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China Says Tibetans Need Permission To Reincarnate

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-that's-censorship dept.

Censorship 553

michaelcole writes "China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. This article is both hilarious and sad, looking at the lengths to which a government will go to regulate thought through censorship. It also goes into some of the more subtle politics of the current 72-year-old Dalai Lama as he thinks about his political and spiritual successor. The Dalai Lama 'refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it's under Chinese control.'"

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And so help us... (5, Funny)

Atario (673917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395687)

...if we figure out you're defying this order, we'll slaughter you in your crib.

Re:And so help us... (1, Flamebait)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395705)

thats fine, I'm sure I can reincarnate again. seriously though, the west is going to eat up stories of china killing suspected reincarnated monks. if only america could survive without china to prop itself up on... bonds and manufacturing will keep that from happening.

Re:And so help us... (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395851)

You're forgetting they haven't got oil in their soil.

Re:And so help us... (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396301)

Rice tastes better anyway. I'd rather be able to eat for a few decades than drive around until I die of starvation

Re:And so help us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395751)

Your resistance will only make my karma larger!

Nonsense, baby organs aren't developed enough (3, Insightful)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395855)

Just like Falun Gong people are all given medical checkups and then entered into a database, the same will happen to anyone guilty of unlawful reincarnation. Infanticide would be a terrible waste. Waste Not, Want Not.

Re:And so help us... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395951)

I'm all for the Dali Lama not reincarnating at all personally. Hes a pretty bit of prick for a religious figure (ruling class of priests vs poor serfs). Least he isn't Mother Theresa. The world is better off without anyone who enjoys seeing people die horrible diseased deaths because they believe it brings them closer to god imo.

Re:And so help us... (5, Informative)

gomiam (587421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396265)

Ok, I'll bite.

Hes a pretty bit of prick for a religious figure (ruling class of priests vs poor serfs).

If we are going to accept what the Wikipedia says about Tibetan Buddhism [wikipedia.org] , he's more of a guru (a teacher) than a priest.

The world is better off without anyone who enjoys seeing people die horrible diseased deaths because they believe it brings them closer to god imo.

And how is that related to the Dalai-Lama? Oh, you talk about the "Dali Lama" which must be a twisted version of the Dalai Lama. That would explain your statements. And [uni-bielefeld.de] Buddhism seems to have no gods [wikipedia.org] , at least in the traditional sense you imply by brings them closer to god.

But let this not keep you from bringing up references that support your statements.

Re:And so help us... (1, Informative)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396375)

...if we figure out you're defying this order, we'll slaughter you in your crib.

Since we are talking about China here, this is actually more scary than funny...

Well then... (4, Funny)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395699)

...I create a new law in my glorious purple sky kingdom that every Chinese government official must get special written permission from King Me prior to squatting down and excreting the same kind of fecal matter that they are spewing from their mouths.

Re:Well then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395817)

I look forward to watching as you attempt to enforce this decree, King Me.

Re:Well then... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396347)

Look at his ID --- He's f***ing Willie W. Wonka... he can do ANYTHING!

Re:Well then... (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396287)

I humble beg you not to create that law. It would be self-defeating as they would ultimately talk much more b.s.

:o (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395715)

In response, US bans Christians from going to Heaven without first paying the newly passed Heaven Tax...

Re::o (0, Troll)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395735)

That's okay. Most US Christians will just get that tax back on their April 15th refund...living below the poverty line does have that one benefit.

It'll be a she, too (5, Informative)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395729)

The Dalai Lama has already announced - long before this weeks-ago Chinese ruling - he's not only going to reincarnate outside Tibet, but as a girl, just to bugger the monks.

But the law is only partly directed at the Dalai Lama. A whole score of other "Living Buddhas" are believed by Tibetans to be reincarnating, which has important consequences for claims to social influence in that rocky corner of the world. China has long sought to control this, for example with the high-profile abduction of the then 6 years old Panchen Lama [wikipedia.org] whose whereabouts remain unknown.

The News may seem offbeat, but it is actually rather serious for Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism) believers. Lamas are regarded to simply live many centuries, with death/reincarnation just a particular step in the way. The Chinese announcement will seem to the believers like the deliberate attempt to end the lives of all remaining leaders of the religion.

Re:It'll be a she, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396009)

The Dalai Lama has already announced - long before this weeks-ago Chinese ruling - he's not only going to reincarnate outside Tibet, but as a girl, just to bugger the monks.

Hmm, reincarnating as a girl to bugger the monks? Sounds like fun to me! Will there be videos?

Re incarnation (3, Informative)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396381)

But China seems to be trying to help Tibetans to reincarnate ASAP:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzCl95A90P0 [youtube.com]

Just ask their border police.

Just to make sure (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395745)

Ths isn't the Chinese equivalent of "The Onion" is it?

Mr. Andersson... Stop. Right. There... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395749)

Huh, I guess they'll have spiritual guards then, to keep people as haunts then?

Man, the Matrix is creeping upon us!

