Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Tenzin Lekshay, 02 February 2009

Whenever the exile delegations visited China for dailogue, our eyebrows flipped waiting patiently for a positive overtone of changes. But even after the 9th round of talk with the Chinese leadership, there is no sign of any change. The most recent talk held over the last weekend in Beijing may pressumably be the same old story of exchanging thoughts. A day after the delegation visited China, I console myself with optimism and a strong belief that the time has reap for the Chinese leaders to understand about Tibet. With this credence, I posted a quick note in my facebook "Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are in China for the 9th round of talk on Tibet issues. Hope this dialogue will yield positive resolution for the future status of Tibet". One of my friends commented 'I am not optimistic. I chose to trust my brain rather than my heart which don't agree with each other...I even don't see a light in the tunnel." May be, he is right, there is no sight of light in the tunnel to a foreseeable future. I must confess that I may be carried away by emotions and heart which for every second beats for Tibet.

There are few reasons for me to think that the end result of talks will soon be good for the Tibetans. It need not necessarily be exile oriented approach as we understand that our focus remained essentially construe to attaining freedom and justice in Tibet. At the same time, I feel that the dragon will neither soften their position nor sympathized with the people of Tibet. But, I firmly beleive that this dailogue needs a swift resolution which helps China attain their fantasy of harmonious society integrating all minorities to live in peace, harmony and freedom.

Incongruous Approach: Deepening the wound

For fifty years, the Tibet crisis is burning deep inside the heart of Tibet and all over the world. It is judiciously prudent for the Chinese leaders to rethink their policy in Tibet which is rampantly degrading into a fume of chaos, destruction and desperation. Over the years, many of the China's policy on Tibet strive to ignore the crux of the problem which China buried for decades. Instead, they stressed upon national sovereignty, stability and unity of motherland. As a nation state, China's attention on national sovereignty and security shall not be blamed but the ill-hearted and Han chauvinistic approach to exterminate ethnic nationalities using military actions and preferential assimilation policies provoke hatred and disengagement even to the present days. For instance, in the initial three decades (1949-1979), liberation, reforms, democratization were implemented in Tibet with the death of more than a million Tibetans and destruction of 6,000 monasteries. During Deng's era, the establishment of communication with diasporic Tibetans started with an introduction of more liberal economic and development policies. But when Jiang Zemin, the third generation CCP leader succeeded Deng, the hard liners gained prominence on Tibet scene and the shift of policy with firm attention towards national security and sovereignty were seen. Both the third and fourth Tibet Work Forum held during his tenure clearly show how aggressively China pushes their policy of hatred by challenging the position of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In exile, the Tibetan Government in Exile adopted to seek a rational stand on Tibet by pursuing China to negotiate on the future status of Tibet. Even during the recent Tibet Work forum, the hard liners swept along with the same incongruous approach of hardening their stands on Tibet.

Failure of talk: yet again

In 2002, renewed talk with China started amid worldwide pressures. When the first and second delegations visited China, Tibetans and Tibetan supporters were excited and thrilled to hear something progressive. But it happened to be more of a confidence building measures though we knew that the resolution will not come overnight. Since then, over a year, delegations made a yearly visit to China to talk with the Chinese leaders. Unexpectedly, delegation visited three times in 2008 amidst the ever rising height of tensions and protests in Tibet along with Beijing Olympic Game. China sensed that if the delegations visited China often within a short span of time, Tibetans inside Tibet will ceased demonstrating, diasporic Tibetans and western supporters will hold back pressuring China that concerns them with Beijing Olympic Game. China wanted to have a problem free game and thats what China got. But what happened with us? It was utterly a carrot and stick game which was played and we trusted deceitful China once again. Forgive us for our compassionate mind!!

Two things were clearly visible from the 2008 talks. Of course, I am not going to touch on subject of the talk nor on why it went deadlocked with severe accusations and rejections. But, I will try to examine on why China, all of a sudden, calls for a talk one after another in 2008. First, even though China relentlessly rejected Tibetan Government in Exile as a sole representative of Tibetans, for lord sake! even in this present talk, they landed up seeking exile government's help to calm the situation in Tibet which spread like a uncontrollable wildfire. Secondly, China called Tibetan delegations to save their face from foreseeable tragedy of Beijing Olympic when many western countries launched their campaigns of boycotting Olympic. So, I presume that China did recognize the strength of six million Tibetans, Tibetan Government in Exile and Tibet supporters. China took advantage of this with success and slept for one whole year snoring without a hint of opening the dialogue.

