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Dalai Lama hangs out on Google+ after visa is denied (today.com)
228 points by Maro on Oct 10, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 53 comments

Can anyone listen to Tutu laugh and not crack a huge smile? The guy is like joy in a can.

Disgusted with my own countries actions.

The U.S. isn't that much different. The CIA only lets him into the country on the condition that he isn't allowed to talk about politics. That's why all the talks he gives here are so boring.

The CIA is not involved in the decision. It is a political one, made by the State Dept. and the Administration. The U.S. provides a visa but subjects the Dali Lama to other indignities:


Me too. With our history of repression you'd think they'd be a litte wary of who they jump into bed with.

Even though they were bullied into it by China, and not (I think - let me know if I'm wrong) because they dislike the guy personally?

Lots of people find cowardice to be one of the more disgusting of human characteristics.

There's a difference between bravery and stupidity. South Africa can't stand up to China. There is enough hardship in the country without getting on China's bad side.

With apartheid in the back of their minds they should get their priorities straight.

They're not doing the right thing because they fear economic reprisal. That is cowardice.

Stupidity is allowing an economic bully to win over and over again by threatening individual countries one by one.

Yeah, it'd be much better to plunge the economy back into the apartheid-era embargo days* and let AIDS ravage the country even more.

*It was "cowardice" in the face of economic reprisal that was responsible for the end of apartheid, I might add.

I wonder if he has a circle with nothing in it.

Does anyone else think this is why China blocked the Android Market? It basically happened the next day.

The android market is blocked in China? Do you have a link--that sounds interesting.

Nope. Not bcuz Dalai Lama, but bcuz it is Google's Market. NOT Baidu's, NOT Windows Phone's, NOT Apple's, I think

Makes me wonder if in 20 years, physical location will still be as important as it is today?

Depends on if your work is dependent on physical locations. Most are.

Location also dictates infrastructure, climate, culture, and cuisine. Places that optimize for those things will likely attract location-independent knowledge workers.

And in many cases the workers won't have to worry about pesky working visas, since they're likely to be working remotely for a company in another country.

Just to play the devils advocate (which admittedly isn't popular). He is considered a 'terrorist' by the Chinese Govt.

Regardless the truth in it, it is important to show countries respect on these matters. Keep in mind, other countries have invaded people who've harboured 'terrorists'.

I'll pay due respect to China's opinion on the matter when evidence is produced that he is directly responsible for one death.

In the meantime, the fact that he is considered a terrorist by the Chinese Govt makes them look like idiots - rather than him look like a terrorist. In the exact same way the US calling Maher Arar makes us look like fools.

Not sure why you are being down voted.

Harboring people powerful governments consider terrorists is an extremely dangerous proposition. Always has been.

This is basically the same action that France took against Malcom X. Publicly, it was bowing to American pressure. Unofficially ... well I don't know the truth of it obviously ... but many are saying that the French had it on very good authority that Malcom X would likely be assassinated on that visit. They didn't want that happening on their soil. If the Americans had problems, the least they could do was keep the problems to themselves.

Believe me ... none of us has ANY idea what is going on behind the scenes ... or what the real story is. I think SA security orgs are getting tired of dealing with everyone's issues. A prominent rights activist AND a prominent Rwandan government opponent both had an assassination attempted on them right in the middle of the World Cup! Enormous resources are going into protecting exiles of conscience in SA right now. Security and intelligence resources I'm sure.

This is the terrain that SA government is operating in. Better to just say no to everyone else. SA is a nation with enormous problems of her own ... she has already done her bit. Let others invite the Dalai Lama if they care to.

> Regardless the truth in it, it is important to show countries respect on these matters.

It is important to tell China to go fuck themselves regarding this matter. But I see your point.

they don't fuck themselves. they get fucked by the govt.

Are you drawing a moral equivalence between the US 'invading' Afghanistan and China annexing Tibet? Or is this just a Fox News style "some people say he is a 'terrorist'"?

The situation is a little more complex than that, and I wasn't making any claims about Tibet itself. But since you brought it up:

Tibet is a fairly complex issue, with the crux of it being that the british (!?) agreed to 'release' tibet from being a 'satellite' of china (without involvement from china).

The Chinese viewed this as an interference of their sovereignty (I don't think many nations would view it differently had it happen to them).

The Dalai Lhama is someone who represents that same cause (independence of tibet), which is in direct contradiction to China's (unification).

The moral (in)equivalence comes with: Someone is viewed as an 'enemy of the state' and friends/allies are indulging visits from them. China is not threatening military action, it is simply saying it doesn't like this occurring.

Yes it's complex, but one side wiped a million Tibetans of the map during 'the great leap forward' (along with another 39 million Chinese) and they label a man who in the face of that teaches non violence a 'terrorist'.

You are conflating issues.

Trying to find a 'moral high ground' by viewing history through a selective lens is never really productive.

The Chinese govt has brought a lot of 'good' to the Chinese (and Tibetan) people (despite very horrible mistakes, like the GLF, and military invasion of Tibet).

By good, you mean a lot of Chinese that made the Tibetans a discriminated minority in their own country? Look! We built you a railroad! Oh, you don't have money to use it because we have all the jobs? Too bad!

