuclear weapons programme. Russia warns the United States against a US plan to install a missile shield in Europe. At least 110 miners are killed when a methane gas blast rips through a coal mine in Siberia. Iran seizes 15 British navy sailors conducting anti-smuggling checks near its coast, claiming they were in its waters. They are freed in early April. APRIL A UN report paints a grim panorama of the impact of global warming. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran is now producing enriched uranium on an industrial scale. A South Korean student guns down 32 people at a Virginia university in the deadliest shoot-

ing rampage in modern US history. Former Russian president Boris Yeltsin dies at 76. MAY US President George W. Bush vetoes a Congressional bill that would have set a date for a withdrawal of forces from Iraq. Over 200,000 people march in the United States to demand more rights for immigrant workers. Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy wins the French presidency. A s c a n d a l f o r c e s P a u l Wo l f o w i t z , a leading US neo-conservative, to resign as head of the World Bank. JUNE After months of heavy fighting, the two main branches of the Palestinian movement split, with the Islamist Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip and Fatah holding the West Bank. European Union leaders reach agreement on a new fundamental treaty. Afghan President Hamid Karzai slams NATO and US forces for attacks that kill civilians in his country. British Prime Minister Tony Blair steps down and is replaced by Gordon Brown. Blair is appointed an international peace envoy for the Middle East. JULY Pakistani troops storm an Islamist-held mosque in the heart of the capital Islamabad. Over 60 people die. Russia pulls out of a treaty that limits conventional forces in Europe. Six foreign medics jailed in Libya for infecting children with the AIDS virus are freed and flown to Bulgaria, where most of them come from. A heatwave claims hundreds of lives in southeastern Europe. Greece is hit by massive fires. The US stock market falls heavily amid fears over the housing market. AUGUST Russia says one of its unmanned submarines has planted a flag on the ocean floor under the North Pole. Floods kill over 3,000 people and displace

some 25 million in south Asia. A powerful earthquake devastates several Peruvian cities and kills at least 500 people. A flash flood kills 172 workers in a Chinese coalmine. The Taliban release South Korean hostages seized in Afghanistan, ending a six-week kidnapping ordeal during which two Koreans were killed. US President George W. Bush says the world could face a “holocaust” if Iran obtains nuclear weapons. SEPTEMBER Lebanese troops eject Islamist militants from a Palestinian refugee camp after a threemonth battle that has killed over 220 rebels and 163 soldiers. As the United States marks the sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taunts the country in a new video. Tension rises in Myanmar as at least 13 die in continuing pro-democracy protests. At least 10 African peacekeepers are killed in an attack on their base in Sudan’s Darfur region. OCTOBER The leaders of North and South Korea hold a rare summit in the North. Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Britain will slash the number of its troops in Iraq in 2008. Former US vice president Al Gore and the UN’s top climate panel jointly win the Nobel Peace Prize for work on global warming. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan after eight years in exile. Bombs kill at least 139 people near her motorcade. US President George W. Bush meets the exiled Tibetan religious leader the Dalai Lama, angering China. NOVEMBER President Pervez Musharraf declares a state of emergency in Pakistan. 2007 the deadliest year yet for US forces in Iraq. Lawmakers are among over 50 dead in a suicide bombing in northern Afghanistan. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has a bitter clash with the king of Spain at a summit meeting. French unions go on strike over pension reform. Over 3,000 die and millions are homeless as a cyclone devastates parts of Bangladesh. The Australian Labour Party wins power and says it will pull its troops out of Iraq. The United States hosts talks on a Middle East peace settlement. DECEMBER Venezuelans vote to reject constitutional changes that would have given more power to President Hugo Chavez. The party of President Vladimir Putin wins a landslide victory in Russia’s elections. Reversing earlier judgements, a top US intelligence report says Iran is not close to obtaining nuclear weapons. US President George W. Bush writes to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il asking him to disclose his nuclear weapon programme by the year’s end.

Indo-China: first joint Military exercise

Nitin Gokhale N D T V. M o n d a y, D e c e m b e r 2 4 , 2007 (Kunming, China) Forty-five years ago these soldiers fought each other in the bitterly contested 1962 conflict in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh.