It's funny. (1)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395753)

In Chinese, reincarnation is an euphemism for death. So in China, people not only need permission to be born but also to die! If weren't so sad, this is funny!

Re:It's funny. (1)

StuckInSyrup (745480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395807)

In China, the family of someone sentenced to death has to pay for the execution. Adding some buerocratic fuss for reincarnation was a logical step forward.

Re:It's funny. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395885)

Indeed! People in Tibet were routinely shot in front of their relatives, who then had to pay for the bullets on the spot. I don't know if that's as bad as raping nuns with cattle prods though, which also routinely happens still in Tibet.

Still, though, like the Chinese say, the individual is just not that important there; only the borg collective as a whole matters.

Re:It's funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395939)

Or, as pretty much the entire West says, "we can buy cheap stuff there so we don't give a fuck about the oppresions"

Re:It's funny. (0, Redundant)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396017)

In China, the family of someone sentenced to death has to pay for the execution.
--
But the transport to the organ banks is free.

It's not just an euphemism (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395909)

It's not just an euphemism, it's what happens after you die, according to that religion. Just like christians prefer to believe in heaven and hell than that it ends for ever.

The prospect that it's the end of the line at some point, is freakin' scary for a lot of people. It's not just religion that gets built on that, but also stuff like trying to be remembered somehow afterwards, or trying to make enough kids that the line will go on that way. (It's why countries where survival is a crapshot people make 10 kids or more, while after they get sanitation, medicine, etc, it eventually dawns upon them that if 1-2 kids are just short of guaranteed to survive, you don't really need more.) Anything to maintain a belief that somehow it's not really game over.

So the government saying they can stop you from reincarnating? Oooer. That's a claim that they can really end that game. It's exactly like, if you're a christian, the government saying that you need their stamp of approval to go anywhere after death. Otherwise you're going nowhere. Not to heaven, not to hell, not to purgatory (if your flavour of Christianity has a purgatory), just nowhere. To a lot of people that'll be a scarier thought than even going to hell.

Anyway, they're not saying you need permission to die. You can still jolly well die whenever you wish. Just go demonstrate for democracy in front of some tanks, if you ran out of other suicide ideas, and they'll oblige. They're saying that they can make your death a lot more permanent and scarier.

Re:It's not just an euphemism (5, Interesting)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396069)

It's slightly more complex than that. The government of China has no interest in telling random Buddhists on the street that they can't reincarnate. What China wants to do is control certain institutions of Tibetan Buddhism (most notably, the Dalai Lama) where succession is through successive reincarnation.

The Dalai Lama dies. Afterwards, some monks read a prophecy he wrote- or some other instructions- and go off and find a kid who was born a while after he died. The kid is (eventually) recognized as the new Dalai Lama, according to various "tests" and supernatural means. The new kid moves into a big monastery/palace, where he is given a dual education in being a ruler and being a senior monk. Once the kid reaches their age of majority (15-16 or so), they take on their new full role as ruler and religious leader. They've been reared from their toddler-hood to believe that they are responsible for the well-being of the Tibetan people, and in the traditions of Tibetan culture and belief. A similar scenario applies for the senior-most positions of many of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, without the associated temporal power (though some of them were historically huge feudal landlords).

All of this contributes to these reincarnated leaders being a source of stability and continuity in Tibetan culture. The fact that these senior leaders won't roll over and toe the (Communist) party line has stuck in the craw of the Chinese ever since they invaded. They want collaborators, not independent religious leaders encouraging the formation of governments-in-exile. As long as new reincarnated teachers are selected and raised by loyal Tibetan Buddhists, that isn't going to be likely to happen. They want a new Dalai Lama who will stand in front of the Jokhang and tell Tibetans across the world that it is their duty as good Buddhists to stop all this clap-trap about preserving Tibetan culture and independence, and become good Chinese citizens. Start speaking Mandarin instead of Tibetan, and start saying 'thank you, it is a pleasure to serve the party' when a PRC official redirects all of your local food production to feed your 'brothers' in Beijing, as the PRC did during the Great Leap Forward.

Re:It's not just an euphemism (4, Informative)

saforrest (184929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396211)

Afterwards, some monks read a prophecy he wrote- or some other instructions- and go off and find a kid who was born a while after he died.

And not just any old monks. The Panchen Lama [wikipedia.org] holds a huge amount of sway in who is chosen as the next Dalai Lama. This explains the whole interference of the Chinese government in disappearing Gedhun Choekyi Nyima [wikipedia.org] and appointing Qoigyijabu [wikipedia.org] as the 11th Panchen Lama: they have a long-term strategy of ensuring all hereditary Tibetan leaders are their puppets.

Re:It's not just an euphemism (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396131)

It's not just an euphemism, it's what happens after you die, according to that religion. Just like christians prefer to believe in heaven and hell than that it ends for ever.

