Scholars in China aim to’reconstruct’ Tibet’s international reputation by switching to the Chinese name.

Chinese officials and academics have proposed revamping the English language terminology used to describe Tibet in an effort to “reconstruct” the region’s international reputation.

A suggestion to use the Chinese term Xizang even in international discourse originated from a conference on the region’s image conducted in Beijing from August 14-16, changing the region’s image.
The official Chinese media gave the seminar great coverage, and over 320 academics attended, including several from outside. The United Front Work Department, a CCP-affiliated organization dealing with China’s ethnic minorities, ran the WeChat account that provided information about the seminar.

The Tibetan plateau, sometimes known as “the Roof of the World,” is a culturally and linguistically distinct territory that has played a key role in world history. Proponents of the change believe it is part of Beijing’s larger push to change the conversation on Tibet and highlight the region’s key role in China.

Scholar Wang Linping of Harbin Engineering University’s College of Marxism said that it is crucial for an English translation to reflect China’s viewpoint on Tibet. He said that the common use of the word “Tibet” has led to “misunderstandings” over the precise location of the area.

China Tibetology Research Centre vice-director Lian Xiangmin backed the proposal by referencing international norms that had previously advocated for the use of pinyin, the romanization of Chinese characters, in English place names. According to him, using the name “Xizang” is consistent with these ideals and may help promote a more positive image of the area.

According to Xia Yan, an editor at the China Tibet Information Centre, employing “Xizang” might “help reconstruct Tibet’s media image and enhance China’s international discourse on Tibet.”

However, there is pushback from people who see this as another step in China’s drive to establish its historical and territorial claims, therefore the initiative faces obstacles and criticism. The exiled Dalai Lama’s declarations of independence from China have made the area a sore spot both inside China and internationally.

General Manoj Mukund Naravane, a former head of the Indian armed forces, claims that exiled Tibetans have a right to return to their homeland. To paraphrase his words: “Over the decades, China has fully occupied Tibet and made territorial and administrative changes that would transform the identity and culture of the Tibetans.”

Tibet’s national soccer team has been eliminated from the CONIFA Asia Cup.

After suffering two straight defeats in the group stage, the Tibetan men’s national football team’s hopes of advancing in the CONIFA Asia Cup were dashed. The team’s efforts on the field were not rewarded with victories over the weekend, as they lost to the Hmong FF and the Tamil Eelam FA.

Despite scoring three goals from the penalty spot and one goal from open play, Team Tibet fell to Hmong FF, 5-4, in the season opener. The Tibetan team’s tournament hopes were dashed when they were defeated by the unexpectedly strong Tamil Eelam FA by a score of 3-1. The lone goal scored by the Tibetans was a penalty kick.

Many have speculated that Team Tibet’s disappointing performance in the competition might be attributed to the absence of key players from India who were unable to participate owing to visa issues. The Tibetan team in Portugal was short eight players from India who had Identity Cards (IC) but were unable to go with them owing to visa issues. They will, however, be returning to the squad for the next European football trip that will take them to France and Belgium. The current team has Tibetans from India, the Americas, Europe, and Australia, among other places.

The difficulties encountered by the Tibetan squad are many; the players came from all over the globe, yet they were unable to conduct a complete training camp before the event owing to financial and logistical restraints. The supreme Tibetan football governing body also suffers from a lack of resources. Fans from all across the globe chipped in to help cover the team’s travel costs to get them to the event.

The CONIFA Asia Cup, to be held from August 4-8 in Alcochete, Portugal (south of Lisbon), will include teams from Asian areas and countries that are not recognized by FIFA. This edition of the CONIFA Asia Cup included three teams: Team Tibet, Hmong FF, and Tamil Eelam FA.

The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) is crucial because it serves as a hub for football federations that fall outside of FIFA’s jurisdiction. This worldwide charity backs squads that represent under-recognized countries, regions, minorities, and territories.

Expansion of Prisons in Tibet and Contracting Information Spaces in China “Similar to Recent Observations in Xinjiang”

The portion of Tibet that the Chinese government calls the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) is likely to see an expansion of current jails and detention facilities, according to a new RAND Europe research brief. According to a RAND analysis from 2021, these results suggest a “shift towards longer detentions and imprisonments,” which is consistent with recent data from Xinjiang.

The study has some unsettling features. The first is the widespread attack on the Tibetan people and the catastrophic effects of long-term incarceration. The second is the deliberate export of a ruthless policy of control from the Uyghur homeland, where crimes against humanity have been suspected by the United Nations. However, the third is the importance of the study approach used by RAND Europe.

RAND Europe analyzed 79 TAR prison centers by using satellite images and evening illumination data. A larger number of evening lights was found to be present in the 14 buildings classified as “higher security.” The results showed that from 2019 to 2020, prisons as a whole increased their use of evening lighting, while from 2021 to 2022, high-security prisons did the same. The rate of increase in illumination at lower security sites seemed to plateau in 2017.

