Dalai Lama Vs Free Tibet

1997 Words8 Pages
Hidden In Plain Sight
Divy Agnihotri
Pennsylvania State University

Tibet, is it an independent state? Much has been debated about the current situation of the mystical nation, but one thing for sure is Tibet is an interesting case. Most Tibetans will tell you Tibet is an independent nation and has been since 1912, and the occupation by China is illegal. On the same token, the Chinese will argue Tibet came into Chinese rule in the 18th century, and it is simply being reclaimed after British imperialism ended in Asia. Both sides can be argued, but for the purpose of this essay, we will use the Weberian definition by which a state is “an entity that controls a monopoly on the legitimate use of force” ("Free Tibet |"). In which case,
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A number of factors also provided for internal conflicts. The 13th Dalai Lama, influenced by the British culture during his temporary exile, made progressive strides in Tibet upon returning by advocating for a “modern police force”, national taxation system, and secular education system. The Dalai Lama would face the greatest opposition in establishing a professional Tibetan Army. Prior to the reaffirmation of independence in 1912, Tibet employed serfs and volunteers often ill-equipped and untrained to combat threats. The 13th Dalai Lama saw the need for a professional standing army to encounter “the internal threats to his government as well as the external ones” (McCarthy). A standing army would cost a substantial amount of funding, which would be raised by defunding Buddhist monasteries, British donations and taxes. Much of the resistance against establishing a standing army came from Buddhist leaders’ fears of secularism and modernization. Some thought the implementation of these initiatives would detract from the Tibetan Buddhist teachings. When the 9th Panchen Lama (second-highest rank behind Dalai Lama) refused to support the funding of the army, the 13th Dalai Lama sent troopers to have him arrested. The Panchen Lama secretly escaped out of the country before he could be caught, but the tone had been set, there would be a Tibetan army. Unfortunately, the 13th Dalai Lama would pass away four years…show more content…
it would be beneficial to further delve into the definition of these two phrases. Comparing the perspectives of prominent researchers John Hall and Stuart Bremer & Faten Ghosn may give us a better insight on to assess peculiar cases like Tibet. The former holds that the consensus for how states should be defined includes “a set of institutions which possess the means for violence and coercion. Second, these institutions in principle control a geographically bounded territory… Third, the state monopolizes rule making within its territory” (Bremer and Ghosn). This perspective gives a cut and dry version of statehood, it either is or it isn’t. The rebuttal to this perspective provided by Bremer & Ghosn with the case of the Vatican City and Palestine pokes holes in the standard. Applying this standard to the Vatican and Palestine would result in Vatican City being called a state, but on the other hand Palestine not. This standard is a bit problematic, but perhaps can be adjusted with a change in the minimum criteria requirement. The latter believes there is no definitive way to define a state in fact they believe “GPUs are not static, fixed political objects… but rather dynamic” (Bremer and Ghosn). Essentially states are fluid not fixed entities that can change overtime depending on internal and external factors. For example, looking at India (IND 1880) on the chart shows
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