Anyway, they're not saying you need permission to die. You can still jolly well die whenever you wish. Just go demonstrate for democracy in front of some tanks, if you ran out of other suicide ideas, and they'll oblige. They're saying that they can make your death a lot more permanent and scarier.
Granted, demonstrably the chinese government have ways of making their *authority* known; but I don't see what makes people accept their *influence* on the matter.

I mean, what possible way does the government have in actually influencing the actions of a soul of a deceased citicen? Or, for that matter, how will they (claim to) check if it's doing what it's allowed to? How can a stamped certificate make any difference in this matter?

It's like having a subscription on gravity. You can fine the hell out of me if I choose to not subscribe --- but I'd like to see you deny me access. (Um, actually this would probably make a really poor business model, but that's not the point.)

[Disclaimer: I am about as non-religious as one can get. I have no vested interests either way. I just think the chinese government are "talking a talk" they can't possibly "walk".]

Re:It's not just an euphemism (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396313)

Granted, demonstrably the chinese government have ways of making their *authority* known; but I don't see what makes people accept their *influence* on the matter.
The fact that they disappear you if you claim to be the new Dalai Llama without their permission...

 

Re:It's not just an euphemism (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396359)

Some cultures say that very specific things should be done with the dead to help them on their way. The Egyptians had the whole canopic jars and mummification thing for the people who were important enough to matter in the afterlife. India used to burn their dead (along with the living wives of the deceased.) It is not inconceivable that the Chinese government has the ability to disrupt whatever death rituals the peasantry believes are necessary for reincarnation.

Disclaimer: I know very little about Buddhism. It may not work in this way.

Re: Chinese saying they can... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396227)

... Except this is in the department of the nearly impossible, because *both* ReIncarnation or Being Judged is a function of the highest spiritual levels of all reality. God would consider it blasphemy, and the Wheel turning ReIncarnation doesn't check for local permissions either. Put simply to modern minds, it's like banning gravity. Isaac Newton didn't "give" us gravity, and the other forces that did provide it don't react to Government pronouncements.

Feeling concerned? (-1, Offtopic)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395755)

I do not remember any concerns, when Turkey bans women in headscarfs from the government buildings or France bans children in headscarfs from school, or Tunisia bans any woman with headscarf from STREETs.

Re:Feeling concerned? (0, Offtopic)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395789)

My god, you're right. And not only do we not have a headscarf law, but our allies mostly don't either! Maybe the UN should enact some sort of global mandate requiring headscarf sensitivity laws and other good ideas.

Re:Feeling concerned? (5, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395843)

Actually they didn't. They banned people who are wearing clear religious signs, including (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) a headscarf. The law permits wide interpretations which in effect also prohibits funny little Jewish hats, big necklaces, big crucifixes, etc. The prohibition is for ANY religion.

It is therefore fair to consider the laws you refer to as being "neutral", because they simply prohibit strong religious signals IN GENERAL and not in opposition of a single religion.

They also don't tell you what you can or can't do in the privacy of your own home.

Your comparison to this new and very sad Chinese law is flawed.

Re:Feeling concerned? (4, Interesting)

polymath69 (94161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396031)

Actually they didn't. They banned people who are wearing clear religious signs [...] The prohibition is for ANY religion.

Let's take this to its logical conclusion.

  1. Wearing nothing at all sends a religious message, namely, I am a Jain.
  2. Wearing anything at all sends a religious message, namely, I am not a Jain.

Therefore, it is forbidden to be naked, and it is forbidden to be clothed. So nakedness is both forbidden and mandatory.

Clever, that.

Re:Feeling concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396203)

And this is the difference between largely germanic and British commonwealth legal systems.

Germanic tradition is open to interpretation and the intent of the law weighs, if possible, even more heavily than the actual lettering.

In the British system, you can game the system like you suggest, leading to hugely litigous societies compared to ones following the germanic tradition.

Re:Feeling concerned? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396403)

"They banned people who are wearing clear religious signs, including (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) a headscarf. "

1. I did not say exclusively.
2. Mentioning THAT would put you on par with Soviet Russia and Maoist China (sorry, I forgot, THAT is what the topic about) - equal persecution of all religions (except Buddhism)
3. You are spectacularly mute on the subject of Tunisia and Turkey - "progressive" Muslim countries.

German laws circa 1937 were quite neutral to all Jews. Do you listen to yourself, atheists?

Re:Feeling concerned? (4, Insightful)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395925)

Of course, the Turkish government is not an occupying power hell-bent on destroying the language and culture of the Turkish people. The Chinese government, on the other hand, is only interested in Tibetan culture to the extent that it can be used to encourage the tourist trade. This is just the latest in a long series of moves by the PRC to attempt to squash Tibetan religion and culture; previous steps have included destroying monasteries and religious schools, forcing monks to renounce their vows, forbidding pictures of the Dalai Lama, language restrictions, etc.

This is also essentially the next round in the ongoing battle of what will happen to the institutions of Tibetan Buddhism once the current Dalai Lama dies. China wants the next DL to be a hand-picked puppet of the state who will lend legitimacy to Chinese rule in Tibet. At the very least, they would like to create a long-standing controversy over who the 'real' Dalai Lama is, as they've done with the Panchen Lama, in order to cast a shadow on a very visible and popular rallying point for the Tibetan preservation and independence movement.