The reason the West likes Tibet is that for the brief moment of clarity that the end of World War 2 brought (that also led to the EU, the UN, welfare, etc.), we saw that Tibet was the one place that had found the right culture to avoid the horrors that were bestowed upon Europe. Then China came in and destroyed that culture and went on to inflict horrors of similar magnitude.

> Tibet was the one place that had found the right culture to avoid the horrors that were bestowed upon Europe

Perhaps, but that culture was a feudal culture. There are many nuances to the story that simply aren't reflected in popular culture/media. Overview with references here: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4111

From the Skeptoid article:

"The only people who lost any rights under Chinese rule are Tibet's former ruling class, themselves guilty of cruelty and oppression of a magnitude that not even China can conceive. The vast majority of Tibetans, some 90% of whom were serfs, have enjoyed a relative level of freedom unheard of in their culture. Until 1950 when the Chinese put a stop to it, 90% of Tibetans had no rights at all. They were freely traded and sold. They were subject to the worst type of punishments from their lords [...]"

I checked Dalai's profile on G+, it is filled with "His Holiness" this, "His Holiness" that. I don't know, it seems a bit from past centuries to have to call oneself "His Holiness".

Moreover, I have been to tibetan plateaus, I can tell you, the peasants there are much richer than Chinese peasants. They have animals, cars, SUVs, etc. Chinese peasant only have their arms. Not to say Tibetans have a better life, though. It is not easy to live there, in these cold, arid and remote places. It is extremely beautiful too, obviously.

A very astonishing thing is that any small town has it's emormous lamasserie ("temple" if you will), filled with monks who do not exert any productive work. I don't say they should. Maybe for those who believe in their faith it is normal to have a consequent part of the population living of prayers, but, well, I guess these monks really do not share very much with hackers on HN.

"China is not threatening military action, it is simply saying it doesn't like this occurring."

China imposes trade bans on countries that offend it. As China has trade surplus with almost all countries, trade becomes a powerful blackmailing tool for it which is worrying, especially for economically weak countries.

This might be comparing apples to oranges but I believe Nelson Mandela was on the US terror watch list until 2008.

Well, to be fair, the African National Congress, which he headed, was a terrorist organization. His (ex-) wife was personally involved in some political assassinations, carried out with tires filled with gasoline put around people's necks and then ignited. I'm very happy that apartheid is over, but I do not support the violent tactics the ANC used.

He was the head of the armed wing of the ANC, was he not?

I don't think it's necessary to show respect to anyone or anything when they are being corrupt or unjust.

You should probably add a sarcasm tag to that. I'd have to take you serious otherwise.

I wasn't being sarcastic. I was sharing a point of view that exists, that a large number of people (possibly the majority?) hold.

Yeah, United States calls Pakistan an alley (and offers billions of dollars to it) who gave refuge to Osama Bin Laden, responsible for a number of terrorist attacks worldwide, supplying nuclear weapons to other country etc. etc.

Well we haven't seen any Buddhist monk teid up with a sucide bomb kill women and children in China.

You're right. Labeling the Dalai Lama as a terrorist, without trial, is just as bad as labeling Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist, without trial.

As for the truth in it, I've already hinted at my answer to that: applying the label "terrorist" to any person or organization without a fair trial (or a trial at all) should be treated with the same disgust, regardless of whether it's done by the West or the East.

Yeah... but OBL admitted and bragged about his involvement in actions of mass political murder. That's not the same as calling someone a terrorist out of the blue.

One, a peaceful activist. The other, a confessed -- nay, proudly boastful -- mass murderer. Yeah, these are exactly equivalent cases, and should be treated the same.

I say sincerely, WTF?!

I did not say they are equivalent cases. I said that both should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That did not happen in either case, and I'm not willing to accept the summary execution of anyone, not even Osama Bin Laden.

In case there was any doubt: personally, I don't think the evidence to convict the Dalai Lama as a terrorist exists. The same probably cannot be said for the person we are so frivolously comparing him to.

Argument is valid in case of courts, in terms of international diplomacy ? I don't think so. At international level it is purely big fish eats small fish rule so if united states calls someone a terrorist it is a terrorist for the rest of the world. If they call the fountainhead of terrorism their alley others cant raise a finger against that alley.

This is great news, terrible that he was denied a Visa. I'm sure Google are pretty happy too.

As far as I know, the visa wasn't denied. The problem was that it was taking too long to be approved so the Dalai Lama cancelled his visit because he didn't want to inconvenience anyone any further. It probably would have ended up being denied anyway though.

Hehe, apparently these days on HN you can get downvoted for posting facts:

> The Dalai Lama has cancelled a trip to South Africa after he was not granted a visa in time, an issue activists have blamed on Pretoria’s reluctance to upset China.


edit: In case people are wondering about my comment, the original post had negative votes earlier today.


Technology trumps politics this time. Now we need these video chats to happen systematically in every repressed country in the world.

I bet he doesn't have to use his real name.

Yah, that's the hilarious part about them being so excited about Google saving them from having to get visas, supposedly... #RealNames...

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