Dragon's frostbite

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, May 29, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-...3755753&tabId=13&BV_ID=@@@&categoryId=-201861

    ice-Chancellor Song Min of Beijing's Minzu University had lined up four of her 800 Tibetan students in her conference room. China's 55 ethnic minorities, including Tibetans, study their cultures at Minzu. Pointing to a pretty girl, she said, “After graduating, she wants to work towards preserving her people's culture. Where are you from, Ciliquzhui?”“Shangri-la, teacher.”“Shangri-la?” I protested. “It's a fictional place, created by James Hilton in Lost Horizon in the 1930s. It doesn't exist.”Song Min smiled. “I know. Recently Zhongdian in Yunnan, which inspired Hilton, has been named Shangri-la.”Turning to the girl, I said, “Really? Pardon my impertinence. But tell me, Ciliquzhui, how old are you? One hundred and one?”Stunned silence! Moments later, the vice-chancellor, who had read Hilton, burst out laughing. The joke explained, the entire hall of dons and scholars joined her, including a blushing Ciliquzhui.Ciliquzhui, 21, is real. Princess Lo-Tsen in Hilton's Shangri-la looked 21; she was more than 101.1931. The Pathans of India's northwest are revolting. The British Indian government sends an airplane to rescue Consul Hugh Conway, a gentleman of learning and contemplation, and three other westerners. A Tibetan hijacks the plane; it crashes on the mountains of Tibet. The pilot dies, the passengers survive.In the lifeless land of snow and mountains, the foursome come across a party of lamas who invite them to their monastery tucked in a valley called Shangri-la. There they are received as if they had been expected. As days pass the mystery of Shangri-la grows on them. They find preserved in its dim-lit halls all the knowledge of the ancient orient—the great texts of faiths, philosophies, the arts, the sciences. Not just preserved as texts but also practised and kept alive by the lamas and laity of Shangri-la. Soon they discover, Shangri-la houses not just the wisdom of the east, but also the best of the west—Greek classics, Shakespearean plays, Mozart music and even the wonders of Europe's industrial revolution, including printed books, newspapers and gramophone.Thousands of mountain-miles from 'civilisation', the lamas meditate and levitate anciently, but amidst European-style central heating, grand pianos and bathtubs. Shangri-la has the best of the east and the west, the best of the ancient and the modern. A musician plays before them a lost piece of Chopin music. He claims to have been taught by Chopin who had died a century earlier!The visitors realise, they can't tell the age of the inmates, including the pretty Manchu princess Lo-Tsen.Finally Conway gets an audience with the high lama, who tells him the story of a Belgian monk who had come to Tibet in 1719 and founded Shangri-la. As its secret is revealed, Conway exclaims: “It... it... seems impossible... it's astonishing, extraordinary, and quite unbelievable...”“What is, my son?”“That you are still alive, Father Perrault.”-Father Perrault,-the-high lama in Hilton's Lost Horizon which gave us Shangri-la, was 250.Dunzhu Zhouma, 87, who lives in Thasi village near Lhasa, also dreams of long life. “I wish I were 20 years younger. I could have seen more of the world on this,” she said, rotating her ancient prayer-wheel and pointing to the large LED-screen television in her sitting-room. She had slaved as a serf before Tibet's 'liberation from feudal rule'—communist euphemism for invasion—and now owns seven houses. When she is ill (not often at 87), she goes to healers who give her drugs prescribed in ancient texts but produced in Tibet's 10 automated pharma factories which emulate a 1,300-year-old stone grinder kept beside them.The communist state “has recognised traditional medicine as the mainstream health care system”, said Losang Duozhi, vice-president of a drug factory. The factory runs a state-funded school for astrology, which is dismissed as superstition by communists elsewhere. “The texts say medicines are to be taken in conjunction with the movement of celestial bodies,” said Losang.China, particularly Tibet, is perhaps the only market which India's pharma giants have tried and failed to conquer. Indians, however, had 'conquered' it 1,300 years ago. Many of the medicines are based on the formulae found in the four texts prepared by Yuktok Yundon Gonpo, who had trekked to India thrice to pick up Indian pharmacopoeia and lived for 127 years from 708 CE.Dunzhu Zhouma still walks a few mountain-miles every day to circumambulate the Potala Palace from where 10 of 14 Dalai Lamas guided Tibet's faithful till half a century ago. Like most Tibetans, she respects the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India. “We are all religious, 99 per cent of us,” said Tonga, a member of Tibet's parliament and director-general of overseas ethnic affairs. “The state not only tolerates, but also encourages religion. It builds temples.”Shangri-la was, and Tibet is, about living long. Its three million people have 115 centenarians, and several more who are 95 and running. The 46,000 monks living in Tibet's 1,700 ancient monasteries, run with huge grants from the communist state and donations from the faithful, worship Amitayu Buddha, the Buddha of longevity. They seek the secret of prolonging life and reincarnating.