Human rights violations have long since been exposed by satellite images. Human rights researchers have used digital technologies to discover rights breaches that authorities would like keep secret, while governments have exploited cutting-edge surveillance technology for repression. The scope of the Uyghur region’s detention facilities was uncovered in large part thanks to satellite photos. East Turkistan’s religious sites were similarly documented in a study by the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

The alarming decline in Chinese data availability, however, cannot be ignored. According to Ruth Harris, director of defense and security at RAND Europe, as quoted by The Guardian, “Tibet remains an information black hole.” Senior Tibet Watch researcher Tenzin Choekyi said, “Because of the information delay and disarray, it’s difficult to tie together a coherent narrative of what’s happening in the TAR.”

Crucial demographic statistics, including birth rates broken down by region, population numbers broken down by nationality and region, and birth control statistics broken down by region, were conspicuously absent from the most recent Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook, released in March 2021 and covering data for 2019. It is concluded by Ruser and Leibold that “those omissions seek to make the study of demographic trends in Xinjiang more difficult and to censor politically sensitive information confirming the sharp decline in birth-rates among minority nationalities in Xinjiang.” Furthermore, Chinese academic article databases were closed to foreign researchers in March 2023 owing to “security concerns.”

Xi Jinping has said that becoming a worldwide powerhouse by the year 2050 is in China’s destiny. China’s existing global impact, however, does not need quantitative restatement. Both politically and economically, it has global repercussions. The Chinese model of government and business will eventually affect the lives of billions of people throughout the world.

Given China’s influence, researchers, academics, politicians, and commercial sector players should all be lobbying for more information from the country. We are all aware that China manipulates and controls information, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK. As China’s influence grows, so does its ability to control the information we have access to. Should we not keep pressing for more transparency from a government that is expanding its sphere of influence across the world?

Human rights breaches in China and abroad won’t be uncovered unless experts keep digging through databases, poring through satellite photographs, and interviewing survivors. A better understanding of China’s ascent and how to control it requires greater information about the plight of the Uyghurs and Tibetans.

In addition to calling for a halt to rights violations, scholars should urge policymakers and other players to ensure that their representatives consistently push China on freedom of information as a condition of participation. If this weren’t the case, the Chinese official would have a much harder time denying and deflecting responsibility for human rights abuses.

Human rights experts agree that China is violating Tibetans’ rights.

There has been fresh international criticism regarding China’s decades-long persecution of Tibetans in the autonomous area after new study measured evening illumination data from detention facilities in Tibet.

Analysts believe there is some evidence showing a fundamental change in policing, but the report’s results only provide limited insights into the present condition of imprisonment throughout the area.

According to a new report by the non-profit RAND Europe research center, there has been an uptick in activity at high-security detention facilities over the last several years, which may indicate a transition from short-term to long-term incarceration in the autonomous territory.

To better understand China’s “stability maintenance” efforts in Tibet, which the researchers characterize as a “information black hole” to the international community, RAND Europe used satellite-based sensors to measure nighttime lighting consumption at detention facilities.

Ruth Harris, director of defense and security at RAND Europe and one of the report’s authors, told VOA, “State actors, human rights organizations, academics, and the Uyghur diaspora have all worked to increase our understanding of the situation in Xinjiang in recent years, but we have not had a similar focus on Tibet.”

She said she is looking forward to seeing how the report “sheds light on security and detention facilities” in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The survey looked at 79 prisons throughout TAR and found that since 2019, 14 maximum security prisons had increased their use of evening illumination. An examination of the details reveals a rise in high-security prisons in 2019 and 2020, and an increase in high-security detention facilities in 2021 and 2022.

While both detention centers and high-security prisons in TAR have comparable degrees of security, the latter are more like cellblocks while the former feature relaxation facilities.

There may not have been any major changes to the TAR’s detention system between 2014 and 2022, according to Harris’ analysis of nighttime lighting data, but the recent increase in lighting at higher-security facilities may indicate “a possible shift toward longer-term imprisonment and detention of Tibetan dissidents.”

That’s consistent with what’s been happening in Xinjiang, where over a million Uyghurs and members of other ethnic minorities have been incarcerated or sent to re-education camps in recent years.

Community policing

Some analysts have argued that there has been no evidence to support the conclusion that RAND Europe’s results reflect a shift to longer-term imprisonment in Tibet.

Expert on Tibet at King’s College London Robert Barnett told VOA, “We do know cases of very long detention, but there is no evidence suggesting an increase in those kind of detentions.” He continued by saying that the data points to a rise in proactive police and neighborhood watch.

According to Barnett, over the last fifteen to twenty years, China’s police strategy in Tibet has been predicated on preventative policing, which seeks to identify potentially dangerous people and control them via a variety of means before they engage in behavior that China considers undesirable.

Grassroots control methods, such as party organizations in Tibetan villages and other types of tight surveillance of people, are expanding rapidly in recent years, as Barnett highlighted. “The authorities use technology or local officials and neighborhood committees to keep tabs on the kinds of people who are likely to be a political problem.”

