Dalai Lama – GO! Get well soon!

Posted on October 8th, 2008 by Jim

As my time here in Dharamshala, Northern India comes to an end my chances of another glimpse of H.H Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso by birth) might just be possible as he is due to return from New Delhi after a medical check up. The Tibetan monk, 73, will return home to this northern Indian town where I’ve been for the last week and the Tibetan government-in-exile have been since 1959.

He departed here from Gaggal airport on Tuesday (sounds like a goose sanctuary) locals have told me that it is the pressure of the persistent demands for more autonomy for Chinese controlled Tibet.

Pictured here praying that his medical bill is covered by BUPA. I do wonder if he is on BUPA or similar – seriously?

H.H The Dalai Lama conducted his teaching last week in Dharamshala but trips to Germany and Switzerland this month have been cancelled. The health of the 73 year old aging spiritual leader continues to cause concern despite this being passed off as a ‘check up’. At the end of August he underwent treatment for abdominal pains in Leelavati Hospital, Mumbai.

Whilst we wish him a speedy recovery all is not as rosy as it seems with the local Indian perception of how Tibetans are……….

viewed here in Dharamshala. A local elder and ex politician here told me:

“Frankly, Jim – when they came here they had nothing and were grateful for anything – even a cardboard box to live in. Now they have more money and more rights than some of our local villagers. Their donations coming in from all over the world far outweighs what the locals have here and it’s our land – I can’t see this continuing forever”.

It did surprise me but the place was disrupted on August 8th this year when China officially announced the opening ceremony of the Olympics thousands of Tibetans gathered around the main temple, Tsunglakhang, next to the Dalai Lama’s residence in upper Dharamsala. One local recounted the disruption:

“The crowd of around over 3,000 Tibetans largely consisting of maroon-robed monks and nuns, along with local Tibetans, school children and Tibetans from across India began a protest march from McLeodganj. The protesters were accompanied by hundred or so foreigners (tourists) on the march which continued for over five kilometres to lower Dharamsala.

On the march the protesters shouted slogans of “One World, One Dream, Free Tibet, Free Tibet” as well as anti-China slogans, calling China a “butcher, murderer and liar” The protesters demanded IOC to wake up to the human rights violation in Tibet, asking for international support. The traffic in Dharamsala came to a stand still for a few hours as the marchers flooded the road from McLeodganj to Dharamsala”

I did wonder how long Tibet would survive in it’s own right either here or back in Tibet – maybe we are witnessing the final generation and Tibetans will cease to exist? That’s not a cue for start trek fans by the way.

I welcome your comments here as my time in Dharamshala comes to an end and possibly the end of a race of people?

14 Responses to “Dalai Lama – GO! Get well soon!”

  1. Urban Pagan says:

    why would the dalai lama worry about health? he reincarnates anyway doesn’t he?

    and be careful putting anything up that could be said to be rude to him. RYK will have a hissy fit. And probably smash some flowers up, lose more hair and ruin his fake raybans. And I wouldn’t want that.

    As for the tibetans- I’ll be honest it doesn’t affect me one iota- so I really don’t care less or have any affinity either way. If I did care I would do something about it . I don’t. Sorry to be blunt but rather like midge ure said when speaking of a city in austria ‘it means nothing to me’.

    But an interesting topic- I look forward to reading and learning a bit about this……

  2. Gareth in Thailand says:

    I notice the Cyprus, Korea, Basque, Northern Irish, French Canadian, etc issues don’t get the same attention. Is it because they aren’t as fashionable at dinner parties?

    Also where were the protests to get the Brits out of Hong Kong and Portuguese out of Macau a few years back?

    Its selective & hypocrisy. Tibetans will keep their regional identity just like other ethnic groups in China, there are many ethnic minorities there such as Mongolian, Korean, Uiger,etc.
    Leave China to the Chinese, includiing Tibet & its autonomous regions, generally the protesters do more harm than good.

    Cue the right & left wing biased Tibet attack dogs most of who’s, generally, only experience of China is a take away meal & the odd Jackie Chan film.

    • Barbara Gallon! says:

      I have got to say I agree with both you sir and Urban Pagan.
      If he is god which he is not there is no need to concern himslef with his health.
      And yes, I do believe such subjects are characterists of misguided moral superiority at dinner parties.

    • Jim says:

      Jackie Chan, possibly but a take-away meal, COME’ ON :-)

      Selective hypocrisy….that would make a powerful tagline.

  3. Kathleen says:

    I confess to a genuine love for the Dalai Lama. We all may reincarnate, but nevertheless, capable of suffering.

    • Jim says:

      There’ll be a post up on that very topic in the next few days Kathleen…..

      At HHDL acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize he said:

      “Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.” *,**

      *Applause, lots of it,


      • Kathleen says:


        It is a necessity – we’re disrupting the web of life that hold everything together – because our brains are plastic. I would love to see a change of direction.

        I respect him because he speaks, and when he does so, it’s with kindness, intelligence and insight. I would respect him even if he were not the Dalai Lama.

        • Scott says:

          Why the media trying to fool pepole so hard at this time? Anyone think about that? Why the issue of Tibet will be put on so high profile at this time? If u r just a bit smart, u should realize what’s going on, it all about jealous of the increasing power of China, if anyone want to talk about the human right, look back ur own country, do u really know ur own government well? Think about the majority Chinese, talk about the human right for them first, and see what influence u will bring to them!!!

  4. Urban Pagan says:

    unless you are buddhists can we get away from this ‘hh’ stuff

    unless people will start applying it uniformly across all religious leader-s – eg his holiness the pope, her holiness the queen, hi holiness haille selassie,

    why do so many westernesr give buddhism and buddhists this mythical better than every other religion status? seriously?

    • Jim says:

      It’s a mark of respect, right?

      • Urban Pagan says:

        respect based on what? serious question.

        would you bow your head and wait to be spoken to if the queen was in your presence?

        I wouldn’t.


        Because I don’t believe in ‘divine birth’. I also don’t see why somene should get more respect because a religion I don’t believe in tells me to.

        It stinks of the doffing of the cap that the working classes used to do when the factory owner used to throw them crumbs.

        Not for me.

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