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World Tibet Network News/TibetPressHungary

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Published by: The Canada Tibet Committee Editorial Board: Sandra Bauer, Nima Dorjee, Ryszard Cimek, Tseten Samdup Thubten (Sam) Samdup WTN Editors: wtn-editors@tibet.ca 1. His Holiness the Dalai Lama Leaves for Japan Visit (CTA) 2. Rome Mayor Condemns Chinese Government over Death Penalty for Tibetans (CTA) 3. CTA's Response: II (CTA) 4. Pressure China over Tibetan issue, urge Nobel laureates (Thaindian) 5. EU denounces China's execution of two Tibetans (AFP) 6. San Francisco Bay Area Tibetans and supporters protest Chinese executions (Tibet Post) 7. Rudd told to get tough on Tibet (The Australian ) 8. Do not trust China, says young Tibetan scholars (Newstrack) 9. Insatiable dragon (DNA India) 10. China no longer a law unto itself (Asia Times) 11. Finally, Sikkim railway project on track (Times of India)

1. His Holiness the Dalai Lama Leaves for Japan Visit October 29, 2009 Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Dharamshala this afternoon for a five-day visit to Japan from 31 October -- 5 November. His Holiness will begin his visit with a public teaching on 'Three Principle Paths and Generating the Altruistic Mind Enlightenment', at Ryogoku Kokugikan hall in Tokyo on 31 October. On I November, His Holiness will interact with Japanese scientists to discuss 'Future of the Earth: A Dialogue between Buddhist Inner Science and Modern External Science," in Tokyo. His Holiness will be in Matsuyama city on 3 November to deliver a public talk. On 5 November, His Holiness will give a public talk on 'Peace and Compassionate Mind' at Budokan auditorium in Okinawa.

2. Rome Mayor Condemns Chinese Government over Death Penalty for Tibetans October 29, 2009 Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Dharamshala: The Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno on Tuesday appealed to the Italian Government for a strong condemnation of Chinese authorities practice of death penalty, Italian ANSA news agency reported. Mayor Gianni Alemanno emphasised that this appeal represents widespread sentiment of Italians, who are always very sensitive on the issue of respect of the human rights and civil liberty. We have learned with profound regret the news from the Representative of the Dalai Lama about the execution of four very young Tibetans, sentenced last April for their participation in the mass protest of the 20 October (March) 2008 in the city of Lhasa. Italy is always in the frontline in promoting at the Commission of UNO for human rights for a moratorium on the death penalty in the prospect of it's complete abolition, said the Mayor of Rome. He concluded by saying that within the constant and constructive dialogue that our government engages with Beijing, the Italian expectation for a just and specific solution to the Tibetan issue be underscored within the frame work of territorial integrity and sovereignty of China.

3. CTA's Response: II October 29, 2009 Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) CTA's Response to Beijing's Comments that His Holiness the Dalai Lama does not represent the Tibetan people: The official Chinese claim that His Holiness the Dalai Lama "does not represent the Tibetan people" seems to be a simplistic remark aimed to undermine the popularity of the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate. Not only the Tibetans in and outside occupied Tibet regard His Holiness as their spiritual and temporal leader but also many Chinese through better awareness and information are showing respect for His Holiness and commend his efforts at seeking an amicable resolution of the issue of Tibet keeping into consideration the long-term interest of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. More importantly, because of the Tibetan people's faith and trust in him, His Holiness the Dalai Lama also considers himself the free spokesperson for the Tibetan people. History is witness to the fact that following Communist China's invasion of Tibet in 1949, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was called upon to assume full political power by the Tibetan National Assembly. It was as a leader of the Tibetan people that His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1954 went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. So for the Chinese government authorities to now claim that His Holiness does not represent the Tibetan people falls flat even on past historical facts relating to Sino-Tibetan relations. As for the Tibetan people, wherever His Holiness the Dalai Lama lives, that place automatically becomes the seat of the Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lama. The distinctive feature of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the leader of the Tibetan people is that in most parts of the world people shed blood and sacrifice their lives to get democratic rights from their leaders. In the case of the Tibetan cause His Holiness, who enjoys unqualified support from the people, has tried many times to give up all his legitimate powers to the Tibetan people and parliament but they in turn have been requesting him to continue being their undisputed leader! Since coming into exile as early as in 1963, His Holiness presented a draft democratic constitution for Tibet that was followed by a number of reforms to democratise the Tibetan administrative set-up in exile. In 1992 His Holiness issued guidelines for future Tibetan polity wherein he announced that when the Tibetans, including himself, are able to return to Tibet with a certain degree of freedom, he will give up all his political authority. He has also expressed the hope that Tibet, comprising of the three traditional provinces of U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham, would be federal and democratic. Currently with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama the democratic administration in exile is headed by the Tibetan Kashag, which is led by the Kalon Tripa who is democratically elected by the Tibetan people. The Tibetan democratic set up, with an elected parliament in exile is admired by many governments, parliaments and people in the free world and even many Chinese admire the openness with which the Tibetan set up in exile under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, headquartered in Dharamsala in northern India functions. Another example to show how His Holiness represents the Tibetan people is when Tibetans held peaceful demonstrations all over Tibet last March, the key slogans included, "Long Live the Dalai Lama" and "We want return of the Dalai Lama". The Tibetans inside Tibet raised these slogans even of being arrested and imprisoned. It is encouraging to note that more and more Chinese, especially intellectuals, are refusing to succumb to the official Chinese propaganda. For example on 22 March 2008 in the wake of the demonstrations in Tibet, a group of Chinese intellectuals petitioned the Chinese leadership in Beijing. They urged the Chinese leaders to resolve the Tibet issue by entering into a dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They also urged the Chinese government to "show proof" of their claim that the alleged riots that took place in Lhasa on 14 March 2008 "was organized, premeditated, and meticulously orchestrated by the Dalai clique." The