Barnett and other commentators noted that, despite Beijing’s new approach to controlling Tibet, political incarceration is still occurring in the TAR. Some Tibetans are under residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL), a kind of de facto home imprisonment used by Chinese authorities against dissidents instead of sending them to detention facilities or prisons.

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy researcher Ngawang Lungtok told VOA, “Some Tibetans are in residential surveillance and others are subject to pre-trial detention at unknown locations.”

He also mentioned the possibility of torture and intimidation against Tibetans living under RSDL, both of which might lead to self-censorship.

Crimes against humanity

Since the People’s Liberation Army invaded and conquered Tibet in 1951, China has ruled the area. When it comes to the events in Tibet, Beijing uses the term “peaceful liberation,” whereas the Tibetans use the term “invasion.”

Human rights organizations claim that China has been actively suppressing Tibetan culture and religion for decades now. After widespread protests erupted in 2008, Beijing took drastic measures to reassert its authority in the region, including the implementation of extensive surveillance programs, the targeting of individuals and organizations that supported Tibetan independence, the enrollment of Tibetans in compulsory reeducation and forced labor transfer, and the arrest of numerous intellectuals, activists, and religious figures.

Since 2015, a program characterized as voluntary has allegedly been used by China to “transfer” Tibetans from their customary rural lifestyles into low-skilled and low-paid jobs. This practice has been met with “concern” by a panel of independent experts inside the United Nations human rights system in April. However, according to the experts, in reality, their cooperation has been forced.

The U.N. experts also claimed that “vocational training” in Tibet threatens Tibetans’ cultural identities and that the government discourages Tibetans from speaking their language and practicing their religion.

Human rights experts have concluded that China has developed a systemic strategy to strip the rights of a specific ethnic minority, as seen by the situation in Tibet.

A shift in the system may have a troubling consequence, since many Tibetans living overseas are worried about losing their language and culture, as Barnett told VOA.

China has claimed it has achieved “progress” on human rights issues in Tibet despite widespread worldwide condemnation of its treatment of Tibetans.

The Tibetan Autonomous Region in China has “social stability, economic development, ethnic solidarity, and religious harmony,” Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, stated during a news conference on April 28. As one such expert put it, “the so-called ‘concerns’ of the relevant special procedures’ experts are completely unfounded.”

a lack of communication

As a result of restrictions on movement, information from within Tibet has been hard to come by for those on the outside.

Chinese border inspections were stepped up in early 2008, and as a result, “Tibetans were largely prevented from joining exiles in India via Nepal,” as Barnett put it.

The number of persons leaving TAR has dropped drastically since 2012, he said, when Chinese officials tightened the administrative hurdles for Tibetans to get passports.

Experts told VOA that local authorities have shut down online sources of information and criminalized information exchange with persons outside of China, which discourages publishing specific material on social media platforms and also limits Tibetans’ ability to leave the area.

According to Human Rights Watch’s China director Sophie Richardson, “essentially no one is coming through the border, and platforms like WeChat are heavily surveilled that authorities can prosecute people for sharing information on those platforms.” Richardson made these comments to VOA. This explains why news has become harder to get out of Tibet recently.

King’s College’s Barnett said that despite the severe restrictions on the flow of information, some Tibetans are nevertheless willing to put themselves at danger in order to provide “anecdotal fragments” through social media.

According to him, the biggest problem is that no one else can check the claims being made.

His Divineness In Leh, Ladakh, at the Shewatsel Teaching Ground, the Dalai Lama participates in prayers for long life.

Leh, Ladakh, India, Shewatsel, July 24, 2023: As His Holiness the Dalai Lama departed from his house, the sky was brighter and schoolchildren were practicing their debating skills in front of the teaching pavilion. He bowed before the Buddha picture in the pavilion as is his routine before walking outside to wave to the throng.

He addressed the gathering of some 50,000 people after taking his place on the throne.

The lessons over the last three days have gone well, and now you are praying for my long life. It becomes an auspicious circumstance that adds to the Lama’s ability to live a long life when faith and the spiritual tie between followers and the Lama are steadfast.

I’ve seen indications in my dreams that suggest I could be able to live to be about 110 years old. Do I seem to be in my eighties when you look at me right now? I don’t think I look that old.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have a spiritual connection with the inhabitants of the Land of Snow, and both they and the inhabitants of the Himalayan Region have unflinching confidence in me. In addition, individuals from all around the globe, whether or not they identify as Buddhists, have expressed gratitude for what I’ve accomplished.

“As a devotee of the Buddha, my major practice is to develop bodhichitta, the waking mind, and an awareness of emptiness. You should attempt to practice in this manner as well. And if you do, it will make it more likely for me to live a long life.

There was provided tea and sweet rice.

The current long-life ritual was based on Prayers to the Sixteen Arhats and was a part of the Sutra tradition. Praise for the Buddha, the Prayer to the Sixteen Arhats, a Seven Limb Prayer, a brief Mandala Offering, and a Request for the Lama to Remain were all included in it.