-Teenaged 'Living Buddhas', reincarnations of venerable lamas of the past, study theology in modern colleges of faith along with other monks and nuns. They live in air-conditioned hostel-rooms, which have intercoms, laptops, LCD televisions, plush carpets and card-locks. They are linked to the widely-webbed world, talk on cellphones, recite from palm-leaf manuscripts, read theology, meditate, and feel being with the spirits of Tara, Mara, Maitreya and the thousand-armed Avalokiteswara. Creature comforts aren't anathema to lama life. The Buddha condemned self-flagellation.The worry of the rulers in Beijing is that some monks are also seeking to cut short their lives. More than 115 youngsters (ironically matching the number of the centenarians) have immolated themselves for 'free Tibet' since 2009. “Not all of them are monks,” asserted Zhu Langshi, deputy director-general of Ethnic, Religious and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of Tibet's parliament.Officials deny that monks are immolating in Tibet. “No immolation has taken place in the Tibet Autonomous Region; they have happened elsewhere in China,” said Cheng Sigu, secretary-general of Tibet Youth League. “Most of them are youngsters, some with criminal minds, who have been instigated by outsiders.” He likened them to misguided Muslim youths who join fidayeen outfits.The state, which once used force to suppress rebellions, does not know how to handle individual protest suicides, which began in early 2009. “Coercion did not gain them the legitimacy they have been seeking for their regime,” said an Indian diplomat. “The state now wants to win them over.”For the new policy to work, Beijing needs India, which holds the trump-card—the Dalai Lama. Tibetans love India which gave them Buddhism, essentially a materialistic faith like communism. India gave them several of their greatest sages like Padmasambhava, who founded the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism and built Tibet's first monastery. India also gave them most of the great texts, several of which were carted back by Charles Bell to museums in Calcutta and London after the British Indian invasion of 1904.China respects India; China fears India. India alone, Chinese leaders believe, can reason with the Dalai Lama who, they suspect, instigated the monks who immolated themselves for free Tibet. “I would respectfully submit to the Dalai Lama,” said Cui Yuying, China's vice-minister of information and a Tibetan, at a banquet she gave us in Beijing's famous Peking Duck restaurant. “Our reverence is for the seat, not necessarily the man.”The seat of the Dalai Lama, Lhasa's 17th century Potala Palace, is venerated as a temple, not just by the faithful but also by the central government. The handprint of the 5th Dalai Lama, who rebuilt Potala, is as much an object of worship as an object of study by antiquarians. The mortal remains of all the Dalai Lamas are still kept in the palace's pagodas, most of them built with gold. The pagoda of the 7th Dalai Lama is said to be built with 498 kilos of gold; the 8th with 175 kilos. The 10,000 gold-covered statues in the 5th Dalai Lama's shrine are still there, as are gold idols and statuettes in the Zhaxilhunbo temple in Shigatse, the seat of the Panchen Lama.Shigatse, 400km closer to the Nepal border than Lhasa, is being linked with a mountain railway over which Indian military planners lost a lot of sleep earlier, fearing that it could bring in troops to invade India. India has since moved two squadrons of Su-30 MKI bombers and a regiment of BrahMos cruise missiles closer to the border, raised two new divisions in Arunachal Pradesh, and is raising a full corps. Air Force pilots now realise that they can easily fly into treeless and radar-less Tibet, and bomb out the rail bridges, many of which are erected on soft permafrost. It would take at least two campaign seasons for China to build up enough force in Tibet to overwhelm the Indian Army in Arunachal and Ladakh. More than enough time for India to prepare and counterattack. To use Mao Zedong's own words, the mighty Chinese army in Tibet is a “paper tiger”.India called its bluff this time, when the Chinese army intruded into Dipsang valley. It happened to be a month prior to Premier Li Keqiang's India visit, planned as a publicity coup amid the bad press China was getting across the world over the self-immolations.