Chinese intellectuals said, "We hope that the government will show proof of this. In order to change the international community's negative view and distrustful attitude, we also suggest that the government invite the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights to carry out an independent investigation of the evidence, the course of the incident, the number of casualties, etc." So far the Chinese government has yet to allow any independent international investigation in occupied Tibet. The Institution of the Dalai Lama If we start with the first Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drub, the institution of the Dalai Lama is some 600 years old. If we start with the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, on whom was conferred the title of the Dalai Lama by Altan Khan, the Tumed Mongol chieftain, the institution of the Dalai Lama is more than 450 years old. If we start with the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso who combined in his person both spiritual and political authority of all Tibet in 1642, the institution of the Dalai Lama is exactly 367 years old as of 2009. There are very few governments in the world today, which can trace their institutional and legal origins so far back in history. The institution of the Dalai Lama has survived Ming, Manchu and Republican China and, in our considered opinion, is competing the marathon of longevity very well with Communist China. China and CCP Compared to this illustrious lineage, the Chinese Communist Party was founded in the early 1920's. After a devastating civil war, amid famine, dislocation and the WW II, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) emerged victorious to found the People's Republic of China in 1949. This year on 1 October, the CCP gave itself a grand party to commemorate its 60 years in power. This is not to deny the achievement of the CCP. This achievement is made more remarkable by the fact that this was preceded by a prolonged period of warlordism. During the period of warlordism, Beijing or Nanjiang pretended to rule the whole of China and the whole of China pretended to be ruled from these two capitals. But the warlords were very much on their own, sometimes leading the two capitals by their noses. The 1949 achievement of a unified China has been squandered by the CCP in the past 60 years. Ideology took precedence over good governance, political campaigns over the economy and personality cult over collective decisions. A great nation was nearly reduced to its knees. Then came Deng Xiaoping. He put the economic development over everything else. Thus came about the current transformation of China into the world's fastest growing economy. However, this is being done within a legal vacuum. With no rule of law and institutional checks and balances, China's economic miracle is a free-for-all. China's economic miracle is being achieved at the expense of the welfare of the toiling masses. Their labours are exploited for personal gain by the growing collusion between party and government officials who provide protection to rapacious businessmen who provide bribes to their official protectors. Certainly, people are getting richer. However, the source of this wealth is based on this fundamental injustice of the current Chinese social system. Some commentators call this system a "predatory state." What the Tibetans Have Done in Exile Against the background of the CCP's diminishing legitimacy, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has transformed the Dalai Lama institution into a global one. The Dalai Lama institution began as a Tibetan institution. The third Dalai Lama converted the whole of Mongolia to Tibetan Buddhism. The fourth Dalai Lama was born a Mongol. With these two events, the institution of the Dalai Lama became a Central Asian institution. The Great Fifth Dalai Lama made it into a Central Asian plus Himalayan institution with deep roots into Buddhist China. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama has made it into a global one. On top of this, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has set his people free. He has given them the gift of democracy and choice. This explains the vitality of the Tibetan exile community. The Arrogance of Empire: When Rome Ruled the World Jesus Christ said, "Render unto Ceasar what's Ceasar's. Render unto God what God's" when asked whether it was right for ordinary people within the empire to pay taxes to Rome. Despite this Middle-Way Approach in dealing with political problems, Jesus was crucified, his followers persecuted throughout the empire. Many were thrown into lions' dens. All these were done to suppress new ideas from affecting the stability of the empire. At the end of the day, the once mighty Roman Empire crumbled and Christianity spread throughout the world. The Pope, Christianity's grandest lama, was installed in the Vatican in Rome. And Jesus Christ started on his mission of peace, goodwill and tolerance with just twelve disciples. In the end his teachings subdued an empire. In term's of endurance and relevance, no empire can compete with religion and the power of the human heart. This is what the Manchu emperor K'ang-si understood. In his message to the seventh Dalai Lama, he said, "The Dalai Lama is like a ray of sunshine, which is impossible for any one group of people to obscure. The ray of Buddhist faith will shine on everyone through him." His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings on the eternal message of the Buddha and the personal example he sets on how to lead individual lives has changed and touched the lives of millions across the globe. Most importantly, this message of hope, tolerance and goodwill is creeping into China through Chinese translations of his teachings. Ordinary Chinese are coming to India to attend his teachings. The final document of the Sino-Tibetan Conference, Finding Common Ground, held in Geneva from 6-8 August this year declared, "The undeniable right of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to return to his homeland must be respected." The document also recommended to the Central Tibetan Administration "to create favourable conditions for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to promote his values to the Chinese community as a contribution to the renewal of spiritual values amongst the Chinese people." The power of religion was poignantly shown in 2006. That year His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a Kalachakra teaching in Amravati in south India. It was attended by Tibetans and Buddhists from all over the world, including more than 8,000 Tibetans from Tibet and about 250 Chinese from the Mainland. His Holiness the Dalai Lama urged the Tibetans from Tibet not to wear clothes trimmed with animal skins and asked those gathered on the occasion to pass this message to Tibetans in Tibet. Within a week of this request, Tibetans in all parts of Tibet made bonfires of clothes trimmed with animal skins. This is a measure of Tibetans' devotion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Even if this is not considered proof positive that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the legitimate representative of the Tibetan people, then the simple way to resolve the issue is for the Chinese authorities to conduct a plebiscite amongst the Tibetan people to let them decide who their legitimate leader is.