Representatives of the organizers made a special plea for His Holiness to live a long life during a lengthy mandala offering conducted by Taktsak Kundeling Rinpoché. A Buddha statue, a book of verse, a chörten, a pair of robes, an alms bowl filled with fruit, and a monk’s staff were the next offerings. Offerings of the eight auspicious symbols, the eight auspicious substances, and the seven royal symbols were made after these.

A lengthy procession of locals, both young and elderly, marched past the platform while the “Song of Immortality”—an Extensive Prayer for the Long Life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama—was being chanted. This song was written by his two tutors, Kyabjé Ling Rinpoché and Kyabjé Trijang Rinpoché. The participants brought a variety of offerings, including carved tables, bundles of grain, and a collection of texts. Drums, horns, and vocalists all played simultaneously.

With the Indian, Tibetan, and Buddhist flags raised in the air, the procession came to an auspicious conclusion. A white-haired elderly man in a white robe came in last and presented His Holiness a silk scarf.

In appreciation for His Holiness attending today’s event, representatives of the organizers, the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), the Ladakh Gonpa Association (LGA), and others presented a mandala and the three images of the body, speech, and mind of enlightenment to him.

His Holiness wrote two prayers for the dedication: “A Prayer for the Flourishing of the Non-Sectarian Teachings of the Buddha” and “The Prayer of The Words of Truth.”
When His Holiness was asked to speak to the audience once again, he first said he had nothing noteworthy to say.

“You increase the chances that the Dalai Lama will live a long life the more strong your faith and dedication are shown to be. I’ve got the chance to interact with the general audience and impart knowledge. I’ve previously said that there are signs that I might live to reach 110 years old. You have seen how I have tried to help the teachings and all sentient creatures, and I shall keep trying.

The most essential thing is to have a decent heart with no intention to hurt others, even if there may be individuals who seem to be practitioners but lack the true traits inside. We have to stop hurting people. Instead of doing what is improper, we need to do what is right. The Buddhas would be happy if we could do it.

I meditate on bodhichitta and emptiness every day, as I’ve previously told you. The same applies to you. Perform a scanning meditation on the key ideas first, and then, after thinking about them, integrate them within. If you’re able to achieve it, you’ll get experience. You’ll be able to climb the five routes after you have a true understanding of bodhichitta and emptiness. You’ll make progress that will result in the achievement of enlightenment from the route of accumulation to the path of preparation to the path of perceiving.We all recite this prayer:

Salutations to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Highest Assembly

I will seek sanctuary till I reach enlightenment.

Through the wealth of knowledge and merit accumulated through generosity and other qualities

May I become a Buddha to help all roving creatures.

“The second two lines denote the consequent refuge when you achieve the Buddha, Dharma, and Highest Assembly within yourself. The first two lines relate to the causal refuge. Remember these words.

“Over the last two or three teaching days, everything went well from beginning to finish. I want to thank everyone who was a part of the organizing, including police and security professionals, volunteers, members of the LBA and LGA, and local government officials. I also want to express my gratitude to the general people for your outstanding faith and upbeat attitude. You motivate me to go to Ladakh each year so that I may escape the lowlands’ rainy season. So, we’ll cross paths once again. I’m grateful.

The audience erupted in cheers.

The chaotic India strategy in Dharamshala and India’s Tibet policy

It is concerning that the Tibetan government-in-exile is becoming involved in political issues that are beyond of its remit in India. Provocative remarks from the political leadership of the Tibetan refugees have an influence on India’s domestic affairs and put the already precarious ties between India and China in jeopardy.

Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists in India utilize worry beads, which are said to help with mental attention. Focus, however, seems to be the one thing lacking in the Indian governing party’s trans-Himalayan strategy as we near the conclusion of the Great Game on the Tibetan Plateau.

Returning to an autonomous Tibet, let alone one that is independent, is comparable to making a trip to the fabled Shambala.

The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, has previously stated that he is “not seeking independence for Tibet and wishes to stay with China,” but his recent statement that “he would return to Tibet at once if China agrees” has reignited talk of a potential reconciliation with Beijing.

The political ice is thin for the Tibetan leadership in India.

If we look at the overtures they made in New Delhi and Washington, the current temporal Tibetan leadership seems to have different plans.

Penpa Tsering, the President or Sikyong of the purported Tibetan government-in-exile located in India, made a gratuitous remark on June 22, 2023 in Australia.

“We are Indian. My birthplace was India. Modi’s coercive measures are not as severe as they are depicted in the world media to be. He does not want to convert Muslims to Hinduism. Some cow vigilantes overreact to certain events, and the government is criticized for this.
“In my opinion, India is one of the world’s most accepting nations. When questioned about India and the “Hindutva thrust,” Penpa Tsering said that there were “so many different kinds of people, so many different religions, and such a diverse culture.”

The paradox of Indian foreign policy is that it permits the Tibetan government-in-exile to operate from Indian territory while wailing foul over foreign meddling in Indian domestic matters.

There is little doubt that the assaults on Muslims and Christians in India were hidden from the Tibetan political establishment’s renowned Third Eye. Forget the Third Eye; when Tibetans enter places outside of their political purview, they do it blindly, without looking back or forward.