Today the cause of that war, the disputed border still hasn’t been resolved but the first tentative steps towards normalizing relations have been taken in the form a joint exercise and a common enemy, terrorism.

On Tuesday, the final day of this fiveday exercise, two mixed teams, which will include one hundred Chinese and Indian soldiers will attack a terrorist camp occupied by militants that were trying to sabotage the friendly relations between India and China. From the moment the Indians landed they’ve been treated like VIPs. The local press has covered the exercise extensively. A high level Indian team consisting of three generals is being hosted by the Vice Chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army Lt Gen Ma Xiao Tian. And though the border dispute remains an irritation not a shot has been exchanged since the border treaty of 1993 and the Agreement for Peace and Tranquility of 1996. Exercises like this one could now become a regular feature. India has offered to host the Chinese army next year and the Chinese are considering this favourably.

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31 December, 2007 Dharamsala

TPI VARIETY

After Trip From Tibet, an Injury on Queens Blvd.

The Tibet Post

A Life Reflecting Her Country’s Contradictions

Benazir Bhuto

Nyiga Tenzin Nordon with her son, Gonpo Dorjee, 16, whose leg was mangled two weeks after he arrived in New York.By JENNIFER 8. LEE Published: December 30, 2007Once they crossed the border between Tibet and Nepal, the guides could take them through the Himalayas under cover of night on a monthlong trek to Katmandu for $75. Or for $250, they could follow a shorter but more dangerous route; they might be more easily caught, but it would take only a week. Either way, Nyiga Tenzin Nordon could not ask her 9-year-old son, Gonpo Dorjee, to make such a dangerous trip with her and her mother. So she paid a poor Nepalese woman to hide him — dressed in rags, with dirt smeared on his skin — among her own children on a five-hour bus ride to Katmandu. Ms. Nordon would meet him after her weeklong journey from Tibet. From there they would travel by bus with dozens of others into India, to Dharamsala, the center of the Tibetan exile community and home to the Dalai Lama. It was 2000 when the family escaped from their hometown of Lhasa. The Chinese police had started to come around, asking questions about Ms. Nordon’s sister, Yungchen Lhamo, a Tibetan singer who had become an outspoken critic of the Chinese government during her concerts around the world. Five decades of Chinese control had been hard on Ms. Nordon’s family and on Tibet, with a systematic dismantling of culture, pride

and identity. Gonpo never knew his father. When he was only 3 weeks old, the police had come knocking, saying they wanted to ask his father a few questions. Gonpo’s father was taken away and died in police custody. Later on, Ms. Nordon discovered he had been part of an underground protest movement. “He never told me,” she said. Over the years, the Communist government had encouraged all things Chinese in Tibet, giving incentives to the Han Chinese majority to resettle in the sparsely populated regions. Under the Chinese education system, Ms. Nordon never learned to read or write Tibetan — only Chinese. Five years after arriving in India, Ms. Nordon was granted asylum in the United States. She left Gonpo behind, but he joined her in Queens, where she was living with her sister, in May. Two weeks after he arrived, Gonpo and Ms. Nordon were waiting to cross Queens Boulevard when a red Jeep Cherokee collided with a silver Honda Civic, shoving the Honda into Gonpo, Ms. Nordon and two other pedestrians. The Jeep drove away. Ms. Nordon passed out. Gonpo’s leg was mangled. “If they hadn’t rushed him to Bellevue Hospital, they would have lost his leg,” Ms. Nordon said. A series of operations removed skin and muscle from Gonpo’s thigh to reconstruct his calf. As he lay in the hospital recovering, his grandmother, Nawang Choezom,