4. Pressure China over Tibetan issue, urge Nobel laureates October 29, 2009 (Thaindian) New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Praising India for taking good care of Tibetan refugees, two Nobel peace laureates Thursday appealed to the international community to pressure China to grant religious and cultural freedom to Tibetans. "Despite India's tightrope walk on the Tibetan issue, India must be commended for allowing Tibetan refugees and taking care of them," Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in 1997, said here. "The Dalai Lama has led his community and allowed them to develop peacefully," she said. "People of Tibet have right to religious equality and freedom. There is no political will on part of the Chinese government to deal with it," said Mairead Corrigan, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 along with Betty Williams for her advocacy of a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The two, who met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala Tuesday, criticised the violation of human rights of Tibetans in China and exhorted the international community to use their influence to pressure China. The Dalai Lama has been living in the hill resort of Dharamsala in India for the past five decades along with his followers since he fled from Chinese persecution in 1959. India has allowed Tibetans to stay in India on condition that they do not indulge in political activities in the country. Williams and Corrigan were speaking at the India International Centre at an interaction organised by the Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives in partnership with NDTV. The two invoked Mahatma Gandhi's methods of non-violent resistance to remind the world that only non-violence can lead to sustainable peace. Williams criticised US President Barack Obama's decision to cancel a meeting with the Dalai Lama early this month reportedly under pressure from China. "It was appalling. Human rights issues were ignored," she said while cautioning against the perils of mixing economics with human rights issues. Williams was also critical of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama, saying it was premature. "Let's see if he can rock the boat and walk the talk. It's about action, not words," she said. "Our role as Nobel laureates is to continue pressure to educate governments on errors of thinking, educating China about its responsibility and, above all, educating people and civil society about the welfare of Tibetans," said Williams. Williams expressed her concern and anguish over the plight of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. "We are concerned about the situation of 20,000 refugees on Nepal, including 5,000 undocumented refugees. Under pressure from China, they have not been allowed to go home," she said. "We plan to send a letter to President Obama and members of the US Congress about the situation of the refugees," she said.

5. EU denounces China's execution of two Tibetans October 29, 2009 (AFP) BRUSSELS -- The European Union on Thursday condemned China's execution of two Tibetans, voicing concerns over how their trials were conducted. "The European Union condemns the recent executions of two Tibetans, Mr Lobsang Gyaltsen and Mr Loyak," the Swedish EU presidency said in a statement on behalf of the 27-nation bloc. "The EU respects China?s right to bring those responsible for the violence to justice but reaffirms its longstanding opposition to the use of the death penalty under all circumstances," the EU statement said. "The EU reiterates its concerns about the conditions under which the trials were conducted, especially with regard to whether due process and other safeguards for a fair trial were respected," the EU presidency added. The European Union has called for death sentences handed down on several other Tibetans to be commuted. China said Tuesday that the two Tibetans had been executed for their role in deadly ethnic unrest that rocked the Himalayan region last year, the first known use of capital punishment over the violence. Fierce anti-China protests erupted in Lhasa and spread across Tibet and adjacent areas with Tibetan populations in March last year, embarrassing the government in Beijing as it prepared to host the Olympic Games. Beijing blamed the Dalai Lama -- the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader seen by authorities as a separatist bent on independence -- for inciting the unrest. He, however, insists he only wants greater regional autonomy for Tibet. China has said "rioters" were responsible for 21 deaths, while its security forces killed only one "insurgent." But the exiled Tibetan government has said more than 200 Tibetans were killed in the subsequent crackdown.

6. San Francisco Bay Area Tibetans and supporters protest Chinese executions Tenzin W. Shakya, SF TEAM TIBET October 29, 2009 (TibetPost) Berkeley, CA, USA -- San Francisco Bay Area Tibetans gathered Saturday night, 24 October, for a candlelight vigil, after receiving the tragic report from the Tibetan Center for Human Rights in India that the Chinese government had executed four Tibetan activists on 20 October. The men were convicted for their alleged involvement in the March 2008 uprising in Lhasa, in a move activists are decrying as a violation of international human rights law. Three of the young Tibetan men who were executed are: Lobsang Gyaltsen, age 27; Loyak, age 25; and Penkyi, age 21. A fourth unidentified Tibetan was also reportedly executed on the same day. "These individuals were denied their basic legal rights, and their trials were not conducted in accordance with international judicial standards. Despite Chinese law providing that these cases should have been tried in open court, where independent observers could have attended, these four Tibetans have been prosecuted behind closed doors," announced Yangchen Lhamo, a board member of the organization Students for a Free Tibet. These are the first known executions of Tibetans since 2003, and they signal an alarming escalation in the Chinese government's campaign to punish any Tibetan who dares to speak out against Chinese rule, according to SF TEAM TIBET. "Everyone should get their phones and call their U.S. government representatives to demand an immediate response and denounce this travesty of justice, and ask for concrete actions on Tibet by President Obama during his upcoming visit to China," urged Tsering Dorjee, President of the San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. Wei Jingsheng, a well known Chinese Human Rights and Democracy activist and often referred to as "the leader for the opposition against the Chinese Communist dictatorship" was also present at this vigil and said he "supports the struggle of all people in China deserving of Human Rights". "President Obama has declined to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has succumbed to the Chinese government's pressure...We must not beg him to meet his Holiness the Dalai Lama. Instead, we should say, 'Obama, don't go to China!'" declared Giovanni Vasallo, President of the Bay Area Friends of Tibet and Committee of 100 for Tibet. Vasallo explained, "That will make a statement and get progress for human rights and democracy in China and Tibet." "Yes, we can certainly make a difference if we all raise our voices in unison. As such, we must join in solidarity with those who cannot speak and continue to suffer under the repressive Chinese government," advised Kunchok Tashi, Vice President of the Tibetan Association of Northern California. SF TEAM TIBET has scheduled another protest to take place outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco this Friday, 30 October, from 12pm-3pm.