-It was then that India flashed the Tibet card. Defence analysts, usually sceptical of the foreign office's namby-pamby ways, are applauding the foreign office this time. “The new leadership of China was testing India's will, and we stood firm,” said a general staff officer. The foreign office “signalled that Li Keqiang would not be welcome to Delhi if the border incursion was not called off. If at all we received him, we signalled, we could mar the visit by allowing the Tibetan rebels to stage a few major protests in Delhi, which would catch prime-time television news across the world.”Beijing got the message, and backed off from Dipsang. In return, India kept the Tibetan rebels on a tight leash, not granting them even a corner of the Jantar Mantar protest venue. Yet Li Keqiang pleaded with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to allow the Tibetan rebels to get politically active. “We told him that they are not indulging in any political activity,” said S. Jayashankar, Indian ambassador to China.Ironic it may seem to the outside world, in Tibet the communist state is seeking the help of faith. “Self-immolation goes against our faith,” said Laba Ciren, deputy director-general of Tibet's Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee. “The incarnations have pronounced them as anti-Buddhist.”Incarnations and 'living Buddhas' are titles given to recognised reincarnate lamas of great virtue and wisdom. I met two of them studying at Lhasa's College of Buddhism, built at a cost of a billion yuan three years ago exclusively for monks and nuns to study the scriptures, research, meditate and get enlightened. Unlike other faiths which are essentially spiritual, Buddhism is an extremely 'academic' faith which puts a premium on studying the sciences of life and matter. Tibetan scholars believe that Gautama Buddha stole away from his father's palace in the mountain town of Kapilavastu to seek higher education in the city colleges of Rajgir, years before he went to meditate in the forests of Gaya. Headed by Zhukong Tudengkezhu, an academician of great repute, Lhasa's College of Buddhism “gets student-monks and nuns from Tibet's monasteries and temples of all the five sects through a competitive test,” said Ciduo, registrar of the college. “They learn Buddhist dogma, English and Chinese languages, computers and calligraphy.” They meditate and play Chinese martial arts, English soccer and American basketball.The college has a temple, built in traditional style with state funds. Dwarapalakas (sculpted gatekeepers) and guardian spirits drawn from all the five Tibetan Buddhist sects—Nyingma founded by Padmasambhava, Kagyu of Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa of which the Karmapa Lama is the head, Gelug or Yellow Hat to which the Dalai Lamas belong, Jonang and Sakya—adorn its ancient-looking brand new walls. The three-storey temple has a massive library with the sutras stacked on one side and the sastras on the other, all collected from monasteries and shrines and copied for study and worship.Even in the secular institutions like Minzu in Beijing and Tibet University in Lhasa, religion, culture and ethnicity studies are funded and encouraged. Tibet University has a treasure-house of 70,000 ancient documents, including several versions of Tripithaka, stored under the care of eminent antiquarian Prof. Sampu, who is getting them copied both in ancient and modern manner, a la Shangri-la. In the ancient manner the texts are first carved on birch wood and ink impressions taken, a technique perfected by Gandhara Buddhists of Afghanistan before the 11th century. Simultaneously there is an attempt to develop calligraphic and voice software by which ancient pictograms and read-out mantras are digitised and stored. Since Tibet has several oral traditions, especially in dialects that have no script, “this should capture and store folk wisdoms,” said vice-chancellor Baimaciren. The effort to formulate a computer script for Tibetan language is now recognised as a national project with massive state funds.Links to India are everywhere. Lhasa's Tibetan Museum, built with 100 million yuan from Beijing, stores original texts of Atisa Dipankara, who went from Bengal around 1000 CE, his biography penned on leaf parchments by Renchen Sangpo, the world's oldest copy of Avadanakalpalata and a copy of Vinayapithaka. “This museum is the pride of Lhasa, after Potala and the shrines,” said Jigme Wangtso, general secretary of Tibet government's Office for International Cultural Exchange.Faith is an industry, too. Young and enterprising Norby Dramdul is running a tangka (Tibetan cloth painting) school and a 'scripture factory' with orders from schools, colleges, universities and monasteries which want copies of the sutras and the sastras. He makes special scripture-binders for sacred libraries, and uses the profit to run a free school.But the sacred remains sacred. Norby's proudest contract is with Lhasa's Jhokhang temple, built in the 7th century with Indian sandalwood, where worshippers come in thousands to burn incense and kneel up to one lakh times in one go. The temple has asked Norby to copy its sacred manuscripts, print them on paper imported from Germany, but just seven copies. “I hand over all the seven prints to the temple,” said Norby. “No mortal outside is allowed to see them.”