Labour’s Huo on Dalai Llama

July 1st, 2010 at 12:17 pm by David Farrar

I presume Phil Goff will be refusing to meet with the Dalai Llama in future. In fact according to one of his MPs, the Dalai Llama is an evil torturing dictator. Raymond Huo blogged:

China established what is now known as Tibetan Autonomous Region in the early 1950s, which put an end to the notoriously cruel system of serfdom on Tibet.

There are two versions of the Dalai Lama. For those of his followers his Holiness is a saint. For others, he is viewed as the leader who supported a system of slavery in Tibet which the Chinese authorities put an end to in the 1950s.

What Westerners do not know, or do not want to know, as argued by the other party, is what level of cruelty the Theocratic Serfdom under Dalai Lama had to offer. An exhibition in New Lynn in 2009 displayed:

• Tibetan Lamaism instruments for worship ceremony made by human parts including human skin drum and a necklace made of finger bones,

• A “gandong” (a flute made of human leg bone)

• Skin from serfs (including children) for religious purpose

• Serf’s eyes gouged out for punishment

What an evil man the Dalai Llama is. I am surprised Raymond is not calling for him to be prosecuted in the International Court of Justice.

As Danyl points out:

How fortunate the people of Tibet were to be liberated from their cruel rulers and taken under the wise and benevolent protection of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, who then went on to kill over a million Tibetans through various purges and famines, replacing the dead with ethnic Han Chinese migrants who now rule Tibet as an apartheid regime.

(The current Dalai Lama was fifteen at the time of the Chinese invasion. He’s subsequently been a harsh critic of the feudal society of pre-occupation Tibet.)

I would also point out that while I am not exactly a devoted fan of the Dalai Llama, he has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Yeah I know Obama has won it also, but back in 1989 it actually was meaningful. He also have been given 100 or so honours and awards from various governments.

Now to be fair to Labour, other MPs have disagreed with Raymond Huo in the comments on the post. But it is still extraordinary to see a New Zealand MP repeat such propaganda.

Wonderful Chinese capitalism

April 29th, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

This comes from the BBC. Good on the enterprising factory owner for not letting politics get in the way of business!

Blog Bits

April 10th, 2008 at 2:26 pm by David Farrar

No Right Turn blogs that he believes the NZ First advertisements do breach the Electoral Finance Act as “a reasonable person would regard it as an encouragement to vote for NZ First”. I agree. As Idiot/Savant says it is not a survey, it lays out policy and encourages approval of it.

Poneke has more on the BBC story on climate change which got modified. The reporter denied he did it under pressure, but an activist has blogged she successfully pressured him to change it.

The visible hand in economics looks at fixed vs floating exchange rates.

The DAFT Party has a solution for China over Tibet. It is to rename China to Tibet, and declare they are all Tibetians. The PRC Government should see the sense of this now they are running a market economy – you replace a tarnished brand with a more positive brand!

Bernard Hickey has video and a blog post on Alan Bollard’s speech suggesting we are talking ourselves into a recession. Bernard says we’re not, and if we do have a recession, it is because we deserve it! Them’s fighting words! It’s a lengthy excellent post with many graphs.


April 8th, 2008 at 8:41 pm by David Farrar

Helen Clark has said she did raise the issue of Tibet with the Chinese Premier. Good.

If you want to send a message to your Government to pressure China to enter into a dialogue over Tibet, you can do so at this website, which I found through the BNI Blog.

Roughan on Tibet

March 30th, 2008 at 12:30 pm by David Farrar

John Roughan in the Weekend Herald looked more closely at Tibet. He notes:

It has been strategically important to China for centuries. The economy is dirt poor, the people tribal and deeply loyal to a Buddhist theocracy which was actually installed from Beijing by the Mongol empire 800 years ago.

Thereafter the Dalai Lamas held absolute power except for periods when Tibet was ruled by monk regents or by agents sent by the Chinese government.

Early last century, after the fall of China’s last imperial dynasty, Tibet enjoyed de facto independence for 37 years. In 1950, with the advent of communism, it was incorporated in the Chinese state.

