Rudman’s Dalai Lama piece a tad lame

The Dalai Lama's 2007 NZ visit included a trip up to the Green caucus
The Dalai Lama’s 2007 NZ visit included a trip up to the Green caucus

I was a little disappointed to read

Brian Rudman’s column this week

in the New Zealand Herald about the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama.  In Mr Rudman’s opinion our Prime Minister shouldn’t meet with the Dalai Lama when it could upset the Chinese Government.

Cheeking a non-ally like China over an issue as esoteric as Tibet seems suicidal.

We can’t even persuade or bully our tiny near-neighbours like Fiji to restore democracy, or Tonga to institute it, so why risk our livelihood taunting the elephant with genuinely big tusks?

Now earlier this month

Tonga did take some very important steps

in regard to its progress on the road to democracy so perhaps Brian needs to keep up with the play on this issue.

As to comparing Fiji and China – well neither countries are democracies and both have issues with human rights.

New Zealand should as a principled independent country do its utmost to advance globally a respect for human rights.  We should surely be engaging in constructive talks with both Fiji and China when the opportunity arises to press for progressive reforms and to raise the plight of human rights.

It wasn’t just me getting a little peeved by Brian’s miss-directed missive on the Dalai Lama.  Liam Hehir of Palmerston North felt so incensed by the cavalier way Tibet had been reduced to an ‘esoteric issue’ he dropped the Herald a line.  Personally I think Liam hits the nail on the head with his criticism of the basic moral flaw in Brian Rudman’s opinion piece.

If Tibet is an irrelevancy then what are we? We are a small,isolated and weak like Tibet.  Were the same fate to befall us, would our cause perish under Mr Rudman’s calculus?

Meeting the Dalai Lama may seem a futile gesture, but as the English Philosopher

Edmund Burke


“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because  he could only do a little.”