Friday, October 31, 2008

Public Policy in Tibet

Public Policy in Tibet, circa. pre "liberation"

We all wonder. Before China sent the People's Liberation Army to occupy, excuse me, sometimes I forget my newspeak, I mean liberate Tibet, how did the Tibetan Government spend its time? There are only so many picnics a Kudak* can attend in a season. Well I found this nice bit of information in Charles Bell's "The People of Tibet." One thing government officials did to occupy their time was issue a development policy. Yes, a written proclamation known as Tsa-Tsik (Root Word) was circulated to all the Mayors of all the towns.

This proclamation proclaimed:
During that portion of the summer in which there is scarcity of rain (i.e. May and June) no one is allowed to construct any building.**

Because, you know, builders make offerings and pray for dry skies. Obviously if these prayers were answered, farmers who pray for rainfall get screwed.

*A civil servant who through service to the government received land grants and titles and became an aristocrat. This process was a little bit like the bureaucratizing of Japanese samurai, except there was no wimpy sheathing of cool samurai swords.
**Bell, C., The People of Tibet, Delhi, Book Faith India, 1998

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