Thursday, March 17, 2011


My understanding of Tibet in the past and present is clear. I thank my holy guru, parents, teachers and superiors for giving me such light to fathom the gravity of our issues. I also thank them for giving me an identity since my birth that pave a way for an avenue to contribute for the cause, which I belong to. Though, Tibet unseen, I have a clear vision and goal to let our people breathe the air of freedom and justice.

But it is immensely a difficult task for me to forecast about our future, which I broadly mean Tibet's future, though I am integrally a part of it. I assume, some of our high-learned lamas and spiritual gurus in golden glittered monasteries may well predict where our future lies, as it is so complex and unresolved. Yet, we live by an unwavering hope that one day, surely one day, the sun will rise high above mountainous ranges of Tibet. In spite of an unmatchable battle of truth versus false, small versus giant, non violence versus brutal forces, the little ray of light is visible deep in the tunnel of our hope. And hope will certainly be our weapon to crush the mighty emperor of blood sucking Chinese regime.

Past Tibet: conflicting versions

All the Chinese governmental publications and communiqués show a horrible picture of old Tibet, which was depicted with feudalistic, serfdom, slaves and barbaric society. Whenever the Chinese government get an opportunity, they will simply show cast those dusty old pictures of some Tibetan serfs, shackled with chains in their hands to paint the old Tibet as bad. But, the question remains whether China was a heavenly abode during those eras. My understanding is China was more feudalistic, with the existence of slaves and serfdom and even happened to be under foreign powers for around a century. I think the Chinese government has forgotten 'the century of shame and humiliation', though it is widely an open secret. I wonder, if Tibet was so barbaric and uncivilized, then why Chinese emperors send their princesses to marry the Tibetan kings. Why Tibetans looked towards India more than China in seeking spiritualism risking their lives walking over mighty Himalayas, rather than engaging with China. There are many things, which China did not have an answer, because China's claim over Tibet is fictional.

Even within our society, we try not to bring such issues like feudalism, serfdoms and slaves into account, but rather eulogized our Tibet as the land of spiritualism with rich cultural and traditional civilization. We too talks about the greatness of our emperors in details but briefly buries the unfortunate histories of our own. It is justifiably true to strengthen our nationalism at the time of our struggle by nullifying our faults and misdeeds. May be China plays to propagate such malice campaign against Tibet to strengthen their nationalism and procure their stronghold on Tibet.

We need to be judgmental in our historical cognizance, which should be truthful to the very existence of our past history. China needs to also learn a lesson to project their historical perception based on truth. As for the Tibet's past history is concern, it is widely understood on three different versions on the basis of Tibetan, Chinese and Western concepts, which are conflicting with others on many issues. As for the Tibetan sources, it was not changed over the times and remained consistent. But the Chinese sources kept changing its claim over Tibet. In its 1992 whitepaper on Tibet, China regards Tibet as part of China since 7th Century, but later due to the several contest from the Tibetan side, China shifted down to 13th century. Again reverse back and profess that Tibet was a part of China since time immemorial. Western historians are mainly researching on legal issues with relation to nation-state, within the periphery of International law.

While looking into the past, His Holiness the Dalai Lama clearly expressed that it should be left in the hands of historians to research. Engaging ourselves in the argument of past history serves no good for the future of Tibet as both Tibetan and Chinese will not surrender their claim of Tibet’s history. His Holiness therefore opined that rather than looking into the past, we should focus on future, which is more important so that Tibetans and Chinese can mutually benefit.

Present Tibet: An ordeal

Soon after the Chinese occupation, Tibet experienced a horrific and painful ordeal with the dead of more a million people, and a near complete annihilation of its aged-old culture. Widespread famine occurred for the first time in the history of Tibet. Yet, China insists that they liberated Tibet. The so-called liberation or else the occupation of Tibet took almost a decade for China due to the resistance and the revolts of Tibet. The 17 Point Agreement, which China signed with the Tibetan government representative in 1951 was thrashed without much implementation. In 1959, after reaching India, His Holiness repudiated the agreement as an unequal agreement.

Initially, China disintegrated Tibet into various parts just like colonial powers did to China. The Sphere of Influence within China was solely to take the central power in the hand of Communist regime. Later, China claims that Tibet is just Tibet Autonomous Region. Rest of Tibet was merged with other Chinese provinces. Divide and Rule system served China in fulfilling their goal of unity and stability. Liberation turned occupation was brutal against the wishes of the people. So, to inherit their claim, China introduced liberalization policies in Tibet.

China cherished her expansionist motive by introducing development plans, such like building roadways, railways, dams, and militarization. At present, Tibet, known earlier as the buffer state turned into a confrontational zone between the two Asian giants, China and India. After occupying Tibet, China’s assess to the Central Asia and Indian subcontinent became a reality.

Inside Tibet, Tibetans are living in hell, without fundamental rights, subjected to severe human rights violations. Tibet’s ecology is vastly degraded with massive pollutions. Resources are being exploited heavily to assist China’s modernization. Tourism is booming with the large immigrants of Chinese people, whereby making Tibetans, a minority in their own homeland, resulting in the assimilation of culture. In a month, more than a million Chinese visit Tibet by using railways from Beijing to Lhasa. His Holiness the Dalai Lama viewed the activities of Chinese government in creating a virtual cultural genocide in Tibet.

Even though the development plans were being introduced in Tibet, Tibetans lodged their grievances and continues to protest the Chinese regime. Latest mass protest happened in 2008, where thousands of Tibetans roused against the communist regime. More than 200 Tibetans were killed yet, China is stubbornly exercising its iron curtain in Tibet.

In exile, Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama carries the non-violent struggle for Tibet. The middle way approach was earlier viewed as the choice of majority, but it seems that people are losing patience, as China lacks political will in resolving the Tibet issues. Nine round of talks between exiled Tibetans and the Chinese government was held earlier but ended without concrete result.

Future Tibet: At crossroad

Exile Tibetan Government based in Dharamshala, India put their efforts on regaining Tibet’s independence in their early two decades (1959-1979). The resistance movement with the subsistence support of the U.S. Government was undertaken in Mustang, Nepal, but failed to shake the Chinese forces. When Nixon visited China, the U.S. military assistance to the Tibetan warfare ceased.

After Deng Xiaoping’s engagement with the Tibetan émigré government, the Tibetan stands shifted from independence to Middle Way approach, seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet under the guidelines of Chinese constitution. His Holiness the Dalai Lama later proclaimed his historic Five Point Peace Plan in U.S. and then Strasbourg proposal in resolving the Tibet issue.

However, even after various attempts by the Tibetan government in Exile, China rejected the proposals by claiming it ‘Independence in disguise’ and ‘Semi Independence’.

More than 30 years had passed without any meaningful dialogue with the Chinese government, Tibetan Government in Exile is still pursuing the Middle Way approach. But, the younger generations are losing their patience and are reversing their claims to Independent Tibet. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama enunciated that the ultimate voice of the Tibetan people would be the final voice of Tibet. So, if the Chinese government did not take seriousness in the dialogue, taking into consideration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership, it will certainly create more trouble to China in the future.

So, the ball is in China’s hand and China need to address the problem and resolve it amicably. The Chinese leaders need to look beyond their own positions and come forward with better understanding about the Tibet issues and review its policy on Tibet. This is detrimental for China’s future status, where the Tibetans can live peacefully with Chinese in the years to come. So, what are you waiting for, President Hu? I forgot, your term just gets over soon. I hope Xi Jinping be brave enough to face the truth and solve it forever.

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