Few days back, the ninth round of talk was held in Beijing after a gap of 15 months. Right before the exile delegation stepped into Beijing, the Chinese mouthpieces covered their leaders telling His Holiness the Dalai Lama to cherish this opportunity in such a domineering tone. I said to myself, what the hack!! Yes, I repeat, what the hack!!! With this arrogant attitude, one can understand that the talk will not succeed. True to their corruptible and chauvinistic conviction of mishandling the talk, China repeated its old rhetoric of stand guarding China's national sovereignty. The lack of political will on the Chinese side is obvious.

Is Autonomy synonymous to Independence

Chinese leaders did not take a year to adopt their legacy. Three Represents and the Harmonious society are some of the nation based policies which were thoroughly studied and publicly announced with sheer pomp without much time. But, on Tibet issues, it is hard to understand why China is still confused upon distinguishing between Autonomy and Independence. Are they really dumb enough to differentiate between the two or are they pretending to be mystified by the word 'Genuine Autonomy'. It took more than 30 years to clarify the autonomy which the Tibetan Government in Exile demanded and are still explaining the Chinese leaders of what it means. I can get a hint of why it took three decades and still counting. Because we talk to the bunch of those Cultural Revolution remnants who are not sensible enough to know the differences between Autonomy and Independence. What a shame!!


  1. You are right Lekshay. Tyrants don't believe in talks and dialogs. They don't believe in peace. They are people who believe in bullying and violence.

    They have used the pretext of talks to calm down the wildfire in Tibet. We played into their hands.

    I don't trust the Chinese. The only thing we can force them to come to the negotiating table is through exerting pressure, real pressure: economic, political and social pressures.

    I see a lot sincerity and passion in your writings, a lot of concern and love for Tibet. Your heart indeed burns for Tibet.

    One thing I wanto say is that I personally don't endorse the phrases like "minority nationalities", "Tibetan ethnicity". China is cunning and crude. Behind all these phrases lies politcal traps and severe implications.

    "Minority nationality" and "Ethnicity" implies that we never had an independent history of our own. In other words, Tibet had never been an independent nation in its history, just a part of China since time immemorial. China's recent rewriting of Tibetan history claims that even the Tibetan civilization was as offshot of the larger Chinese civilization.

    I beleive we have to really take care and exercise restraint while using the phrases and words coined by the Chinese....

    We are the coming generation. So, we should not be like what the outgoing generation is doing...

  2. So far as the exile government claims to negotiate on Tibetan autonomy, I beleive that minority nationality and ethnicity are some of the terminologies which we have to use. Since China is legally handicapped with defuncted Constitution, it will make China to wake up and stand by its constitution which guarantee higher degree of autonomy to Tibet and all other minorites. But that does not mean that we forget our past history. Since, the focus of our dailogue is future oriented, I beleive that stressing on the history of Tibet will not serve good for the dailogue.

  3. See here we disagree big time. The reason why we are seeking justice in future is based on the logic that we had a different history from the Chinese; that we were once independent nation occupied illegally by the Chinese. This is our greatest bargaining chip. If we give this up, then all is gone...

    About the use of those terminologies, I believe we can struggle for autonomy without using them. The classic case is Scotland under the Britain. They always call themselves Scottish, a people, not English.

    These terminologies denies the basic fact that we are a people, with all features that makes us a people: a uniform language, culture, religion, way of life and a mythical history.

  4. I agree with you that we have our own history (mythical to some extend), language, culture and religion which are distinct from China. These should be the essence of our talk as you are awared that the Tibetan Government in Exile works on a set of principles which helps to preserve our identity and cultures (language, religion, ecology and others). But, we need to see the rationality of convening a talk. If we insist upon our past history, the rest will not be able to fulfill. China for the past many decades, consistently and falsely claimed Tibet as a historical part of China. We know and the whole world knows that Tibet was historically not a part of China.

    As I see China, the arrogant dragon. China's weekness lies on their legal system which we have to dwell on these issues. If we get an entrance into their defunct Constitution and National Regional Autonomy Law, it will make a huge impact onto our struggle. We need to understand their Archilles' heel and pinch them hard.