-Even the most persisting antiquarians have not been able to access the 1,000-year-old biography of the Buddha kept in the Tara shrine in the Panchen Lamas' Zhaxilhunbo temple in Shigatse. “No one is allowed to copy it. It can be read only here,” said monk Dup Chong, in charge of discipline in Zhaxilhunbo.Lhasa's Jhokhang temple has one of the three likeness-statues of Gautama Buddha, believed to have been sculpted by his kinsman Viswakarma. Seeing the statue is believed to be as good as seeing the Buddha himself. Jhokhang also has a picture of Tibet's saintly engineer Thangtong Gyalpo, who lived for 125 years from 1361 CE and built several chain-bridges, one of them across the Brahmaputra.What about the reports that Han Chinese are being settled to cultivate loyalty? “This land, where air is thin and gives you a headache, is hard for outsiders,” said Jigme, with a laugh. “How many Han Chinese have you seen on the streets?” The provincial government claims to have complete autonomy. “Our legislature has the power to veto central laws if they clash with our customs,” said Tonga, a member of the provincial parliament. “We have done it more than 200 times.”Tibetan exiles “come from India to worship and to do business,” said Jigme. But the authorities are watchful of elements from 'the Dalai clique'. India's soft power, which it exercises over the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles all over the world, is respected, as is India's military might. The fear of India is real, said a university professor, which make Chinese leaders deny it at every opportunity. Even Li Keqiang said in Mumbai that “the two countries are not afraid of each other.”The Chinese envy India's capacity to be multi-focused. “When we were modernising our industries, we neglected our military,” said the professor. “When we were focused on holding the Olympic Games, we neglected everything else. You have been running slower than us, but you are doing many things together—modernising businesses, building military might, holding Commonwealth Games. We are flamboyant; you are subtle.”This is particularly felt when the border issues are discussed. The two armies 'stray' into each other's territories, but the Chinese do it flamboyantly and get the flak. The Chinese built the railway to Lhasa, a remarkable engineering feat, which would break on Indian bombing. (“The railway transports the industrial produce of Tibet,” said Loby Siren, vice-CEO of Tibet Barley Beer Factory. “We produce 20,000 tonnes of beer, half of which is sent out of Tibet by rail.”) India quietly built, at one-hundredth of the cost, sturdy border roads that can take aerial pounding and still move artillery guns. China spent millions of yuan to build new airfields in Tibet; India countered by merely moving two bomber squadrons. China built up in western Tibet and up the Karakoram in conjunction with the Pakistan army; India finessed them with just a regiment of BrahMos.Today, there is more realism at least in India's war rooms. “An attacker needs eight times more troop strength than the defender on the mountains,” said a lieutenant-general who commanded a corps in Arunachal. “Which means China will need 20 divisions which can be mobilised only over two campaign seasons. When so many rail coaches and trucks disgorge troops into Tibet, our RISAT [Radar-Imaging Satellite] will easily spot them in the open treeless Tibet. If they come, we will be waiting. So they won't.”Rather, they need us—to help sort out the Tibetan question.-Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian who died treating Chinese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), is often regarded as an epitome of Sino-Indian friendship. The Chinese government continues to honour his relatives in Mumbai, during every high-level official visit. "The Chinese people will never forget Dr Kotnis," said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during his recent visit.In June 2010, a Beijing waiter, Guan Liang, 28, became the first Chinese to seek asylum in India, creating a sensitive situation between the nations. Liang feared being executed after having mailed about human rights violations and killings by the military to the Shanghai state government. He crossed into Arunachal Pradesh and sought asylum.Former Chinese president Hu Jintao opened the world's highest railway in Tibet (5,072m above sea level) in 2006, amidst criticism that the railway was China's strategy to assert its control over Tibet.-Tibetans fear that the rail service will bring Chinese migrants to their country and overwhelm the-Tibetan population.The railway line connects Lhasa to China's Qinghai province. Oxygen is pumped into the carriages, and rice is cooked in pressure cookers because of the high altitude.