Re:Feeling concerned? (-1, Offtopic)

DerWulf (782458) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396071)

Flamebait: Some turks would probably say that the turkish government (or more precisly: the idea that turkey should have a secular government) in fact has suceeded in destroying the culture of the turkish people.

*wink* *wink*

Re:Feeling concerned? (-1, Offtopic)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396119)

I was wondering if someone might point that one out ;)

Well, at least the Turkish government didn't try to take away the Turkish language. I mean, other than abandoning the old alphabet and replacing it with the new, incomprehensible one...

Re:Feeling concerned? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396291)

Huh? You mean the Turkish language revolution, where the incomprehensible gibberish moon-alphabet of the Arabs was replaced with the latin one, boosting literacy all over the place and helping the new secular government further distance itself from all the sharia shitholes?

Turkey is at an important crossroads right now. Either the islamists have become somewhat secular, or the last seculars have bown to islam. One can only hope that the first is the case, and if it not so one can only wish general Yasar Buyukanit and the Turkish armed forces luck in their struggle against the new onslaught of the 7th century barbarians which Ataturk had warned his people of.

Re:Feeling concerned? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396213)

Traditional culture is evil anyways. It's a prime mover for feelings of superiority, which are the #1 impetus for wars. Until it's all gone we're gonna be stuck here for a while.

Re:Feeling concerned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396441)

You are certainly aware that "modern" culture is just a recent successor of certain traditional culture and is sure as hell a prime mover for feeling of superiority (evident in your post, BTW) itself. I think evilness lies somewhere else, perhaps in wrong answers to "What do we do now that we *know* we are superior to others?" What we need to have globally accepted is not a single (whichever) culture, but the spirit of tolerance. Whoever wishes to change own culture for another (or completely new) one should be permitted to do so, but none should be forced to.

I wish if someone (brave) would write a fictional diary of Prophet Mohamed written using today Western euphemisms used when speaking about "inferior" and "backward" cultures, perhaps with some paraphrasing from colonial, (American native) Indian and later, i.e. against Japan wars' times propaganda and reports. It is always good to change a perspective.

Re:Feeling concerned? (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396053)

IIRC in Italy you couldn't circulate with any kind of mask lest being stopped by the police because it makes it damn hard to identify robbers. And this well before Islamic immigrants came.

So it's true such laws shouldn't exist. It's also true that when a policeman wants to see behind the headscarf people should just do it without irrational whining (because seeing a woman face is irrelevant for "unbelievers"). It's a clash between lack-of-civilizations and completely different from the chinese gov stunts. Next time they'll outlaw armageddon.

Re:Feeling concerned? (0, Offtopic)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396413)

What are you talking about? Headscarf is a head cover, not a face cover...

Not similar stuff (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396091)

Headscarves in those countries are being used as an extreme right wing political icon by their holders. Its a stance, a rallying point like nazi flag was for nazi. It also encourages discrimination - islamists can recognize each other easily and socialize. they do not tend to socialize with people not using headscarves and even shun them.

Re:Not similar stuff (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396423)

I think I do not have comment on that neocon BS.

No dog food or toothpaste then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395761)

Unless they want to accidentally CAUSE some reincarnations.

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395775)

The USA and the EU Union announced that all terrorists are no longer permitted to reincarnate unless a court ruling otherwise is issued. Bush was heard saying that they should have done it sooner and now because of the delay we are in danger of 9/11 terrorist that could now be playing in our parks. It was also heard that this is also for the sake of the good children that also had reincarnated. An extremists who do not wish to be made known commented that no terrorist on his right mind would want to be reincarnated now considering that the world is experiencing a shortage of virgins...

Re:In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395811)

I'm the slashdot robotic overlord. I'm so lonely, call me. +1 (510) 495-6380

Re:In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395865)

Hey, it really is the slashdot recording robot geek thingy. I just called slashdot!

European Union Union (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396033)

Where is this place? I've certainly never heard of it.

Re:European Union Union (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396063)

Don't know. But I think that Butros Butros Ghail lives there...???

nig6a (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395795)

house... pathetic. to decline for sur7eys show that and suggesting Chosen, whatever both believed that personal rivalries for a living got states that there

Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (-1, Offtopic)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395803)

Dear slashdot

Sorry to say when i was looking at your top article in front of it came a google banner.
PLease stop this overlapping banners, it took me quite a while to finaly be able to read this story.
keep your marketing adds in place and don't hoover it over your page.
Otherwise people loose interest in your site, and also beginning to hate your advertizers.
That's not why these advertizers started their internet campaign.

(hmm by itself alone this comment could be net story topic about online marketing these days).

Any way i hope you will act on it.

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395857)

Sorry to say when i was looking at your top article in front of it came a google banner.
PLease stop this overlapping banners, it took me quite a while to finaly be able to read this story.
keep your marketing adds in place and don't hoover it over your page.


