Chinese people think the Dalai Lama is a trouble maker because that’s what they’ve been told all their lives. That’s not a sign of intelligence but of misinformation. And if things are so hunky-dory with Tibetan Buddhism in China, how come a majority of the monks of Lhasa were detained for “re-education” in the summer of 2009? How come several monasteries have been raided by authorities, and monks arrested, in the past several months?
The fact remains that the government of China is absolutely insane where the Dalai Lama is concerned. For example, they’re behind the oppression of Thich Nhat Hanh followers in Vietnam, for the simple reason that Thich Nhat Hanh told an Italian interviewer that he thought His Holiness ought to be allowed to return to Tibet. And where is the Panchen Lama, btw? You said the Panchen Lama was discussed “frankly.” Were they so frank they could produce the young man to show he and his family weren’t executed years ago?
Here's several responses to this:
1. RE: the Panchen Lama, no reputable news services has ever reported that the Dalai-Lama chosen one was "executed."
2. They're "behind" the oppression of Thich Nhat Hanh's followers in Vietnam sounds absurd on its face, simply because the Chinese and Vietnamese are historically mortal enemies and the trappings of a Communist government has done exactly nothing to change that historic relationship. If Thich Nhat Hanh said this alone it is more likely that the government of Vietnam would have sent him a birthday cake.
3. The Chinese government does not condone organizing to call into question the premise and legitimacy of its government, but this is simply how all Chinese governments have historically operated. It is also, fundamentally, how the United States operates in regards to groups such as the FALN, the Black Liberation Army and other groups.
4. The United States still seeks the extradition of revolutionaries/criminals such as Assata Shakur. Leonard Peltier, a more tenuous case, remains in prison after decades. What the Dalai Lama represents to the Chinese government is more serious than these people, and calling it, as Barbara does, "old, old, old news, very widely known, hardly secret" is an attempt to minimize what in any other context (like putting the US in the position of China) would be obviously what the Chinese would do.
5. I was having dinner the other night with a Chinese colleague, who pointed out that the Chinese would never give up Tibet because of its strategic importance as a supply line from the west, as it was in World War II. This, besides the abundant mineral wealth of Tibet is never discussed either by the Dalai Lama nor his supporters. I'm amazed that folks like Barbara can bandy about terms like "misinformed" and "ignorant" when they are either guilty of those terms or deliberately downplaying the geopolitics here. But I've seen that before. Anyone looking at a map and with a rudimentary understanding in geography and geology and current events gets the geopolitics; it stares one in the face. It's funny that people can be enchanted away from what ought to be plain as the nose on their face.