They should at the very least read the US International Religious Freedom Reports’ yearly reports.

The Tibetans have gone above and above to demonstrate their value to the Hindu fundamentalist regime in New Delhi.

Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, a US citizen of Tibetan descent and a former commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, dissented from the report on religious freedom in India in a dissent note he submitted in 2019.

The Dalai Lama himself has raised alarm over the spread of bigotry in India back in 2015.

Notably, since 1979, the Dalai Lama has communicated with the RSS’s highest levels of leadership. Connections between the RSS and Tibet date back to 1962, during the Indo-China War.

The Tibetan political establishment’s most recent move is obviously an attempt to ride the Hindutva wave to prosperity. Should I say chariot instead?

The Tibetan leadership’s support for Hindutva in India portends poorly for the future of the general acceptance of the Tibetans among the non-communist political elite and non-Hindutva inhabitants of India.

It should be made known right away that the typical Tibetan refugee is welcomed. But it is the responsibility of the Indian citizen to raise some concerns when the political leadership of this refugee population makes contentious remarks that have an influence on the domestic affairs of the host nation.

Except for a few occasions when the Indian security establishment became frustrated with some political initiative from McLeodganj, a suburb that serves as the official capital-in-exile of the Tibetan government-in-exile, which had not been approved by New Delhi, the only refugees who have continued to be welcomed into India since the late 1950s are Tibetans.

There aren’t many people visiting India nowadays. It seems that more people are going back to China, mostly for job prospects.

the Karmapa arrives

The Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, is a resident of the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University, which was raided by the Himachal police in 2011.

In January 2000, the Karmapa, the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu School, one of the four branches of Buddhism, left Tibet and sought asylum in India. The entrance of the then 14-year-old caught the Indian security apparatus off surprise.
Following allegations of possible links to Chinese officials, the Karmapa, who is regarded as the third most important Tibetan religious figure after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, has had his actions scrutinized.

His movements had previously been restricted by the Indian government to a 15 km radius around his house, which was near to the Dalai Lama’s residence. He was prohibited from making regular trips to see the Dalai Lama.

Avalokiteshvara Empowerment Given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Leh’s Shewatsel Teaching Ground

India, Shewatsel, Leh, Ladakh, July 23, 2023: People started congregating on the Shewatsel teaching area early this morning after the second day of lessons was postponed yesterday due to local cloudbursts. The crowd eventually grew to nearly 65,000 people, according to the organizers, with many of them standing up to escape the light rain. At 6:30am His Holiness the Dalai Lama emerged from his residence riding in a golfcart, preceded by yellow-hatted monks carrying incense and blowing horns. As a sign of respect, a ceremonial umbrella was flown over the car.

His Holiness grinned and waved to the spectators from the platform as he exited the car. He lighted candles in front of the Buddha picture within the pavilion and paid respects to it. He waved to the audience before him as he walked straight up to the front of the stage, and several of them waved back. He then addressed the crowd while seated on the throne.

“Today, laypeople and monks alike in Leh, Ladakh, are people of steadfast faith and conviction. You may all have other things to do, but you’ve chosen to come here to attend the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara, the Great Compassionate One, for which I thank you.

“First of all, I’ll do the preparatory rituals and, in the meantime, you can recite the six-syllable mantra, Om mani padme hum. All the Buddhas give Avalokiteshvara their highest praise. Full of great positive qualities, he is the embodiment of compassion, much as Manjushri is regarded as the embodiment of wisdom. He is also distinguished by his participation in a dialogue with Shariputra in the ‘Heart Sutra’.

“The Omniscient Gendun Drup and subsequent Dalai Lamas were like Avalokiteshvara. I don’t have their qualities, but I do cultivate bodhichitta. My daily prayer is:

As long as space endures,

And as long as sentient beings remain,

Until then, may I too remain

To help dispel the misery of the world.

“Tibetans have a special bond with Avalokiteshvara, as do people of the Himalayan Region. You also pray to him with the unwavering faith that comes from such a close link. I will give this empowerment to you. Such an opportunity to make this human life worthwhile fills my heart with joy.
“I may have the title Dalai Lama and may be part of that lineage, but the important thing is that my main practice is to cultivate the awakening mind of bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness. I make both my fundamental, daily practices. Just as you all have faith in me, you recite ‘manis’ with faith in Avalokiteshvara.”

As he began to conduct the empowerment, His Holiness advised the disciples first to correct their motivation. He pointed out that some people seek to enter the mandala just to gain benefits in this life, such as wealth and fame. Others seek to receive the empowerment as a means to gain merit. The proper motivation is to do so to be able ultimately to benefit others by achieving the state of Avalokiteshvara.

He suggested that if we think only of the pleasures of this life, we tend to bring problems upon ourselves and others. He reiterated that the correct motivation is to take the empowerment with the goal of attaining enlightenment in order to be able to benefit all sentient beings.

