Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another Tibet Update

Another update on the situation in Tibet, and the uprising that was doomed to failure from the beginning. And the world looks away, shamefully.

From Time: The Dalai Lama's Dilemma:

For a brief moment on Tuesday, the usually unflappable Dalai Lama let his frustration show, when he told reporters in Dharamsala, "If things are getting out of control, then the option is to completely resign, completely resign!" he said, waving his arms for emphasis. He said he would meet on Wednesday with Tibetan marchers trying to cross the border from India and tell them to stop, as they are "making things difficult for the Indian government". He added, "What's the use of some clash with Chinese soldiers on the border?"

The Dalai Lama's comments came as a dampener for organizers of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement, who had been hoping that if the Dalai Lama could not lend his support to the march, he would at least refrain from opposing it. Four of the five organizations involved in the movement oppose the Dalai Lama's "middle path" approach of seeking dialogue with the Chinese leadership in search of a "genuine" autonomy for Tibet. They want direct action to seek independence from China, and they want to it now, while the world is watching China as it prepares to host the Olympic Games this summer.

Read more.

From US News and World Report: Violence in Tibet Creates a Political Dilemma for Washington:

Amid this week's pressures, however, the Dalai Lama accused Beijing of "cultural genocide" for its decades of repressive measures and for an organized influx of ethnic Chinese, who have become a target for resentment among some Tibetans. Still, he warned Tuesday against attacks on ethnic Chinese and said that he would resign as political—though not spiritual—leader of the Tibetan exiles if the unrest worsened.

Beijing says that so far at least 16 people have died in the Tibetan unrest, many of them Han Chinese attacked by mobs. Tibetan exiles say that some 80 have perished.

Washington's response to the violence, however, has been decidedly muted. That tack undoubtedly reflects a strong desire to preserve the hard-won improvement in U.S.-China ties, which American diplomats rank as one of the leading foreign policy achievements of President Bush's seven-plus years in office. The administration is counting on Chinese assistance in taking on the twin nuclear challenges posed by North Korea and Iran. And recognition of China's rapidly growing commercial clout in the global marketplace has also come to replace the strategic and military challenge of a rising China as the foremost instinct of an administration initially dominated by hawks who were inclined to work to offset that new power.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for example, issued a carefully measured call for restraint, refraining from violence, and dialogue. Specifically, she urged talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama or his representatives, as well as respect for the rights of Chinese to protest peacefully. Intermittent talks in recent years between Chinese officials and advisers associated with the Dalai Lama produced no visible progress.

Read more.

And finally, from Open Democracy: Tibet: revolt with memories:

The Tibetan revolt of March 2008, like those of 1959 and 1987, will be crushed by the overwhelming might of the Chinese military. No match could be more unequal: maroon-clad nuns and monks versus the machinery of oppression of the global rising power. In recent months, fast-response mobile tactical squads whose sole purpose is to quell the people have been overtly rehearsing on the streets of Tibetan towns for just what they are now doing. What is the point of revolt if it is almost certainly suicidal?

This uprising has many uniquely Tibetan characteristics. At street level, a favourite item seized from Chinese shops was toilet-rolls - hardly the usual target of looters. Not that Tibetans, over millennia, have felt much need for the paper rolls, or even for the basics of the Chinese cuisine such as soy sauce. What the Tibetans did with the loo paper was to hurl it over power lines, instantly making Lhasa, and other Tibetan towns, Tibetan again. Right across the 25% of China that is ethnically and culturally Tibetan, the unrolled toilet paper looks like wind horses, the white silken khadag [or kata] scarf with which Tibetans greet and bless each other. As all Tibetans know, they carry their message on the wind: victory to the gods!

That is what this revolt is about: making Tibet Tibetan once more. The white scarves also protected Tibetan shopkeepers from attack as the streets filled, for a short and costly moment of freedom, with Tibetans smashing the businesses of immigrant Chinese traders.

Even in the most intoxicating moment of reclaiming the streets no Tibetan could have forgotten the ever-present security cameras, and the network of informers penetrating deeply into urban Tibetans’ private lives. No Tibetan could have been unmindful that the full repressive power of a modernised, high-tech tyranny would hunt them down, and show no mercy. All Tibetans know of former friends who, on release from prison and torture, now shun old acquaintances because they are under such intense pressure by their torturers to regularly name names of those who privately voice thoughts that do not conform to the party line. These informers live in fear of being hauled in again, for further torture, and of betraying their friends.

That is what makes this revolt uniquely Tibetan. It is no accident that from the outset the protests were led by those who have already renounced all ties to kin, dedicating their lives to serve all of humanity, unconditionally. The nuns and monks of Tibet have taken vows to work for the liberation of all sentient beings from all sources of suffering - in the mind and in the external world.

Read more.

Things look bad for the Tibetans -- the only hope they had was that Europe and US would intervene on their behalf. Clearly, that isn't going to happen. All free nations should boycott the Summer Olympics in China.


Unknown said...

Man, this is heart breaking.. Thanks for sharing all the links. I will pray for peace....

Anonymous said...

Look, How the western presses Lied to the kind people!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully his Holiness will step down as leader of the Tibetian government (in exile). Simultaniously proving that he is not a separatist and defueling this crisis. He perpuated this horror by accusing the Chinese government of "Cultural" Genocide while turning a blind eye to that ACTUAL Genocide being perpuated against the Han Chinese by the Tibetians.

Anonymous said...

With full support from the US, China will be the next world power.

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