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  3. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Shangri-La does exist as a place name before "Lost Horizon" meaning permanently happy land, but more precisely pronounced as Shambhala locally.
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Great book - The Lost Horizon -was a part of my Senior Cambridge syllabus!
     
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  5. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Informative article, Yusuf.
    But nothing really new. So what's is the point ?
    I mean, why dedicate a separate thread to this article, when there are already many threads pertaining to similar theme ?
    Can we merge this with an apt thread or you intend to carry forward the discussion on a particular line...something on your mind..?
     
  6. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Shambala !! :shocked:
    Punch in google search - shambhala village kalki avatar
    One of our scriptures (Kalki puran) mention that the next avatar of Vishnu (named 'Kalki') would manifest in a village called 'Shambala'.
    There is a lot of theorising, speculation on this Kalki avatar topic and the village.
    Weird .. :rolleyes:
     
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  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    His article made you feel all is well and we can go to sleep well assured when its not the case.

    But the point is, this guy spent some time in Tibet and and is offering insights into what the other side thinks. Tibet certainly bothers them no end and the presence of HH in India still frightens them.


    Question for India is why have we not used this card well so far? HH is not going to live forever so what after him? India will lose one of its aces in the cards it holds.
     
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  8. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Okay.
    Now, that you have elaborated the intent of this thread, I expect this thread to become a lively & productive one. Good find, Yusuf.
     
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  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  10. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Long time back I have advised Indians to find new "trump cards" other than DL

    I believe many of u have somehow bypassed what I wrote about Panchen Lama
    Also
    :lol: And u still think DL is an ace ?
     
  11. aerokan

    aerokan Regular Member

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    I would love to see the day when India 'actually' uses the DL card. But in all these decades, India never used that card. And have no intention of using it either. So your pet theory of leverage in whatever games you play is nothing more than bullshit. How much inferiority complex do you guys have anyways to feel this paranoid? You must be having it 'premier'li' :namaste:
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  13. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    how is guanliang's life in India, i heard that he was suspected to be a Chinese spy by Indian police.

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  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    He must be having a ball.

    and who knows he could be a spy like the Karma man!
     
  15. marshal panda

    marshal panda Regular Member

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    Maranpatra,by Arun Kumar Sharma.Published by Vishwavidyalay Prakashan,Chowk,Varanasi 1992

    A very strange reason for the Chinese attack in 1962. It was narrated to the author by a senior lama in Tawang Monastery .A lama from Shangri La somehow came to Lhasa.He was arrested by the Chinese.The physical condition of the lama was like that of a 40 years old person .But when asked,the lama stated that he was 500 years old.Chinese doctors confirmed the statement.He was tortured to reveal the route to Shangri La,but he didn't.Mao himself was interested to know about Shangri La.He wanted to live long like those lamas.On his orders the lama was released with the hope that he would go back there.But instead he crossed the border and reached Tawang.He wanted to give a sketch map of the route to Shangri La to Dalai Lama.Before he could do anything ,the Chinese attacked Tawang to capture him.To save the old lama,he was made to sit on a horse and pushed towards the plains.But unfortunately he fell in to a khud along with his horse near Tezpur and died.Chinese came to know about this fact and followed to Tezpur via Bomdi La.They got the dead body & took it with them.To justify this incursion & preempt Indian retaliation,they also attacked in other sectors up to Ladak.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A likely story!

    Mao Tse Dong maybe a screwed up chap, but he was not such a screwball as to wage war to capture a lama who will give him the secret to immortality!
     
  17. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  18. SinghSher1984

    SinghSher1984 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Can't find on Google, know where I could find this book?
     
  19. marshal panda

    marshal panda Regular Member

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    publishers address is given above.Also pl google Arun kumar sharma.
     
  20. t_co

    t_co Senior Member Senior Member

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    If India wishes to use the Dalai Lama to cause trouble, China can always slip Pakistan more nuclear technology and the Naxalites heavy weaponry.

    And while nothing short of full-scale warfare will remove Pakistan as an issue for India, remember that there are many, many untraceable ways to accelerate the Dalai Lama's reincarnation process...
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The point that should be remembered is that the Dalai Lama's people can cause problems.

    Nukes can cause problems if only there is war.

    Right now, Pakistan has no money to even keep their electricity going, let alone think of embarking on a war!

    China can accelerate anything they want, but then it is for the Tibetans to accept the person as the Dalai Lama.

    The Chinese appointed Panchen Lama is only recognised by the Han and not the Tibetans.

    There lies the nub.

    If you are meaning by ' many untraceable ways to accelerate the Dalai Lama's reincarnation process.' is the assassination by the Chinese of the present Dalai Lama, the only acceleration the Chinese would have achieved is the uprising against the Han in Tibet!

    As far as given the Maoist heavy weaponry, if the Indian public gets aroused, then all those weaponry will come to nought. Already, there is a huge ground swell after the Maoist killings of the Congress leaders in Chattisgarh! The so called intellectuals supporters of Maoista, are all running for cover, including that oaf Swami Agniban or whatever that bloke's name is! I saw him on TV pathetically bleating like a sheep being taken for slaughter!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013

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