Next, His Holiness explained how the disciples generate themselves into the deity. He mentioned that in the Highest Yoga Tantra explanation of gross, subtle and subtlest awareness, this involves the dissolving visions of whitish appearance, reddish increase and black near attainment, culminating in the manifestation of the mind of clear light. And that is the mind employed to focus on emptiness. He confirmed that our ordinary perception of ourselves is dissolved into emptiness, and the entity of emptiness transforms into the deity.

Giving a summary of how to meditate on emptiness, His Holiness told the disciples, “Try to find out who you are. Ask yourself whether you are your body or your mind. Where does your self reside within your body and mind? You’ll find that you are empty of any inherently existent person. You’ll find you exist only as designated.”

His Holiness observed that the description of the dissolution of gross and subtler minds has a scientific character that scientists think they can learn from. The mind that is cleansed of adventitious defilements can ultimately be transformed into that of a pure being—a Buddha.
“So,” His Holiness went on,” imagine that you transform into the pure being, Avalokiteshvara, who has overcome all defilements. Keep in mind that a sentient being is obscured by defilements, but an enlightened being has overcome them all and is full of knowledge.

“In the scriptures we find mention of Buddha-nature, the essence of the Ones Gone to Bliss. It is from this that we learn that all mental defilements are adventitious and can be cleared away. This includes ignorance, which is a distorted view of reality.

“The nature of mind is clear light and adventitious defilements are rooted in ignorance. Things appear to the mind as having objective existence, but if they did exist in that way, we should be able to find something when we investigate. Our distorted view that things exist objectively can gradually overcome.

“Chandrakirti’s ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ clarifies that if we check the nature of things, we’ll find that they don’t exist as they appear. They exist in a conventional way merely by designation. Our mistaken conception of how things exist can be overcome. Indeed, if things were to exist in the way or distorted view conceives, we should be able to pinpoint them when we search for them.”

His Holiness alluded to three verses in the sixth chapter of Chandrakirti’s treatise that deal with the absurdities that would arise if things were to exist independently. The verses state that the meditator’s mind absorbed in emptiness, following his own analysis of whether things have any intrinsic characteristics, should find them if they exist. But if they had such characteristics, the meditator’s equipoise on emptiness would destroy them (which is logically absurd).

If things had an inherent identity, without dependence on other factors, conventional reality would have to withstand ultimate analysis (which is also logically absurd). However, the Yogi finds nothing, neither this nor that, to point to. If things had an essential core in and of themselves, this would lead to the logical fallacy of conventional reality’s withstanding ultimate analysis.
Finally, if things with an essential core arose from a cause, ultimate production could not be denied. Then, the Buddha’s teaching that phenomena are empty of self-nature would not be true. When we say something is empty, the very thing we are analyzing is said to be empty of inherent existence or self-nature.

Chandrakirti’s view is that ignorance that grasps at or misconceives true existence, is countered by understanding that things are actually merely designated.

His Holiness discussed five modes of reasoning that are employed to prove that phenomena do not exist independently or objectively. ‘Diamond slivers’ is used to analyze things from the perspective of causes. ‘Refuting existence or non-existence’ analyzes things from the perspective of effects.

The reasoning known as ‘Possibilities of arising’ analyzes things from the perspective of causes and effects, whereas the reasoning ‘Refuting existence as neither one nor many’ is used to analyze the essential nature of all phenomena. Finally, ‘Dependent arising’ is referred to as the King of Reasons and is used to establish the lack of true existence of all phenomena.

After giving a summary explanation of emptiness and how Avalokiteshvara arises from the clear light mind, His Holiness began the formal process of the empowerment. He gave the Bodhisattva vows, which he mentioned he takes afresh every day. Costumes that are the insignia of a yogi were distributed among the Lamas seated close to the throne who included Taglung Matrul Rinpoché, Tatsak Kundeling Rinpoché, Ugyen Chöphel Rinpoché, Gomang Khensur Rinpoché and Gyumé Khenpo Rinpoché.

In leading the disciples through the cultivation of the All-Encompassing Yoga Mind His Holiness noted that the altruistic aspiration for enlightenment is indispensable on the path to Buddhahood. He pointed out that even the Buddha entered the path as an ordinary being and then demonstrated the process of purification.
“I have many friends with experience of practice,” His Holiness revealed, adding, “I can say that I have experience of cultivating bodhichitta and an understanding of emptiness myself, which has come about because I have met with this human life and encountered the Buddha’s teaching and I’ve made effort. I, Lhamo Dhondup, from Amdo have practiced with such exertion that, if I can achieve single-pointed concentration, I’m looking forward to reaching the path of preparation.”

Returning to the All-Encompassing Yoga Mind, His Holiness encouraged the disciples to cultivate the awakening mind of bodhichitta and to then imagine it taking form as a moon disc at the heart. Urging them to reflect on how things are not independent, but exist only as designated, he instructed them to imagine this insight as a white five-spoked vajra standing on the moon disk at the heart. He then prompted them to think of attaining Buddhahood on the basis of conventional and ultimate bodhichitta represented by the moon and the vajra. He led them in reciting the mantra: “Om sarva yoga citta utpatayami.”