What ad? Use a sensible ad-filter in your web browser and you won't see the ads at all.

Otherwise people loose interest in your site, and also beginning to hate your advertizers.
That's not why these advertizers started their internet campaign.


Of course it is. Advertizers want you to take notice, which you obviously did.

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (0, Offtopic)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395905)

oh well the add was still disabled however their CSS trick leaves a blanc white frame over the page.
So i only noticed it was google to blame and slashdot themselves for allowing google to show it.

I use AVANT brouwser so i normaly dont see any adds, only some left overs of poor CSS design.
CSS is probaply allready a bit of a miracle overhere (hahahaha).

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (-1, Offtopic)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396039)

Try FireFox, with the Adblock and NoScript add-in extensions. Blocks 99.9% of ads, scripts, etc. I get no floating boxes at all, anywhere (God, I hate those!).

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (0, Offtopic)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396093)

No Avant brouwser is just fine as it's verry productive to me.
It has a need search option which automaticly can highlight my searched words in any internet text.
As i read a lot of internet text for my work this realy shortens my read and search work.
I've seen others but it's simply fast and easy and at the end of the day i do realy have some time left over.
That's why i stick to Avant as it speeds up my work.

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (0, Offtopic)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396153)

FireFox does that, too. Control-F puts a search box on the bottom toolbar and any word you type it will find the next one of, or check "highlight all" box and it will do what you describe. I also really like that feature, it makes searching for a specific thing on a big page much easier.

Re:Dear Slashdot GOOGLE BANNER ADD remove please (0, Offtopic)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396085)

until now, i didn't even know that slashdot has ads. *pats die little ABP-sign in the topright corner*

In other news, the Catholic church..... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395827)

is complaining about Food and Drug Agency regulations governing the transubstantiation of communion wafers.

Said the Agency: ....if the church want to miraculously convert bread and wine to human remains, we will need to ensure that it is suitable for human consumption. There is well-documented evidence of disease transmission through these vectors.......Of course, human remains are also prima facie evidence of a crime being committed, so we have asked the FBI if they want to retain all communion utensils for evidence....

Holy shit. (3, Interesting)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395831)

C'mon that's just hilarious (at least if it wouldn't be that sad). It's a wonderful example how totalitarian states need to control every corner of life even the dark corner of superstition.

But please don't forget that Tibet was a theocracy (actually a bodhisattva-cracy) before the Chinese Army invaded and the Dalai Lamas only became meek as a lamb after they/he lost power.

That China is evil doesn't mean Tibet was good.

Re:Holy shit. (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395871)

It's a wonderful example how totalitarian states need to control every corner of life even the dark corner of superstition.

I think it is amazing that the Chinese government can give permission to reincarnate. Maybe they can offer a package deal to people on their last legs: pay for permission to come back and agree to leave the country afterwards.

Re:Holy shit. (1)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395921)

Yeah, that would be total biopolitics they would sell your body to Body Worlds [wikipedia.org] and sell you the permission to reincarnate.

I always thought we need a IOsM [hrw.org] (international Organisation for spiritual Migration) all these souls crossing borders to reincarnate. We have to regulate that it's a wide open door for terrorists.

Re:Holy shit. (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396123)

I personally read "the universe in a single atom" which was written by his holiness. Say what you will about the history, the current Dalai Lama is the only religious leader who actually makes sense even after you think about what he said. I've been meaning to read more of his writings but at the moment learning awk and perl are eating all of my self study time.

Re:Holy shit. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396247)

The current Dali Lama has done a lot of campaigning to be removed from political power. Every once in a while he writes up a draft democratic constitution for Tibet (under the assumption they will achieve independence eventually) and his people get annoyed that he put in stipulations about the Dali Lama not having power.

To be fair, we tend to assume all nations with an individual leader are bad, but we rarely see one where the leader has been trained from a very early age to be as nice as possible to people. I have often taken the push for democracy as a sign that the Dali Lama expected this move from China. Maybe now that it happened, he can make some more headway.

Re:Holy shit. (1)

NewtonCorp (1105967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396263)

If you have a good king, you'd probably be better than in a democracy with a bunch of mindwashed lumps...

Re:Holy shit. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396439)

"Are you English or retarded?" SCNR, no offence intended [youtube.com] .

The Process (2, Insightful)

Double Entendre (1123719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395849)

Assume for a moment that people want to play along. I'm curious what the application process would be like. Do you have some forms to fill out? Do you need to go to a special office? Who will be overseeing this particular application? Who approves it? And probably the most obvious question is: how are they going to enforce it? Is this a case of them summarily making a sweeping statement without thinking about the ramifications of putting together a system to handle the throughput?

As absurd as this issue seems, constructing a legal and bureaucratic process around it sounds even more bizarre.

how do they define reincarnation? (5, Insightful)

id3as (1067224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395867)

Our laughter means Chinese government's definition of reincarnation is different from ours. We think reincarnation is a "mystical belief that some essential part of a living being survives death to be reborn in a new body". Chinese government perhaps thinks that reincarnation is an act of stating such a belief about a certain individual. How does the Chinese government define reincarnation anyway?