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and gas assets in various parts of the world. India has been somewhat successful in its effort to improve bilateral relationship through several top-level political exchanges. Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in the Lok Sabha, or India Parliament as well as the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party, visited Beijing in October. Preparations are currently on for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s China visit from January 13-16. Also, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon recently visited Beijing for a third round of strategic dialogue and agreed to speed resolution of the decades-old border dispute between the two countries, which began in 1962 over a disputed region of the Himalayan border in what the Indians call Arunchal Pradesh and the Chinese call South Tibet. This talk covered the gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues besides giving finishing touches to the agenda for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit. At present, both India and China appear keen to at least remove acrimony from the relationship so that their economic and sometimes political interests do not suffer. This desire has restrained India from sharply reacting to recent Chinese incursions, though it has kept an eye on developments in the border area and has moved a battalion from Jammu and Kashmir to West Bengal. Indian leaders now find the Chinese more accommodating and see a possibility of sorting out the border dispute. Though the major issues bedeviling IndoChinese relations will only be solved at the political level, joint military exercises will create conducive environment and help to reduce the ill-will. In any case a cooperative relationship between these armies would be required even when the border disputes are fully settled. The debilitating large-scale conflict, won by the Chinese, took place at altitudes over 14,000 feet (4,300 meters). Presumably neither side wants to face anything like that again.

ministers in the UPA government were asked not to attend a felicitation organized by the Gandhi Peace Foundation. However, now that the Dalai Lama is publicly hinting at choosing his successor, the Chinese would like a reiteration of New Delhi’s position on Tibet. Though India’s relationship with China is quite complex, India in recent times has been trying to give it a positive thrust. China is an important player in regional and international politics. It is also a member of several crucial international organizations where India would need Chinese support or at least its indifference. For instance, India needs Chinese support in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG). Last year China appeared to be uncomfortable with India's growing strategic ties with the US, cemented through a series of joint exercises including the huge five nation naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal this year. Hence there was a need for India to do something that could reduce Chinese apprehensions. Now both sides have begun to realize that Indian and Chinese economic relations are no less important. India and China are the world’s fastest growing loarge economies. Their bilateral trade is likely to reach US$40 billion soon. Despite vast political differences, even the US has been doing business with China. Hence it was unwise for India to let strained political relations damage a burgeoning economic relationship. The growing Indian and Chinese economies require huge energy resources. The two countries’ energy companies have recently been competing against each other. Chinese companies have been more successful in clinching deals across the planet, but this mutual rivalry has jacked up prices considerably. China realizes its companies have paid much for the resources than they were worth. Two years after they ended their rivalry, India and China are now beginning to give shape to cooperation in oil and gas exploration. Now Indian and Chinese officials are planning a roadmap to jointly stake rights to oil

who had escaped Tibet with them and later joined them in New York, was dying of cancer on another floor of the same hospital. But Ms. Nordon could not leave her son. “He would just hold my hand and say, ‘I don’t want you to go anywhere,’” she said. Throughout the last several years the family has been helped by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, one of seven beneficiaries of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund. Not only did the agency help push through their applications for political asylum and green cards, it also drew $168.90 from Neediest funds to cover Gonpo’s expenses traveling to medical appointments after his injury. Gonpo, now 16, has recovered enough to walk slowly, almost without a limp. Ms. Nordon, who works as a maid at the Hilton Times Square, faced another challenge recently when her sister decided to give up her apartment in Sunnyside, Queens. Ms. Nordon’s choices were limited because of money; she and Gonpo now share a single room with another person. Their home in Sunnyside, Queens, was decorated with pictures of the Dalai Lama, embroideries of the Potala Palace, formerly his chief residence in Tibet, and a large shrine. Ms. Nordon said, “We must have done something wrong in our last life; that is why God and Buddha punish us.” She added, “When we do the prayer we say,‘Whatever happened to us, please let it not happen to anyone else.’”