Part of the proceedings involve tossing a flower into the mandala. The congregation were represented by President of the Ladakh Gonpa Association, Ven Tsering Wangdus and the President of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Thupten Tsewang.

As His Holiness continued to grant the empowerment, he reiterated the strong connection the disciples have with Avalokiteshvara, whose 1000 arms represent 1000 universal monarchs and whose 1000 eyes represent the 1000 Buddhas of this fortunate aeon. He emphasized practitioners’ need to feel confident about engaging in the path.

“I don’t do any harm,” he told his listeners, “I don’t even think of harming others. And I feel only compassion for those who do harm.

“You’ve taken this empowerment from me today and everyone here is equal in having received it. We should not focus on any alleged differences of status. We should not look down on anyone, but regard each other as equal. There are occasions where some people decline to accept food or drink from those they consider to be lower than them. However, we shouldn’t think of anyone as lower than us. We are all the same. Everyone here, as I said, is equal in having received this Avalokiteshvara empowerment.
“Khunu Lama Rinpoché was a lay practitioner, but I had no hesitation in receiving a thorough explanation of Shantideva’s ‘Way of the Bodhisattva’ from him. I single-pointedly relied on him as one of my root gurus. You too should regard all those who have received this Avalokiteshvara empowerment today as your equals.

“I recite the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ daily, which include the lines, ‘Whenever I am in the company of others, may I regard myself as inferior to all and may I accept defeat and offer the victory to them.’

“I’m sitting here on a high throne and I have a big name, but I think of myself in a lowly position. The definitive Avalokiteshvara is to have a good and a warm heart that expresses itself as a wish to help others. We need to remember the oneness of humanity, without looking down on or reviling anyone, only seeking to be kind to others.

“If you avoid disparaging, looking down on or bullying others, you’ll be happy and they’ll be happy too. By accumulating good qualities you’ll experience the Dharma and reach the goal.

“In our society there may be some who turn to drugs in search of temporary bliss. Some take pills and so on. But these actions have no lasting benefit, whereas if you cultivate a good heart based on your faith in Avalokiteshvara, the benefit will be of long duration. If you see other people taking pills or other substances, don’t copy them. Think to yourself, ‘This isn’t what I want to do since I’ve received the empowerment of the Great Compassionate One from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Concerns about environmental and geopolitical threats have been raised by China’s contentious mega project in Tibet.

Strategic analysts and specialists have expressed alarm over China’s plans to build the first mega dam in the world in occupied Tibet, close to its border with India. They are also concerned about the project’s possible geopolitical ramifications. The dam is anticipated to produce three times as much energy as the Three Gorges Dam, the greatest hydroelectric facility in existence, with a projected capacity of 60 gigawatts. However, the project’s lack of openness from China has alarmed the neighboring nations.

Famous strategic analyst Brahma Chellaney has drawn attention to the secrecy surrounding large dam projects on international rivers, emphasizing China’s propensity to withhold information until building activity is detected by satellite images. The Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) canyon, which has enormous river energy potential and huge untapped water supplies, is where the planned dam is located. Chinese dam builders have been drawn to the project because of this combination, although Chellaney cautions that there are significant dangers.

The seismically active area where the dam is being constructed is one of the main worries. Due to the geological fault line where the Indian and Eurasian plates contact, the southern portion of the Tibetan Plateau is prone to earthquakes. In the past, large earthquakes have been related to dam building along seismic faults, including the catastrophic Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, which killed 87,583 people. Additionally, if flash floods arise as a result of heavy monsoon rains in the Great Bend of the Brahmaputra, the dam may endanger villages downstream.

The huge dam might have a negative impact on the environment. Downstream countries have suffered as a result of China’s prior building of 11 major dams on the upper reaches of the Mekong River, including ongoing droughts. Now, China’s concentration on using the Brahmaputra Basin’s water resources raises worries about future ecological harm. Tibet, known for its biodiversity, as well as Bangladesh upstream are both predicted to be impacted by the results.

Another important factor is the timing of China’s announcement of the dam project. When the Chinese government first revealed the project to the National People’s Congress for approval, construction was already well under way. Prior to requesting formal authorisation, China was able to transfer employees, supplies, and large pieces of equipment to the distant location by establishing the required infrastructure. With regard to its ties with competitor India in particular, this strategy raises concerns about China’s objectives and possible influence over transboundary river flows.

International law prohibits lower riparian nations from blocking higher riparian actions in a river. However, as India is the lower riparian in this situation, it is entitled to ask for advance notification, thorough technical information, discussions, and the taking into account of preventing serious damage or severe injury. Vaishali Basu Sharma, a strategic and economic affairs expert, draws attention to India’s worries about China’s commitment to these values and if China would give India’s interests in the project first priority.

There are also rumors that China would change the river’s course to the north in order to alleviate the water shortage in certain regions of the nation. Ecological disruption or decreased water flow would both have serious consequences for India. Concerns about the environmental damage, seismic dangers, and geopolitical ramifications of China’s big dam project are growing as construction moves forward.

