A friend fm Beijing at dinner last night said her mom was in Tibet last week. “It’s ok as long as you didn’t take pictures. Few foreign tourists got beaten up for disobeying.” Who did the beating? The local Tibetans. Ok, great, wonderful. Got the picture?
Another held the view that Dalai Lama is frail, in declining health and the Tibetans are resentful to China’s appointment of a new heir. “I [an American] was there in 1999, trying to communicate with the locals, but was told either Tibetan or English, NO Mandarine .. .. I’ve never seen so religious people anywhere. They got on their knees and crawl forward .. and they’re dirt poor ..”
Poor breeds ignorant and religion is the tool to manage uneducated populace where no opportunity exist. Think about a barren life where going to place of worship is the only event and game in town. (I’m bemused to the megachurches in the US, more like community centers, serving Starbuck coffee and picking up your dry cleanings, get the hair cut too?) Like it or not, China is Tibet’s benefactor. Is there a difference between the west trying to whip China into a stakeholder than China trying to modernize Tibet?