Re:how do they define reincarnation? (5, Informative)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395993)

I'm sure what they really want to control is recognition of a new incarnation. When a living tulku [wikipedia.org] (reincarnated master/teacher) is nearing death, they traditionally make some sort of prophecy or predictions by which their next incarnation will be recognized. These are typically vague in the fashion of predictions everywhere ('a house with a pitched roof in the direction of the setting sun', not 'Tenzin Thompson, 1242 Yak Lane, Lhasa'), and once the current incarnation is dead a search is begun, typically by senior monks, either students of the previous teacher or otherwise ranking members of his/her sect. The 'search committee' finds some kids, and potentially administers tests to them (often in the form of having them select belongings of the deceased tulku from a collection of random odds and ends), and take likely looking candidates to visit people who knew the previous tulku, or who have a traditional duty/privilege in recognizing the new incarnation.

It's that last bit where it gets tricky. By custom, certain high monastic officials may have the final say in who is/isn't a new incarnation. Everyone doesn't always agree- look at the current case of the Karmapa [wikipedia.org] . Having recognition from a high-ranking monastic (like the Dalai Lama) may help cement the claim. In any case, there are sometimes multiple claimants, and it takes a few years (or a generation) to sort things out.

China wants to give itself the final say in who is the reincarnation, and perhaps control over the selection committee that finds the candidate children. It did something similar with the Panchen Lama, but would like to extend the practice to all Tibetan tulku- most importantly, the selection of the next Dalai Lama. They would pick a child who would inevitably be spirited away to be raised by party officials and state-approved monks, who would teach them the ritual roles of the Dalai Lama along with a meaty helping of state propaganda. The PRC might even pick a Han Chinese child living in Tibet; Han immigration is a big issue in Tibet, with a lot of external rights groups agreeing that the PRC is essentially attempting to 'choke out' Tibetan culture by settling non-Tibetans in the region as fast as possible (ethnic Tibetans are now, I believe, a minority in most of Tibet- certainly in the larger towns and cities).

The biggest outcome of all this will be to 'muddy the water' regarding who is the real tulku. Tibetans will be presented with a state-approved figure, and expected to treat them as the real deal. Rival claimants will appear among the Tibetan diaspora. It is essentially an attempt to drive a wedge between the Tibetan people and their religion, and to splinter the exile and remaining resident Tibetan communities.

Its not about "stating" differences (5, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396077)

Chinese govt. did this to prevent a successor to Dalai Lama. Which was to be chosen by monks who would find a boy who is a reincarnation of Dalai Lama. Basically this is reincarnation at its finest, and chinese govt. officially acknowledged reincarnation.

Hm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395911)

"According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 20 percent of all U.S. adults believe in reincarnation."
What the hell is that ? Although the first part of the article feels true (and if it is, it is really sad, no doubt), the article ending part doesn't seem to be really relevant.
I'm not american so I don't know if this site is reliable, but I better see some more newspaper relaying this information before thinking it true.

Reincarnation is possible? (0)

JochenBedersdorfer (945289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395933)

Wow, the chinese scientific community will be amazed to learn that their government officially acknowledges the existence of reincarnation. Great news for buddhists: Unique Reincarnation manual, now approved by TEH CHINESE GOVERNMENT! Buy one, get one free. Jeez. Can we get rid of all this religious madness please?

Re:Reincarnation is possible? (1)

id3as (1067224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395957)

Yea, that what it sounds like from our perspective, interpreted through our definition of reincarnation.

Re:Reincarnation is possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20395977)

No, they don't recognize reincarnation with this, in fact, they fight the religion believing in it. Criminalizing claims of reincarnation does NOT equal recognizing reincarnation.

In "western countries", the government DOES recognize reincarnation, in the sense that religious freedom allows you to claim you have reincarnated.
That same claim, which is religious speech, is now illegal in China.

Great point there : (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396121)

Wow, the chinese scientific community will be amazed to learn that their government officially acknowledges the existence of reincarnation


i havent looked it that way. with this, chinese government has had officially accepted reincarnation.

Doesn't affect us, or anyone really. (0, Troll)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395937)

As long as I can practice any zainy superstition I choose here in America, I'll be a happy man.

has /. finally become right wing? (1, Flamebait)

hoyeru (1116923) | more than 6 years ago | (#20395943)

yeah, it's SO fashionable to bash China nowdays, isn't it? Everything in United Stupids of Amerikkka is so perfect and open and democratic, isn't it? Fix your own problems USA, BEFORE you try to fix other's countries!

Re:has /. finally become right wing? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396057)

There is no stupider stupiDDiTTy on the face of the world than banning reincarnation.

Re:has /. finally become right wing? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396279)

God, what is it with all you PRC apologists with high UID#s on /. recently?