China protests the US’s visit to India to see the Dalai Lama

A weekend meeting between the Dalai Lama and the U.S. coordinator for Tibetan affairs has drawn criticism from China, which said on Monday that “no external forces have the right to interfere” in Tibet’s internal affairs.

The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual head of Tibet, which China conquered in 1950, met with Uzra Zeya, the United States’ special coordinator for Tibetan matters and undersecretary for civilian security, democracy, and human rights.

The meeting was attended by Namgyal Choedup, the Dalai Lama’s ambassador in Washington, who said, “Undersecretary Urza Zeya reiterated the continued attention and support for Tibetan issues by the U.S. administration.”

According to a tweet from the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, “China firmly opposes any form of contact between foreign officials and the “Tibetan independence” forces.”
The 14th Dalai Lama has long engaged in anti-Chinese separatist operations and tried to break Xizang (Tibet) away from China. He is by no means only a religious figure. The ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’ is a flagrantly separatist political organization that operates illegally and in direct defiance of Chinese law and the Constitution. No nation in the world recognizes it, he said in the tweet.

The conference also included Penpa Tsering, the head of the Central Tibetan Administration. roughly 100,000 Tibetans are represented by the government-in-exile; they are said to reside in roughly 30 different nations, including India, Nepal, Canada, and the United States.
According to Reuters, Zeya testified before a congressional inquiry in March that China continues to “wage a campaign of repression that seeks to forcibly Sinicize” the country’s 6 million Tibetans and eradicate Tibetan religious, cultural, and linguistic legacy.

While the world’s attention was on China’s activities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang, Republican Representative Chris Smith, who serves as chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, stated in that report that “we cannot take our eyes off the ongoing genocide being committed against Tibetan people.”

Zeya is expected to meet with senior government officials in India to discuss the U.S.-India partnership, including “advancing shared solutions to global challenges, democracy, regional stability, and cooperation on humanitarian relief,” according to the U.S. State Department. Zeya will also travel to Bangladesh during her July 8–14 trip to the region.

India And Bhutan Agree To Enhance Collaboration In Energy, Trade And Education

The Indian delegation made a two-day visit to Bhutan just weeks after China and Bhutan agreed to push forward boundary negotiations. On Friday, the Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra concluded his two-day official visit to Bhutan. Both the sides agreed to enhance cooperation between the two nations in various sectors, including energy and education.

“We agreed to enhance collaboration in sectors such as energy, education, and digital through increasing investment prospects in specific projects that will generate lasting positive impacts. Also discussed strengthening trade-related infrastructure and exploring e-commerce platforms to expand our reach in India’s market,” the Bhutan’s PMO said in a statement.

In a statement released by the Indian embassy in Bhutan, the embassy stated that the Kwatra spoke to, “The Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, called on Prime Minister Lyonchhen (Dr) Lotay Tshering and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Lyonpo (Dr) Tandi Dorji, and held bilateral consultations with Foreign Secretary Aum Pema Choden.” The embassy made it clear that the two sides held “wide-ranging” discussions over several issues.

Meanwhile, the Indian ambassador to Bhutan Sudhakar Dalela took to Twitter to share some of the visuals of the “productive visit”

“Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra concludes a productive two-day official visit to Bhutan. Engaging conversations, positive outcomes, expanding partnership. Thank you Team @IndiainBhutan for your tireless efforts in advancing close ties of friendship and cooperation,” Indian ambassador to Bhutan, Sudhakar Dalela wrote on Twitter. “It was a pleasure meeting Mr. Vinay Kwatra on his maiden official visit to Bhutan as the Foreign Secretary of India. We reviewed various issues of mutual interest and also held preliminary discussions on the next Plan,” the Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji wrote on Twitter.

During his visit, Kawatra met his Bhutanese counterpart Aum Pema Choden and both the Foreign Secretaries Co-chaired the 4th India-Bhutan Development Cooperation Talks (Plan Talks). The Indian embassy stated that Kwatra conveyed India’s firm commitment to Bhutan based on the “priorities of the government and people of Bhutan”. The Bhutanese side on the other hand shared their plans for Bhutan’s 13th Five-Year Plan in the context of ongoing transformation initiatives in Bhutan.

The visit came after border talks with China

Earlier this month, it was reported that China and Bhutan have reached a “positive consensus” over their border dispute. According to a joint statement released by the two nations, the consensus was reached at the 11th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the China-Bhutan Boundary issues which was held in China’s Kunming City. The boundary discussion between both sides is important to India since Doklam is a matter of concern for India. The contested region lies between China’s Chumbi Valley to the North, Butan’s Ha district to the east, and India’s Sikkim state to the west.

While China used to share a good relationship with Bhutan, things started deteriorating when China invaded Tibet in 1949. India, on the other hand, has shared a solid relationship with Bhutan for time immemorial. Since 1961, India has provided security assistance to landlocked countries. According to the embassy statement, the Indian and the Bhutanese Foreign Secretary jointly inaugurated several key projects during the visit. The projects, which are implemented with the assistance of the Government of India, include Citizen Service portals, the National Single Window portal, and Government Initiated Network Project under the Flagship Digital Drukyul Project.