7. Rudd told to get tough on Tibet October 29, 2009 (The Australian) KEVIN Rudd's upcoming meeting with Li Keqiang, the man tipped to be China's next premier, has sparked a renewed call for the Prime Minister to meet the Dalai Lama. The Australia Tibet Council points out this will be one of numerous meetings Mr Rudd has held with top-level Chinese government leaders in his time as prime minister. He's had five one-on-one meetings with Chinese president Hu Jintao, but his scorecard with the Dalai Lama stands at zero. Mr Rudd, who last met the Dalai Lama in 2007 while opposition leader, confirmed earlier this month he would not meet the spiritual leader when he visits Australia in December. Mr Rudd was selling out Tibet and the human rights cause in an effort to boost flagging relations between Australia and China, the council's executive officer Paul Bourke said in a statement on Thursday. Mr Li's visit comes shortly after China confirmed it had executed two Tibetans relating to protests in 2008, Mr Bourke said. They were the first known executions to have been carried out in Tibet since 2003. It was time Mr Rudd raised concerns about Tibet, if it was true his relationship with China was as mature and robust as he has made it out to be, Mr Bourke said.

8. Do not trust China, says young Tibetan scholars October 29, 2009 Newstrack (India) Shimla, Oct 29 (ANI) -- Young Tibetans held a meeting here to discuss independence of Tibet and ways to achieve it. At least 30 Tibetan scholars in-exile assembled for the two-day meet regarding the Mc Mohan Line dividing India, Tibet and China. These scholars standing for freedom of Tibet said they believed that they were re-visiting the independence of Tibet through the Simla agreement signed in 1914. After the meeting they said that India should not trust China after Beijing condemned the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh. "It is utmost important that a group of young Tibetan scholar intellectuals have decided to gather in Shimla which is also a very significant place in history of Indian and Tibet together. Especially of the Mac Mohan line agreement that we have agreed upon due to which Arunachal has been recognised by Tibet as part of India. So when Chinese has condemned India not only of his holiness's visit to Arunachal Pradesh but also of your Prime minister's visiting , that also shows Chinese deep intention on their policy of India.," said Karma, Tibetan scholar. One of the scholars also claimed the meeting was held to reinforce the importance of 1914 Shimla Agreement. "The importance of revisiting Shimla with the independence of Tibet is directly related to Arunachal Pradesh, where India claims Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India and here we reinforce the importance of 1914 Shimla Agreement, which was signed between Tibet and British Empire and today India inherits that power," said Tenzin Tsundue, Tibetan scholar and activist.

9. Insatiable dragon October 29, 2009 (DNA India) Although China invaded India in 1962, provoked a bloody clash at Nathu La in 1967 and triggered border skirmishes in 1986-87 by crossing the line of control in Samdurong Chu, this is the first time it has opened pressure points against India all along the Himalayan frontier in peacetime. This pressure long predates the Dalai Lama's plans to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Indeed, it gradually has been building up since 2006, largely in reaction to the Indo-US strategic partnership, which was set in motion by the separate unveiling in 2005 of the nuclear deal and defence-framework accord. By muscling up to India, is China aiming to browbeat India or actually fashion an option to wage war? Prime minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian officials have publicly sought to tamp down military tensions. But in contrast, the Chinese leadership has been mum on the Himalayan border situation even as the bellicose rhetoric in China's state-run media has affected public opinion with 90 per cent of respondents in a Global Times online poll citing India as the No 1 threat to China's security. The Communist Party's official newspaper, the People's Daily, after asking India to consider the costs of "a potential confrontation with China," ran another denunciatory editorial recently on New Delhi's "recklessness and arrogance." The current situation, in some aspects, parallels the one that prevailed in the run-up to the 1962 attack, which then Chinese premier Zhou En Lai declared was designed "to teach India a lesson." Whether Beijing actually sets out to teach India "the final lesson" will, of course, depend on several calculations, including India's defence preparedness, domestic factors within China and the availability of a propitious international timing of the type that the Cuban missile crisis provided in 1962. But why should New Delhi repeatedly and gratuitously offer explanations or justifications for the continuing Chinese incursions? If such intrusions are due to differing perceptions about the line of control, let the Chinese say that. But note: Beijing hasn't proffered that excuse. The issue up to 1962 was Aksai Chin. But having gobbled up Aksai China, an area almost as big as Switzerland, China now claims Arunachal, nearly three times as large as Taiwan, to help widen its annexation of resource-rich Tibet. Since ancient times, the Himalayas have been regarded as India's northern frontiers. But China is laying claim to territories south of the Himalayan watershed. Having lost its outer buffer -- Tibet -- India cannot lose its inner buffer -- the Himalayas -- or else the enemy will arrive in its plains. Yet, instead of putting the focus on the source of China's claim -- Tibet -- and on Beijing's attempt to territorially enlarge its Tibet annexation to what it calls "southern Tibet" since 2006, India fights shy of gently shining a spotlight on Tibet as the lingering core issue. Both on strategy and capability, India is found wanting. Unable to define its own game-plan, it plays into China's containment-behind-the-façade-of-engagement strategy by staying put in an unending, barren process of border talks going on since 1981, even though it realises Beijing has no intent to reach a political settlement. Worse still, it agreed in August to let the border talks go off on a tangent and turn into an all-encompassing strategic dialogue, thereby arming Beijing with new leverage to condition a border settlement to the achievement of greater strategic congruence. Now consider capability: More than 11 years after it gate-crashed the nuclear-weapons club, India conspicuously lacks even a barely minimal deterrent capability against China. Instead of giving topmost priority to building a credible deterrent against China -- possible only through a major augmentation of indigenous nuclear and missile capabilities -- India is focused on the spendthrift import of conventional weapons. Let's be clear: No amount of conventional arms can effectively deter a nuclear foe, that too an adversary that enjoys an inherent military advantage against India by being positioned on the commanding upper reaches of the Himalayas. Although China is playing provoker, New Delhi helped create the context to embolden Beijing to up the ante. Can it be forgotten that New Delhi for long has indulged in ritualised happy talk about its relations with Beijing, brushing problems under the rug and hyping the outcome of every bilateral summit? Even today, as New Delhi stares at the harvest of a mismanagement of relations with China by successive governments that chose propitiation to leverage building, attempts are being made to pull the wool over public eyes by calling the Himalayan border "peaceful". Speaking honestly about a relationship fraught with major problems and lurking dangers is an essential first step to protect India's interests.