So far, so good. But then Roughan makes what I think is an unfortunate comparison:

It is curious that we unquestioningly support secession movements everywhere but at home. Independence seekers have only to raise their flag in Kosovo, Kurdistan, Chechnya, Darfur, Taiwan or Timor, and our sympathies are with them. Part of this reflects our dislike of the state they would escape.

We are not quite as sympathetic to rebels in Kashmir, Quebec or Catalonia. But even there we find it hard to understand the determination of nations to keep a disaffected region.

Catalonia is a province of Spain.  Spain is a democracy, and doesn’t shoot protesters. And Catalonia has significant autonomy from Spain. Plus the Catalonian independence party got only 14% of the vote in the last elections. And polls show only 32% of Catalonians favour independence
Likewise Quebec is a province of a democratic Canada. Canada doesn’t oppress Quebec, which has very significant autonomy. And the Quebec independence parties have not won a vote on secession. If they do, then they will

Kashmir is basically a territorial dispute with Pakistan, than a real secessionist movement.  It can’t be solved by secession – it needs more than one country to agree. Interestingly the only poll done in Kashmir shows 61% wanting to stay Indian citizens.

Now when was the last time there was a vote or even a poll in Tibet? Tibet is ruled by a repressive regime, that gives no opportunity at all for self determination. That is why so many support them – Roughan to be fair does refer the dislike of the state they seek to escape as a factor.

Roughan then asks how we would feel about a Tuhoe nation in the Ureweras:

We might never have been to the Ureweras, have no plans ever to go and not much idea of what the nation might lose, but we would fight for its integrity. Why then is it so hard to credit China’s attitude to Tibet, Sudan’s to Darfur or, closer to home, Indonesia’s to East Timor?

Again, China, Sudan and Indonesia (to a lesser degree) are repressive undemocratic regimes that enslave or kill in their conquered territories.

As for Tuhoe, I’ve never seen any evidence that a majority or even a significant minority of Tuhoe want independence. Tame Iti is not all of Tuhoe.

I’d also point out that sensitivities over borders are somewhat different in small islands, compared to large continents. In Europe and Asia most countries already have multiple neighbours. In NZ we have none – we have no land borders to worry about. So a new country would be a massive change for us.

But what if the Chatham Islands wanted independence? Would any of us give a damn? I doubt it.

Raybon Kan on China

March 30th, 2008 at 10:06 am by David Farrar

Raybon Kan in the SST:

But let’s agree on a fact. China is a repressive country without free expression. The Chinese government censors news from its people. They censor the internet. And the foreign media can’t report from within.

Much the way I don’t think the North Korean government should run North Korea, I believe China shouldn’t run Tibet. Also, I don’t think the Chinese government should run Guangzhou or Beijing or Tiananmen Square. Maybe I’m just hung up on that whole voting thing.

Shooting people for expressing dissent, is the problem.

It’s not just a domestic matter for China.

Pretend the Chinese government was shooting pandas. Imagine the outcry. But monks, well. They’re not endangered.

And we know deep down why we’re being quiet. For the free trade agreement. With a country that isn’t free. For the moola.

Good grief. We close shops at Easter and prosecute the shops that open for the sake of some execution 2000 years ago. Yet, while people are being executed right now, we shut up about it because we want to open shop with China.

He has a point.

Coverage of Tibet

March 27th, 2008 at 10:51 am by David Farrar

Some members of the local Chinese community are protesting about what they see as biased coverage of what is happening in Tibet.

They may have a point.  Indeed there are a number of reports which have not been well publicised about sole violence from ethnic Tibetans.

But at the end of the day, the blame for the faults in any coverage lies with the Chinese Government for banning media from being able to be in Tibet and report first hand what is happening.

If a Government does not allow journalists to verify first hand the claims of that Government about who did what, then it should be no surprise that their claims are not given much weight.  Plus let us be brutally frank – the Chinese Government has a history of lying. Now in this case they may actually be telling the truth, but unless one can verify it, then it is like the little boy who cried wolf.