Tibetan Youths receive leadership training TYC[Monday, December 24, 2007 19:17] New Delhi: The 8th Tibetan Youth Leadership Training (TYLT) began on 22nd December, 2007 at TCV Tibetan Youth Hostel, Rohini, New Delhi City. The significance of TYLT can be measured from the 2004 TYC General Body Meeting which unanimously passed a resolution for the inclusion of TYLT as an annual activity of TYC Centrex. The inaugural of the TYLT was graced officially by the Chief Guest Mr. Karma Chophel, Speaker of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD). In his address he advised the students to be proud of your heritage and know the pain that keeps one alert about the Tibetan suffering. TYC President Mr. Tsewang Rigzin gave the welcome and introductory speech. Among the Special Guest were Mr. L.R. Sanga, Coordinator of the Nationalities Youth Forum of Burma, Beri Jigme Wangyal, Member of Parliament and Tibetan Historian, and Mr.Kalsang Phunstok Godrukpa, Former President of TYC. Mr. L.R. Sanga spoke on the common grounds for Tibet and Burma to counter the Chinese government’s policy. He shared his support for the Tibetan freedom movement and stated that, “Tibet will surely gain Independence under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” The participants hold group discussions as part of the leadership training. The participants hold group discussions as part of the leadership training. Mr. Karma Chophel spoke on the topic “Sino-Tibet delegation diplomacy” for the first session by relating the historical background of the Special Envoy Visits, its present status and the future prospects. Subsequently, freelance journalist and photographer Mr. Vijay Kranti shared his experiences on how to approach and lobby the Media. Mrs. Tsering Yangkyi, Executive Director of Tesi Environment Awareness Movement (TEAM) presented on “Tibet’s Environment and its impact on South Asia” for the last session of the day. After dinner, a documentary movie “Bringing down the Dictator” was screened to familiarize the participants with the Serbian student movement for freedom and democracy. Over 70 students from various institutions in India and Nepal are participating in the five day training program of which 28 are females. The five day program will cover various topics ranging from Tibetan Independence Movement and the role of people’s participation, Sino-Tibetan delegation diplomacy, Media Strategies, Environment, Career, Democracy, Olympic Campaigns, Mass Movements, Tibetan Judiciary System, Charter of TYC, Organizational Transformation, Importance of Tibetan Language, Aids and Drugs, India’s Tibet policy, Tibetan history, China and etc.

{The Tibet Post International, 28 December 2007} By Pamela Constable Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, December 28, 2007. With her luminous eyes and strong features framed by a flowing white head scarf, Benazir Bhutto was the face of Pakistan’s democratic hopes — a face that had been thrust into the limelight with the execution of her father in 1979 and that remained there, aging gracefully, until her assassination in Pakistan on Thursday. Bhutto, 54, was a charismatic but controversial political leader whose highly magnified life was marked by vertiginous twists of fate — family tragedies, political triumphs and defeats, accusations of corruption and autocracy — that often led to comparisons with the Kennedy clan in the United States and the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty of India. Following in the footsteps of her father, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, she was twice chosen as Pakistan’s prime minister in the 1990s, but was also twice driven from office amid charges of corruption and incompetence. This winter, after years of self-imposed exile, Bhutto was attempting to stage a high-risk political comeback that could have led to a third term as premier in elections next month. Instead, Bhutto’s slaying, which occurred at the site where Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was gunned down in 1951, seemed destined to plunge her fragile homeland into political free fall, vulnerable both to the predations of increasingly violent Islamic extremist forces and to the resulting temptations of military control. Benazir Bhutto was a woman of many contradictions. Her complex personality and tumultuous career reflected the deep social schisms and paralyzing political power struggles of the vast, impoverished country she briefly governed and long represented as a flawed but passionate advocate for change. She was born June 21, 1953, into a life of feudal privilege and wealth in a highly stratified society, then sent to boarding schools and on European vacations in sports cars while millions of her illiterate countrymen toiled in brick kilns and wheat fields for pennies a day. Yet she went on to become a champion of popular democracy who headed her country’s closest equivalent to a secular Western movement, the Pakistan People’s Party. Bhutto, nicknamed “Pinkie” for her rosy complexion, was a graduate of Radcliffe College and Oxford University who spoke cultured English and moved easily through the drawing rooms of London and Georgetown. Yet she also submitted to a traditional arranged marriage and, while speaking up for the rights of women in Muslim societies, was always careful to publicly observe the stylistic dictates of her religion. Bhutto broke with family tradition by not covering her face with a veil in public. Instead, her white head scarf, known as a dupatta, became her political trademark — a symbolic bridge between tradition and modernity. She was often shown in photographs adjusting the scarf modestly over her hair as she delivered ringing, impassioned speeches on foreign policy or economic reform. She was a highly disciplined and wily politician who kept a grip on her party, remaining its lifelong president and making all its decisions, even during her long exile in London and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Despite her cult status as a democratic leader, she flirted opportunistically with military power-sharing and attempted rapprochement with Afghanistan’s Islamic Taliban rulers when it seemed expedient. Above all, she was her father’s daughter, inspired by his stories of Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and raised with foreign democratic leaders at the dinner table. Then in 1977, a military coup plucked Pinkie from carefree college life. Her father was thrown into prison, tried on dubious charges of corruption and murder conspiracy and fi-