10. China no longer a law unto itself By Francesco Sisci October 30, 2009 (Asia Times) BEIJING - The legal traditions of China and those of ancient Rome and Greece have very different origins. They grew out of different social needs and political requirements, reflecting the varied natures of the civilizations that created the laws. In ancient China, three words covered the modern meaning of the Latin word lex (law): xing (punishment), fa (norm, standard), and li (ritualistic behavior). As the Lun Yu (the ancient collections of the sayings attributed to Confucius) told us, the aristocracy, the junzi, was to be managed through li, whereas for common people, xing was more appropriate. The word xing, punishment, indicated corporal punishment, as suggested by the radical "knife" in the character. This could be cutting off the nose or the ears, or the fingers - or a branding on the forehead. Such marks showed clearly to everybody the criminal record of the individual. In this sense, xing, by cutting, gave a new shape to the culprit, it adapted the object, the person. A thief, thus, would be punished by having to take on the shape of a thief - that is, for example, without a hand. In a sense, the punishment of xing was to correct a person by changing his name from the one given to the one that was appropriate for him. This was a practical and concrete application of the Confucian principle, "The father must be a father; the son, son; the king, king; the minister, minister." The ritualistic li, was a complex system of education and etiquette for people with access to higher social positions, covering how to behave in different circumstances and with different people. A lack of etiquette, as it is today, is not punished by torture or corporal punishment, but simply by subjecting the guilty to a humiliating lack of etiquette in response. The "impolite" person loses face, is demeaned, and thus is already punished enough. This system assumes a society split in two, between the educated and the uneducated or the underprivileged. They are different, behave differently, and should be treated differently. The word fa gave its name to a whole philosophical school in the 3rd century BC, called in English "legalism". Because of this, the word today usually translates into the English word "law", or the Latin "lex". But actually it indicates a very different thing. In the Tianzhi of philosopher Mozi (470 BCE - ca 391 BCE), we can see it: Therefore the will of Heaven is like the compasses to the wheelwright and the square to the carpenter. The wheelwright tests the circularity of every object in the world with his compasses, saying: "That which satisfies my compasses is circular. That which does not is not circular." Therefore whether an object is circular or not is all known because the standard (fa) of circularity is all established. The carpenter also tests the squareness of every object in the world with his square, saying: "That which satisfies my square is square; that which does not is not square." Therefore whether any object is square or not is all known. Why so? Because the standard of squareness is established. Similarly, with the will of Heaven, Mozi will measure the jurisdiction and government of the lords in the empire on the one hand, and the doctrines and teachings of the multitudes in the empire on the other. If some conduct is observed to be in accordance with the will of Heaven, it is called good conduct; if it is in opposition to the will of Heaven it is called bad conduct. If a teaching is observed to be in accordance with the will of Heaven it is called good teaching; if it is in opposition to the will of Heaven it is called bad teaching. And if a government is observed to be in accordance with the will of Heaven it is called good government; if it is in opposition to the will of Heaven it is called bad government. With this as the model and with this as the standard, whether the lords and the ministers are magnanimous or not can be measured as (easily as) to distinguish black and white. Therefore Mozi said: If the rulers and the gentlemen of the world really desire to follow the way and benefit the people they have only to obey the will of Heaven, the origin of magnanimity and righteousness. Obedience to the will of Heaven is the standard of righteousness.[1] In this passage, fa is a standard, a model of behavior that men should take from the sky. Here Mozi marks a profound innovation: he breaks the social difference marked by the two sets of "laws" - those for the inferiors, xing, and the superiors, li - and says that all men are equal, and there is no li or xing but fa, taken from the will (zhi) and intention (yi) of Heaven. That is, there must be a standard for social behavior, like that of a carpenter's. In this sense, Mozi introduces a concept that is actually similar to that of a neutral aspect of law of the first century BC - Chinese "Legalism" - and the concept of law in the West. But it is also clear that Chinese law at this point is already very different from Western legal tradition. Furthermore, using fa, Mozi is also very careful to think in strategic military terms. A crucial part of his thinking focuses on fei gong, a theory commonly translated as against "offensive war". This is no trivial pacifism, but claims that small states must oppose aggressive wars of larger states. In fact, as Lu Xiang has shown in a forthcoming essay on Sunzi, gong in pre-Qin China meant war of a strong state and army against a minor state and army. Incidentally, zhan (the word now commonly translated as "war") meant war between states with armies of similar sizes, usually large states. We also know, through fragments of chapters on military techniques of defense, that the Mohists (followers of a philosophical and religious movement during the Warring States era - 479-221 BCE) were warriors with a clear ideology - the protection and defense of smaller states against larger ones. The fa was not a law applied and used in each state individually; it was a general principle that came from the "will of Heaven" and had to be used identically in each state. This idea contrasted with a trend of the time, when larger states were conquering and annihilating (mie) smaller ones. In short, we see that the fate of the theories of law and war were linked and mutually reinforced each other in pre-Qin times. We find the same ideas in the text Guanjun, attributed to Shang Guan, prime minister of the state of Qin in the 3rd century BC. In the text, the application of new laws, fa, aims to strengthen the state to deal with wars - this time clearly offensive, against smaller states (gong) or with states of equal size (zhan) that are thus more threatening for one's survival. Law, fa, was an important element in strengthening the structure of the state in order to win the warring competition in the central plain. From Guanjun to Hanfei (about 280 to 233 BCE), zi legalist China no longer a law unto itself By Francesco Sisci philosophers created an efficient, orderly state ready for war, and the instruments to increase this efficiency were laws and standardization, as we can see from the following passage from Hanfei zi you du : 1. A country's strength depends on law, fa. No country is permanently strong. Nor is any country permanently weak. If conformers to law are strong, the country is strong; if conformers to law are weak, the country is weak. 2. Promote followers of the law Therefore, at present, any ruler able to expel private crookedness and uphold public law, finds the people safe and the state in order; and any ruler able to expunge private action and act on public law, finds his army strong and his enemy weak. So, find out men following the discipline of laws and regulations, and place them above the body of officials. Then the sovereign cannot be deceived by anybody with fraud and falsehood. Find out men able to weigh different situations, and put them in charge of distant affairs. Then the sovereign cannot be deceived by anybody in matters of world politics. 