Get a clue: people have opinions about things they read from all over the world, and most of the people reading this article probably think the U.S. is fucked up as well. So what? Should we not have opinions about things other than the U.S.? First I hear we're too insular, now I'm hearing we're too informed?

Oh, and, by the way: you're going to have a hard time selling a moral equivalency between the U.S. and China in a story where the Chinese government is trying to forcibly alter the religious beliefs of a dissident minority group. We used to [wikipedia.org] do that over here too, but we got over it.

Re:has /. finally become right wing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396331)

Of course not. The U.S. would never enforce their own views on anyone, religous or otherwise. We'll just bomb the fuck out of anyone that disagrees with us then pretend we did it for freedom.
So yeah, you're right, there is no moral equivalency. We're in a league all our own.

Internet/Tech News from China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396047)

I've started a Pligg Site for Chinese Tech/Internet News. If you're interested in this subject, come and have a look.

Regards,
John

http://www.chinamemes.com/ [chinamemes.com]

Melting Alpacas? (4, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396059)

Every time I hear "Dali Lama", I think of melting llamas draped over tables and held up by poles and crutches!

they've never had it so free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396061)

If it's true that the French resistence were never as free as they were under the occupation then there is a real case for claiming that Tibet just got a whole lot more free than before. Now even dying is a political statement - an active act of rebellion. It is laws like this which are fundamentally bound to fail because they get people used to the idea of rebellion against China, and then they have a fair chance of creating a conciousness which can see beyond the short-term monetary gifts from China and new railways which carry the caveat of the destruction of their culture

it's neither hilarious nor sad (4, Interesting)

North by Northwest (1149121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396065)

If you knew the history of Tibet, this news is neither hilarious nor sad. In fact, this rule was not "invented" by today's Chinese government. Back to the end of 18th century, after a rebellion in Tibet was ended by central government of Qing dynasty, a Manchurian dynasty, the emperor set up rules for reincarnation, and the reincarnations of Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and others were under the control government. After this, Dalai Lama was awarded political power by central government and noble families of Tibet had less influence on the reincarnations. Before that rebellion, Tibet was ruled by Mongolians.

Admin bans joo.. (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396089)

These wall hacking aim bots shall be banned for life. Thank you China. 1UP!

Amusing, but (4, Interesting)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396103)

- quite beside the point, I think.

Here's some background: Whether you like the Chinese government or not, and whether you feel that they are wrongfully occupying Tibet or not, the fact is that they feel that this is their territory, and nobody in the world offers any serious challenge; ergo, Tibet is de facto a part of China. Nobody in their right mind would expect a country to allow an external, hostile, political power to influence the internal affairs of the country - the US have historically been very heavyhanded in similar situations (eg. the communist scare after WWII); many would still today argue that it was right of them.

The Dalai Lama is undeniably a political influence in Tibet, and he is undeniably hostile to the Chinese government; it is pure common sense that they want to minimize his influence on any part of the Chinese population (and as I pointed out, the Tibetans are de facto part of the Chinese population). It is not only common sense, it is the duty of any government to oppose any influence that would destabilise the society they are governing; and it is only fair to say that the Dalai Lama wants to destabilize the situation - after all, he wants the Chinese to leave and Tibet to be an independent nation. How could that be achieved without a war of independence? And even more - if the Chinese government were to say 'OK, we agree; we simply leave Tibet', that in itself would destabilize the country. Suddenly most Chinese investments would be withdrawn, most Han Chinese would probably leave etc; the result would be BIG PROBLEMS.

And while we are talking about the 'horrible repression of the Buddhists' - do you actually know what it was like in Tibet before? It was a feudal society (like Europe in the middle ages). If you were born into a rich family, you could get away with anything; if you were poor, you could get cruel and absurd punishments for small 'crimes' - like having a foot chopped off or your eyes gouged out. There is no doubt that it is better now. There is also no doubt that it could be better than what it is now, but it isn't too bad for most. The ones that howl and complain now are the ones who were members of the aristocracy or the corrupt monastries.

Even more amusing, but (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396179)

What you describe below neither does make what they are doing true, or neither alleviate the fact that every country in the world affects the entire civilization. If tomorrow an extremist sect takes control of chinese communist party and starts to incite the chinese population to enmity, hatred towards other nations and prepare grounds for a war, or starts to spread this philosophy to other countries, the perception you describe below means suicidal. Same goes for every country in the world. You cannot do anything, everything in your own land, on grounds that it is your land.

Whether you like the Chinese government or not, and whether you feel that they are wrongfully occupying Tibet or not, the fact is that they feel that this is their territory, and nobody in the world offers any serious challenge; ergo, Tibet is de facto a part of China. Nobody in their right mind would expect a country to allow an external, hostile, political power to influence the internal affairs of the country - the US have historically been very heavyhanded in similar situations (eg. the communist scare after WWII); many would still today argue that it was right of them.