nally hanged in 1979 on orders from Pakistan’s dictator, Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq. In an autobiography, “Daughter of Destiny,” Bhutto described in revealing detail her youthful visits to her father in prison, especially her memories of his dignity and determination under squalid, humiliating conditions and in the face of death. His own autobiography, written from prison, was titled “If I Am Assassinated.” Later, Bhutto faced her own ordeal of house arrest, prison and exile, but she emerged toughened and determined to carry on her father’s legacy as a secular reformer. It was a goal she pursued, with deviations into unsavory political intrigue and the temptations of personal power, for the rest of her life. “There was a kind of fatalism about Benazir. She saw herself as being on a mission, to carry forward the message of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and she was determined to carry that mission out, come what may,” said Shuja Nawaz, a Pakistani American scholar in Washington who knew her well. “People accused her of being an opportunistic politician, but she was also very religious. She was resigned to doing what she had to do, and it must have taken a great deal of inner strength.” The high point of Bhutto’s career came after her return to Pakistan in 1986, following nearly a decade of military rule, when she was welcomed by tumultuous mobs as the leader who could deliver the country from the darkness of the Zia years. “It is almost impossible to exaggerate the weight of expectation which her return aroused,” author Ian Talbot wrote of her election as prime minister in 1988. Yet even though she was an inspiration to Pakistan’s poor voters, Bhutto proved a disappointing ruler. She traveled widely abroad and was extremely popular in Washington, and she enacted economic policies aimed at attracting foreign investment and reducing Pakistan’s appalling poverty. But she failed to control a series of domestic conflicts, especially a spiral of ethnic and sectarian violence in Karachi, her native city. She was accused of trying to manipulate the courts and the press and of stooping to multiple acts of petty self-enrichment while in power. She was forced from office after two years, then reelected in 1993 and forced out a second time after three more years. Many of the corruption charges involved her husband, businessman Asif Ali Zardari, who was snidely referred to as “Mr. 10 Percent.” The pair were accused of taking kickbacks for government contracts, on items from imported tractors to steel mill improvements, and of hiding their gains in international bank accounts and real estate. Zardari was also accused of drug trafficking and of involvement in the 1996 murder of Bhutto’s brother Murtaza, who was widely described as creating political problems for her. In 1999, husband and wife were sentenced to five years in prison; Zardari ended up spending eight years behind bars, but Bhutto, who was abroad at the time, did not return. Bhutto consistently denied the charges and said they were politically motivated, but the scandals disillusioned many of her followers. Meanwhile, her lofty ideals gradually sank to the level of a petty rivalry with her political nemesis, Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League, who was elected prime minister twice, partly because of her failures in office. Bhutto spent much of the last decade living abroad with her three children, largely to avoid prosecution. But early this year, she began quietly negotiating to return to her troubled homeland, where she still harbored dreams of returning to power and where some Western officials viewed a co-government headed by Bhutto and Pakistan’s military president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as the best option for short-term stability. Bhutto had been warned by friends and advisers not to return to Pakistan. Islamic terrorism was on the rise there, and the country’s increasingly emboldened Islamic militants viewed her as a dangerously secular figure who was essentially the Western candidate for prime minister. The degree of danger became starkly clear just hours after Bhutto’s triumphant homecoming Oct. 18. As her caravan crawled through welcoming crowds in the port city of Karachi, two massive bombs exploded, sparing her life but killing an estimated 145 other people. On Nov. 3, Musharraf declared emergency rule and Bhutto was placed under house arrest twice in the days that followed. But despite the restrictions and the risks, she continued speaking out against both military dictatorship and Islamic extremism. Once elections were announced for January, she toyed briefly with the idea of a boycott but soon began campaigning in earnest, seeking out the crowds that idolized her and attempting to stage events that would echo her past political triumphs. In was in such a place, Liaquat Garden in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, that Bhutto met her fate.


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