3. Beware of promotion by reputation or partisanship Now, supposing promotions were made because of mere reputations, then ministers would be estranged from the sovereign and all officials would associate for treasonable purposes. Supposing officials were appointed on account of their partisanship, then the people would strive to cultivate friendships and never seek employment in accordance with the law. Thus, if the government lacks able men, the state will fall into confusion. If rewards are bestowed according to mere reputation, and punishments are inflicted according to mere defamation, then men who love rewards and hate punishments will discard the law of the public and practice self-seeking tricks and associate for wicked purposes. If ministers forget the interest of the sovereign, make friends with outside people, and thereby promote their adherents, then their inferiors will be in low spirits to serve the sovereign. Their friends are many; their adherents, numerous. When they form juntas in and out, then though they have great faults, their ways of disguise will be innumerable. 4. Civil decay follows punishment of the innocent For such reasons, loyal ministers, innocent as they are, are always facing danger and the death penalty, whereas wicked ministers, though of no merit, always enjoy security and prosperity. Should loyal ministers meet danger and death without committing any crime, good ministers would withdraw. Should wicked ministers enjoy security and prosperity without rendering any meritorious service, villainous ministers would advance. This is the beginning of decay. Were such the case, all officials would discard legalism, practicing favoritism and despising public law. They would frequent the gates of the residences of cunning men, but never once would they visit the court of the sovereign. For one hundred times they would ponder the interests of private families, but never once would they scheme for the state welfare of the sovereign. 5. Efficient administration depends on upholding the law The law of the early kings said: "Every minister shall not exercise his authority nor shall he scheme for his own advantage but shall follow his majesty's instructions. He shall not do evil but shall follow his majesty's path." Thus, in antiquity the people of an orderly age abode by the public law, discarded all self-seeking tricks, devoted their attention and united their actions to wait for employment by their superiors. Indeed, the lord of men, if he has to inspect all officials himself, finds the day not long enough and his energy not great enough. Moreover, if the superior uses his eyes, the inferior ornaments his looks; if the superior uses his ears, the inferior ornaments his voice; and, if the superior uses his mind, the inferior twists his sentences. Regarding these three faculties as insufficient, the early kings left aside their own talents and relied on laws and numbers and acted carefully on the principles of reward and punishment. Thus, what the early kings did was to the purpose of political order. Their laws, however simplified, were not violated. Despite the autocratic rule within the four seas, the cunning could not apply their fabrications; the deceitful could not practice their plausibilities; and the wicked found no means to resort to, so that, though as far away from His Majesty as beyond a thousand li, they dared not change their words, and though as near by His Majesty as the courtiers, they dared not cover the good and disguise the wrong. The officials in the court, high and low, never trespassed against each other nor did they ever override their posts. Accordingly the sovereign's administrative routine did not take up all his time while each day afforded enough leisure. Such was due to the way the ruler trusted to his position. 6. Let the law select leaders Therefore, the intelligent sovereign makes the law select men and makes no arbitrary promotion himself. He makes the law measure merits and makes no arbitrary regulation himself. In consequence, able men cannot be obscured, bad characters cannot be disguised; falsely praised fellows cannot be advanced, wrongly defamed people cannot be degraded. Accordingly, between ruler and minister distinction becomes clear and order is attained. Thus it suffices only if the sovereign can scrutinize laws. 7. The law treats all alike The law does not fawn on the noble; the string does not yield to the crooked. Whatever the law applies to, the wise cannot reject nor can the brave defy. Punishment for fault never skips ministers, reward for good never misses commoners. Therefore, to correct the faults of the high, to rebuke the vices of the low, to suppress disorders, to decide against mistakes, to subdue the arrogant, to straighten the crooked, and to unify the folkways of the masses, nothing could match the law. To warn the officials and overawe the people, to rebuke obscenity and danger, and to forbid falsehood and deceit, nothing could match penalty. If penalty is severe, the noble cannot discriminate against the humble. If law is definite, the superiors are esteemed and not violated. If the superiors are not violated, the sovereign will become strong and able to maintain the proper course of government. Such was the reason why the early kings esteemed legalism and handed it down to posterity. Should the lord of men discard law and practice selfishness, high and low would have no distinction. Hence to govern the state by law is to praise the right and blame the wrong. [2] In fact, there is broad consensus among historians that the legal reforms in the state of Qin, which used Hanfei's zi theories, made possible the accumulation of wealth, social cohesion and massive mobilization of resources that fueled and produced the unification campaigns of the first Chinese emperor. The law, fa, served the purpose of the sovereign, which at that time was victory in wars against all enemies. Victory in war ultimately achieved through the proper use of fa has left a feeling of nostalgia in China's strategic thinking for inflexible law that permits the organization of the state along almost military lines. This creates a mental continuum between war and peace, which runs very deep in the tradition of Chinese thought [3]. The state is organized so that it can efficiently deal with war. Indeed, it is so strong and ready that it is able to defeat the enemy before it even intends to attack or that its demands are met immediately, without a fight, because just the possibility of conflict scares potential enemies. The emergence of the value and efficiency of fa in strengthening the pre-Qin state went hand-in-hand with profound social changes. The aristocrats surrounding the monarch, who were treated according to li, were wiped out. An idea of "social equality" blossomed, holding that ministers and monarchs were to be selected and chosen for their abilities and not because of their lineage. These abilities ensured the ultimate success of the state. (See for example the Shang Xian chapters in Mozi.) This was also accompanied by a major transformation of the army. The virtues of an individual combatant, requiring years of specific training, such as in archery or driving a chariot, become much less important after the introduction of the mass infantry. The individual soldier or infantryman was, though, willing to risk his life in war if in return he received a chance of social advancement. But in pre-Qin China, the road to the top echelons of the state was not