Liberals, especially liberal imperialists love the Dalai Lama – for them this is a “safe cause.” Anti-Chinese, and supported by the United States, liberals can engage in feel good acts of buying supposed Tibetan trinkets, and eat up some Tibetan cuisine … while sporting a “Free Tibet” bumper sticker. But the Dalai Lama has a sordid history that is more often than not glossed over by the Free Tibetan liberals, a recent article gives a good account:
The Tibetan monasteries were extremely hierarchical. The upper Lamas lived in opulent palaces, took children as sex slaves and lived off the labour of the lower lamas who, in turn, lived off the labour of the starving serfs. The punishment meted out to disobedient serfs included gouging out of eyes; evisceration; the severing of hands and legs and other more hideous forms of torture.
Professor Micheal Parenti writes:
In 1959, Anna Louise Strong visited an exhibition of torture equipment that had been used by the Tibetan overlords. There were handcuffs of all sizes, including small ones for children, and instruments for cutting off noses and ears, gouging out eyes, breaking off hands, and hamstringing legs. There were hot brands, whips, and special implements for disemboweling. The exhibition presented photographs and testimonies of victims who had been blinded or crippled or suffered amputations for thievery. There was the shepherd whose master owed him a reimbursement in yuan and wheat but refused to pay. So he took one of the master’s cows; for this he had his hands severed. Another herdsman, who opposed having his wife taken from him by his lord, had his hands broken off. There were pictures of Communist activists with noses and upper lips cut off, and a woman who was raped and then had her nose sliced away. 3
This is not quite the idyllic paradise of Hollywood lore! Serfs often had to carry their owners on their backs. As a result, a large number of serfs were stooped and crippled. It would not be incorrect to say that before the arrival of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Tibet in 1951, the land of the Lamas was hell on earth. Over 70 percent of the population was comprised of poor illiterate serfs and nomads; they had absolutely no rights and no value.