Re:Amusing, but (5, Informative)

Spasemunki (63473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396197)

Your absolutely correct on the pragmatics of the issue. This is clearly the best strategy for the Chinese government to take if they intend to keep control of Tibet. What most people would argue is that the moral issue here is the self-determination of a nation of people. The Tibetan people are culturally and linguistically distinct, and existed as an independent nation. Many Tibetans clearly wish to regain their independence, or at least to obtain assurances that their culture and traditions will be respected by the government.

The Dalai Lama has actually struck a much more conciliatory position than you ascribe to him in the years since his exile. First of all, his (or a future Dalai Lama) ruling the country in the fashion of the old kingdom is a non-starter- he himself was involved in organizing a government-in-exile independent of him and elected by Tibetan expats to represent the country. He has repeatedly stated in the last several years that his is not interested in seperating Tibet from China- let China manage the external affairs of the country, similar to the way Hong Kong now operates, while allowing Tibetans the same sort of local autonomy that China has been allowing to other 'Special' zones within the country. You'll notice that nearly ten years ago, the ICT and other organizations changed their slogan from 'Free Tibet' to 'Save Tibet'- indicating that preserving Tibetan language and culture is given a much higher priority than political independence, even if that means making permanent accommodations to China.

Finally, to say that only aristocrats and crooked monks lament the effect of China's invasion is a gross over-generalization. Yes, those groups had the most to loose. But there are plenty of ordinary Tibetans who are none too happy with the loss of their language, their religious institutions, and their national identity as a free nation.

Were conditions in Tibet before the Chinese invasion bad? Of course. It was a dirt-poor nation essentially stuck in the middle ages. The current (and immediately previous) Dalai Lama were interested in modernizing, and changing some of those conditions. Chinese investment has made material improvements in the lives of some, but those improvements tend to be concentrated in the hands of party loyalists. Much of Tibet's natural resources have been used to fuel growth in the rest of China; during the Great Leap Forward, Tibetans were allowed to starve while their agricultural output was sent back to the Chinese mainland, a pattern of exploitation of ethnic minorities that has been repeated many times by the PRC central government.

The number of Tibetans in Tibet has dropped by about 1/6th since the Chinese invasion, in the form of emigration to India and Nepal and deaths, due to starvation, executions, and military action. Forcible sterilizations have been carried out among ethnic Tibetans. The Tibetan language and traditional cultural expressions have been banned or strongly restricted. The sorts of cruel punishments carried out by medieval justice are still present, just updated in the form of electrocutions, torture, and beatings for individuals suspected of being linked with the independence movement, or showing reverence for the Dalai Lama. I think a lot of Tibetans would take their old medieval landlords over that- though even the medieval landlords themselves are now arguing for a democratic government.

Re:Amusing, but (0, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396207)

Well, you've made some interesting points, but, as a firm believer in the self determination of nations, I'm going to have to say:

Fuck You And Your Groveling Apology For Colonialism.

I'd also like to say that this has been a stimulating intellectual discourse.

Re:Amusing, but (5, Interesting)

saforrest (184929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396309)

Here's some background: Whether you like the Chinese government or not, and whether you feel that they are wrongfully occupying Tibet or not, the fact is that they feel that this is their territory, and nobody in the world offers any serious challenge; ergo, Tibet is de facto a part of China. Nobody in their right mind would expect a country to allow an external, hostile, political power to influence the internal affairs of the country - the US have historically been very heavyhanded in similar situations (eg. the communist scare after WWII); many would still today argue that it was right of them.

Here are some suggested substitutions to your text:
1. Replace "Chinese" with "British", "China" with "the British Empire", "Tibet" with "India".
2. Replace "Chinese" with "Soviet", "China" with "the USSR", "Tibet" with "Czechoslovakia".
3. Replace "Chinese" with "Belgian", "China" with "Belgium", "Tibet" with "the Congo".
4. Replace "Chinese" with "American", "China" with "the USA", "Tibet" with "the Philippines".

Which of these would you still defend? If not all, which ones and why not?

Not news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396157)

It's a Communist country !

End of story !

Shame on Newsweek (2, Insightful)

greydontmatter (325867) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396275)

Shame on Newsweek for presenting this issue as "one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism" rather than the Chinese government wanting to choose the next Dali Lama. They do come out and say that later in the article but presenting this as just some kind of wacky law is misleading. I guess the real shame is that most people don't get past the first few sentences of the article to understand what's really being discussed.

All your souls are belong to China (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396277)

All your souls are belong to China

In other news, I am exercising restraint. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396329)

People, when I learned about these restrictions on reincarnation, I nearly lost control of my incredible mystical might! However, after careful consideration, I have decided not to use my awesome supernatural powers against the Chinese state. I could unleash a magical fury and I could re-materialize as a thousand dragons that would crush this oppressive regime, but only if I wanted to. Luckily for them, I have decided to—ahem—exercise restraint and let the process work itself out through normal means.

Would the Tibetan desire to preserve their culture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396343)

.. simply not be called either nationalism or racism in other parts of the world?

The question of who has power in the country aside, it seems many Tibetans simply want Chinese people not to live close to them.
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