that of military virtue. No "government leaders" came to the top because of their merits in battle. Promotion within the state (which was organized for military purposes) was by merit of "civilian" virtues, by the ability to administer the state. This was the case with two prime ministers who contributed much to the strengthening of the state administration - Guang Zhong (mythical author of Guanzi) and Shang Guan (legendary author of Guanjun). This transformation canceled the powerful old aristocracies and concentrated power in the hands of the sovereign (the guarantor of the interests of the state) and his ministers; "managers" of the state chosen by the sovereign from a large mass of citizens, in theory all equal and different only on the basis of individual merit. Also during the five centuries passing from the collapse of the Zhou king's power until the unification of the Qin Empire in 221 BCE, the fortunes of the individual states were ephemeral. Large and small states were destroyed (mie), some states managed to assert their "hegemony" (ba) in the central plains, but this hegemony did not last long - it changed hands if a rival state adopted more effective domestic policies. In short, there was a situation of great competition between rival states, and everyone was fighting life-or-death - something that required the adoption of policies for ruthless efficiency. Otherwise, the state and all its population faced a death penalty. Yet, lasting success came not really from victory in the battlefield, but from a "domestic resilience/endurance" created by an efficient administrative and political system, which delivered the conditions for overwhelming victory in war. In this situation, internal resistance from the elites in each state weakened, even if there were many aristocratic conspiracies against efficient ministers; the constant threat of external danger ultimately suppressed internal resistance. The situation of lex in ancient Rome and ancient Greece was very different. Whereas Chinese tradition cultivated the idea of continuity between war and peace by strengthening the state with the idea of fa, Rome and Athens separated times of war and times of peace. However, in Greece, there was a tradition of continuity between war and peace - that of Sparta, where in times of war, the tough lives of the warriors, almost paradoxically, were easier than in peace. But even here, power was not concentrated in the hands of one person, but divided between two kings, who, even in times of war, took turns commanding the army. This cultural tradition was a "minority" and was eventually abandoned. Athens and Rome, which shaped Western tradition, moved differently. In Athens, in the 5th century BC, Themistocles defeated the Persians, and in return for his good services to the city he was ousted from his post and even expelled from the city. In theory, a city, thinking about its destiny, was supposed to protect and treasure Themistocles. However the Athenians - in reality, to be more precise, the most powerful families in Athens - feared that Themistocles, with his success, would become "tyrannos", the undisputed leader of Athens, a practice that was taking root in many cities in the Greek colonies in southern Italy. There were many differences between the Greek city-states and the Chinese state. Above all with the Greeks, we see the strong enduring internal power of the elites who used a single head, one with value, only when needed. Once the critical moment had passed, they feared for their own internal power and tried to protect it rather than striving for the political advancement of the city. This domestic competition in Greek cities opened the way for Macedonians Philip and Alexander when they conquered Greece. But we see the same consistency of competition within the aristocracy when, at the death of Alexander, his generals and friends fought one another and split the empire. The interests of individual chieftains were greater than the desire for a territorial unit that could have guaranteed greater power to the unified state. We find a similar division of power in Rome between the two consuls. This served to protect the power of the aristocracy against the excessive concentration of power in the hands of one man. Only in times of war did the republican laws provide for a concentration of power in the hands of a "dictator", a word that after those times became derogatory. In short, both in Greece and in Rome, there was a difference in political organization between times of war and times of peace. In war, the state gave power to one man, but after the period of war, the state took back the power and distributed it among different people, in competition with each other, just for fear of a concentration of power. The provision for a "dictator" was applied with great caution, even during the wars against Carthage, which were the biggest challenge to Rome's rise to power. Even then, against the fearsome Hannibal, at many times two consuls took charge of the army and the city. The process of concentrating power in Rome was slow. The city had to go through the civil wars between Marius and Sulla, the civil war against Catiline, the conflict between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later the one between Octavian and Anthony. But even after the establishment of an "emperor" (the "commander"), there was a lingering role for other powers - the senate and the Praetorians (the imperial body guard, responsible for security in Rome). Here we see a fundamental difference in the formation of the two empires. In China, competition between the states in the central plain in life-and-death wars forced the absolute concentration of power within the state. This concentration of power in turn ultimately provided muscle to a state, qin, which allowed it to conquer and annihilate all other states. The law was the instrument used to give power to the sovereign, but the sovereign was in reality not subject to the law. There was no power above him or one that limited him, even though to maintain social harmony the sovereign at times endeavored to do things according to the law. In Rome, in the absence of real external challenges, the concentration of power in the emperor occurred through fierce internal political struggles, and it took place after the defeat of Carthage, which was the only power that could have eliminated or challenged Rome. The civil war commanders, in need of ideological justification, did not radically eliminate all the previous divisions of powers, but kept the institutions that shaped former Roman politics. The influence of the senate rose and fell almost cyclically during the imperial period, but the institution remained. In theory, even the command of the emperor was subject to the law, although the emperor could in reality escape the rigors of the law. In China, the concentration of power was a driving force behind the survival and victory of one state over another. Indeed, with the revolution of the Han, the new dynasty tried to mitigate the concentration of power attained by the Qin, but it retained basically the same political structure. Moreover, in China, power came from efficient political administration, providing wealth and social cohesion, thus endurance and resources to the state before a war. The heroes were the wise ministers, who might have had a keen interest in military affairs, but who reputedly were rarely generals commanding troops in battle. In Rome, power came from successful battles that thrashed the enemy. The heroes were the generals who were also politicians - like Caesar, or all the other commanders in the civil wars - but they had to prove their mettle by fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with their legionnaires. The