Monday, August 24, 2009

Dirty Politics

Gyalo Dhondup on VOA talk show. His scathing attack on Tibetan noblemen, and his intacit lash out agaisnt Lodi Gyari.

Who is Gyalo?. I was first introduced to Gyalo Dhondup, at the age of 12 or 13, in a remote hamlet in the far east of Tibet. It was not a face to face encounter, but through a book. My relatives have shown me secretly the autobiography of HH the Dalai Lama "My Land and My People". Leafing through this scared book, which has worn out from handling of too many rough hands, I was shown the pictures of the Dalai Lama and his entourage, looks very imposing and majestic. Then my experienced relative pointed to one picture in the book, and says " That is Gyalo Dhondup". Oh who is that, I looked again, and then I was awed with his physical outlook and invisible courage, I felt that this person must possess.

The name Gyalo Dhondup sound very grand to me. As elder people heaped praise on the elder brother of Tenzin Gyaltso, I started to imagine what he looks like, and slowly I have developed such a great admiration and reverence for the guy. Little did I know about Gyalo Dhondup's role in negotiating with the Indian leaders and American. But for the fact he is the elder brother of our saviour, was enough for me to put him on my head. He has a sound reputation, as a brave and very able person. it was in early 1970s.

Coming into exile in 1990s,I was initially enrolled in Bir school. During one semester at the schoool. Our school was rocked with romour of some political scandale. Gyalo Dhondup was then the Chairman of Kashang. Students in the school have little and limited knowledge and analytical and critical thinking power, and they were easily swayed by outside elements. Some literate Tibetans spotted or read in the news that Gyalo Dhondup was fired from Kashing chairmanship, and students asked little questions why did it happen. They waited no time in mobolizing an army of students and rushed to Dharamsala and protested against this move to remove Gyalo Dhondup. I did not take part in that protest, mainly, I didnt understand what was going on. And even today, I dont know what caused his removal from Khashag, Was it because he made some comments that enraged the other cabinet members? His give and take policy with China is much talked about at the time.

Even though, Gyalo Dhondup has a ability of language to communicate with the Chinese leaders, and the trust of the exile Tibetan government, on top of that being the elder brother the Dalai Lama, yet his dealing and engagment with the Chinese leadership has not been effective and fruitful. He is known to compliment the Chinese leader's hospitality and his amuzement in China during such critical official visit. But he has not brokered anything concrete that has been a breakthrough.

He has been a figure, who has the capability but that capability has not fully funneled for the Tibetan national interest. He is even today, a towering figure. But what he says all , can not be taken seriously.

Recently on VOA Kuling Show, Gyalo Dhondup was asked about his childhood experiece, the recognition of HH the Dalai Lama. The interview was conducted in early May this year, but aired to public three months after. Gyalo Dhondup la's sound were clear, and he seemed to be alert and very alive. Despite of his age, his thinking and memory has not grown that older. he has a photographic memory, otherwise how he could remember all those early childhood experience.

But interestly, near to the end of the show, he started to comment on Sino Tibetan negotiation. He made some scathing attack on the noble men of old Tibet, who were responsible for not allowing land reform. And on Chinese Tibetan negotiation, he was critical of the present exile government and the envoy Lodi Gyari. Gyalo Dhondup appeared to be saying that he has paved the way for the visit of HH the Dalai Lama to Tibet or China, but the exile Tibetan government and the envoys, did not follow up with that instead they turned to some other settlement or discussion, that has raised eyebrow of the Chinese leaders.

if Gyalo Dhondup's allegations were correct, then it was a huge political mistake by the exile government. But it is doubtful, so is the crediability of Gyalo Dhondup's statements. It is fine to make constructive criticism on the governments and its leaders. But Gyalo Dhondup la ones was in the same position to make or break the Tibet issues, and he failed to deliver anything promising at that time.

Now the 2011 Kalon Tripa election is a hot topic in exile community. Gyalo Dhondup's impression of Lodi Gyari as a underachiever or non performer sort of project can be very damaging if the later is to run for the 2011 election. Politics is dirty, and it is every one 's responsibilities to sift if any evidence of Gyalo Dhondup la's accussation are genuine. His statement can not be ruled as not a politically motivated charge.