The Hive on Tibet

March 24th, 2008 at 6:59 am by David Farrar

The Hive has some advice for China.  And it is pretty good advice. Queen Bee is not a huge fan it seems of the Dalai Lama and the former feudal Tibet, but the Chinese response is so over the top, it damages them greatly. So the Hive suggests:

  • fire the Editor of The People’s Daily;
  • fire who ever it was who led the response on the ground to the demonstrations in Tibet;
  • make all those arrested and who were guilty of property damage do some community service to make amends;
  • release those who protested but did not damage property;
  • don’t execute anyone, but feel free to otherwise throw the book at anyone guilty of physical assault;
  • ask the Dalai Lama to show a bit more restraint and offer to send an envoy to meet him in a neutral location to ensure his concerns are discussed;
  • allow tourists to return to Tibet immediately;
  • ask your Embassies and Consulates abroad to write Op Eds to all local newspapers reminding people what life in feudal Tibet was like (particularly for the slaves) before Deng Xiaoping moved in from Sichuan to liberate Tibet;
  • invite any Foreign Minister who wants to, to visit Tibet this year;
  • allow the foreign media (not just Hong Kong media) immediate access to Tibet.

Not bad advice.

Judy Turner on Tibet

March 19th, 2008 at 12:20 pm by David Farrar

Never thought I would be approvingly quoting from a Judy Turner speech, but hers was the highlight regarding China and Tibet. Turner is the second United Future MP. Some extracts:

However, it is sadly obvious that the Labour Government has bigger fish to fry than to uphold an oppressed people’s political freedoms and fundamental human rights. Worst still, it appears to the world New Zealand’s timid response has simply been bought by Chinese Yuan.

Ouch – and remember this is from a party which supports the Government.

The first response of the Government was to stall, saying more information is needed. Hopefully it will blow over, they are thinking – maybe if the People’s Liberation Army can crush the dissension quickly enough we might be able to sneak over to Beijing, sign on the dotted line and still gain the plaudits for being the first country to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with China.

The initial response was pretty appalling. To be fair the Government’s later position was much better as they talked about the right to peaceful protest.

As a proud New Zealander the very least I would expect is for the Prime Minister to summon the Chinese Ambassador and in no uncertain terms express our nation’s disappointment and disapproval. Or are we so subservient in this relationship that we cannot even do that?

Maybe we just emailed them a press release!

UnitedFuture leader Hon Peter Dunne hosted the Dalai Lama last year, an honour made strange by the fact that the Prime Minister refused to meet with the Tibetan leader. At the time, not a lot was really made of this.

Maybe now we are truly seeing which side of the fence this Labour Government sits on.

Again, this is from a Government ally whose Leader is a Minister.

I don’t go as far as the Greens in calling for there to be no FTA with China, because of what has happened.  Let’s be honest – the Greens are against an FTA with anyone – this is just an excuse to oppose the FTA.  But by that I don’t mean they are not sincere on the Tibet issue – they have a long and good record on that issue.

We should complete the FTA. But we shouldn’t let the desire for an FTA mean that we self-censor ourselves on fundamental issues such as the right to peaceful protest. Now again this doesn’t mean we get up and call the Chinese Government a bunch of bloody killers – rhetoric like that doesn’t tends to be counter-productive.  But we should communicate our views directly to the Chinese Government, and have public statements that clearly support the right of peaceful protest, and condemn the use of force to stop such protests.

China claims that the violence was caused by the protesters.  Well that is possible but the trouble is that there is no way to verify this, because of the media restrictions. If they allowed free movement of media, then one could judge independently what has happened.  Without that media freedom, it is dangerous to assume the Chinese Government is telling the truth.

UPDATE: John Armstrong also likes Turner’s speech.


March 17th, 2008 at 8:43 am by David Farrar

I’m passionately in favour of a free trade agreement with China.  But I’m even more passionately in favour of free speech and the right to protest.  Now let us look at the different responses from Australia and NZ:

“We urge the Chinese Government to allow peaceful expression of dissent. We call on Chinese authorities to act with restraint and to deal with protesters peacefully.”
– Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith

“The Government is concerned at the reports of violence and is trying to obtain more accurate information. It calls on all sides to exercise restraint.”
– Prime Minister Helen Clark

Yeah those damn protesters need to be more restrained as they get shot.


Photo from Al Jazeera.

It would be good to have the NZ Government also stress the right to peaceful protest.