principles and histories of the two civilizations are very different, and as a result inspired different conceptions of law. The traditional division of powers in the Roman empire was, for example, the theoretical ideological argument that allowed the church to establish itself as another power, the religious one, limiting and competing with the power of the emperor. It was almost as if it were a kind of later personification of the earlier will of the common people, previously embodied by the Greek agora (market square) and the plebeians and patricians facing the power of the emperor. The principle of the gospel, "to God what is of God, to Caesar what is of Caesar", was accepted by the Roman Empire (Pontius Pilate, we know, did not move against Christ), and was used to justify some "division of power". But in China, similar principles were harder to digest as there was a tradition of the concentration of power in the hands of the emperor. (Incidentally, this Chinese concentration is also very different from the Caesar-Papism of the Byzantine tradition, but here we depart from the issue of this essay.) A second important element in the evolution of the concept of law in the West came from Italy during the Renaissance period, which began at the end of the 13th century. At that point, for the first time in history, merchants and businessmen took direct power into their hands and defended their interests with weapons. These people were interested in enriching themselves - earning money and commodities - more than in gaining territory, as in previous European history. They discovered that money was much more powerful than territory, and thus small states, like Florence and Venice, for centuries ruled the destinies of Europe. This pushed larger, but far poorer and weaker states (for instance, Spain) to seek alternative routes to the Indies - just to avoid the hegemony of the Italian city-states. Those with power and wealth wanted to reduce the costs of transactions, and thus they needed a system of law that would guarantee (cheaper) peaceful trading. This could not occur through the threat of the sword (which was costly), even if that threat was important to induce loyalty to pacts. They needed a system of rules for commercial transactions, and these rules became "laws". Furthermore, the "merchant" state and its laws was structurally designed to provide benefits to merchants and the market, from which came common wealth and power. This attention by the state to the needs of the free market was a constant element of the modern world. The calibration of the state according to the needs of the free market was based on a state tradition attentive to preventing the concentration of power, as we saw in the traditions of ancient Roman. Markets and merchants existed in China, but the state was not organized according to their needs, and the state did not expect to have to be organized to serve the well-being of markets and merchants. Indeed, the success of a merchant could be considered a threat to social order, and therefore his funds could be seized for this reason. It was this Western tradition that influenced China, with its fully fledged affirmation coming in the 1990s. This swept aside centuries of tradition in which power had been concentrated on the basis of a strategic vision for the state. But looking at the experiences of the past 150 years, it is clear to China that the power and the wealth of the state can only be achieved if the interests of the market and the merchants are well protected. The state in a sense puts itself at the service of the market. It regulates the market, to protect it, but not to destroy it. Indeed, the destruction of merchants and the market would be the seed that would grow to ruin the state. This has practical implications. China will have to import from the West not only laws, but a whole - and very different - Western legal tradition that needs to be adapted and somehow reconciled with Chinese traditions. This is a huge challenge China is just beginning to face, even as it is already at the forefront of the international arena. (A Chinese version of this article was presented at a seminar on Comparative Law organized by Professor Fei Anling of Zhengfa University in Beijing. I am also grateful to Lorenzo Infantino and Edward Luttwak for discussion on the subject.) Notes 1. Translation by Y-pao Mei "Mo-tse" 1934. (Mozi, 470 BCE-ca to 391 BCE was a philosopher who lived in China during the Hundred Schools of Thought period (early Warring States Period). 2. Translation from "Having Regulations - A Memorandum" in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, Volume I. Translated by W K Liao. Arthur Probsthain, London. 1939. 3. See also Mark Edward Lewis The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han, Belknap Press - April 2007. Francesco Sisci is the Asia Editor of La Stampa.

11. Finally, Sikkim railway project on track Jayanta Gupta, TNN October 29, 2009 (Times of India) KOLKATA (TNN) -- Better late than never. Work on laying broad-gauge railway tracks between Sevoke in Bengal and Rangpo in Sikkim is expected to finally start in the next few days. The detailed survey report was submitted to the ministry of railways early in 2008 and work was expected to start later that year. Now at last, the railway minister is going to lay the foundation stones at both Sevoke and Rangpo on Friday. "This stretch will be of great significance. Not only will Sikkim be a part of the country's railway map for the first time in history, it will also be the beginning of a long term plan to take the railway network up to Gangtok and beyond. This is part of the strategy to build infrastructure along the Indo-China border. Movement of both men and material will become much easier once railway tracks have been laid," a senior official from Delhi said. China has already created infrastructure both road and rail in Tibet. This has been a matter of concern for Delhi as Indian troops have to solely depend upon an unreliable road network to travel to forward posts. After Gangtok is linked by rail, travel time for Indian forces and equipment can be cut down to a great extent. The estimated cost of the 52.7 km stretch between Sevoke and Rangpo is Rs 1,335 crore. The plan outlay for 2009-10 is Rs 10 crore. Of the total stretch, 51.7 km will be in West Bengal and the remaining 1 km in Sikkim. At a later stage, the line will be extended for another 40 km up to Gangtok. The first phase up to Rangpo is expected to be completed by 2015. The final location survey contract has already been awarded. There are some who believe that laying of tracks along this stretch will come in for resistance from environmental groups. The National Highways Authority of India had started construction of a 41-km stretch on NH31A from the Sikkim-West Bengal border to Gangtok. This was part of Phase-A of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North Eastern region. This project attracted the ire of environmentalists. "Environmentalists will have to be more rational. On one hand, the country is concerned about infrastructure build-up in Tibet. This will only be possible on the Indian side if road and rail networks are constructed. Proper care will certainly be taken to ensure there is no far-reaching affect on the environment. Similar projects have been planned elsewhere in the North East. Not only will these be of strategic importance to the country, they will also result in overall development of backward regions," the official added. Send articles to: wtn-editors@tibet.ca Subscriptions to: listserv@lists.mcgill.ca (subscribe wtnn) Cancellations to: listserv@lists.mcgill.ca (SIGNOFF wtnn)) WTN Archived at: http://www.tibet.ca


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