For years now efforts by the exiled Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to convince China to agree a compromise on Tibet has been consistently and forcefully rejected by the Chinese authorities as a veiled bid to secure independence through the backdoor. Well in a spirit of satirical generosity we offer a solution to Lobsang Sangay, present ‘leader’ of the CTA, which we believe would dissolve China’s suspicions and secure the objective of autonomy for Tibetans, so desperately sought by Doctor Sangay. On May 8 at a presentation to the Council On Foreign Relations in DC he stunned the audience by announcing that “We don’t challenge, or ask for, an overthrow of the Communist Party. We don’t question or challenge the present structure of the ruling party.” adding “We are not asking for democracy for Tibetans in Tibet… we want rights as per the Chinese constitution.”.
Clearly he is dedicated and sincere in trying to secure for Tibetans the coveted status of Chinese citizens and the liberal rights and freedoms they enjoy, so here’s our eight point plan to advance that goal.
1). Dismantle entirely the political structure of governance in exile, this would include closing the Assembly Of Tibetan Deputies (effectively a Parliament)
2). Issue a formal declaration ending the office of the Kashag (the exiled Tibetan Cabinet)
3). Announce that the only legitimate government over Tibetans is that of the People’s Republic Of China (PRC)
4) Formally renounce any and all all political authority deriving from, and resign, your position as Sikyong (Political Leader) and formally close that office.
5). Release a formal statement agreeing that Taiwan is part of the PRC.
6) Publish a statement acknowledging that ‘Tibet’ is formed only by the boundaries of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region
7) Release a formal admission that Tibet and its people, have since ancient times, been a part of China
8) Concede publicly that matters relating to Tibet and Tibetans is an internal affair of China and make known through a formal public announcement that all criticisms by the CTA of China and its polices in Tibet will end.
We believe that such measures would be a progressive and encouraging development in Doctor Sangay’s efforts to obtain a resolution to the ongoing impasse to negotiations with China. While there maybe some criticism of these compromises, no doubt from the usual hotheads who lack your political wisdom and insight, such is the price of reassuring China’s regime. After all the benefits are immense, citizenship under the laws on autonomy as defined by the Communist Party of China, what a rosy future that would mean for the Zang ethnic minority (formerly known at the Tibetans of U-Tsang)
Image: courtesy of @tibettruth
Is this what this organization wants inscribed on its tombstone? As we understand the situation no formal agreement has been issued by RTYC Bangalore apart from a vague and brief statement that appeared on Facebook yesterday:
Clearly this issue is of immense importance and this organization needs to release a clear and formal statement concerning any decision on withdrawing support for Tibet’s rightful independence. Should such a declaration be made we shall be happy to feature it here and extend to RTYC Bangalore the right to offer a rejoinder to this post.
There are questions which demand answering. For example why has RTYC Bangalore insisted no decision has been reached YET according to Tibetan journalist Tendar Tibet Tsering such an agreement was reached by its Executive to forgo Tibet’s independence?
There had been circulating some unsubstantiated suggestions that RTYC Baroda was following a similar line, so via Facebook we requested a clarification, our FB admin was informed (via private message) that such claims were baseless rumor. It is not unusual however for various speculations to pulse through exiled Tibetan communities and so we are very happy to post any formal and definitive statement from RTYC Baroda that it is not considering any review of its commitment to Rangzen.
In the year 330 BCE Alexander the Great conquered the Persian capital Pārśapura (Persepolis), and after looting its treasures, burned the great palace and surrounding city to the ground. Such is the nature of the invader and colonist. It’s the psychosis of the conqueror to destroy the cultural symbols of the vanquished and to impose representations of the new order, there’s racism operating in which the culture of a subject people is seen not merely as alien but inferior. An extension of such thinking portrays the invasion, occupation and exploitation of another culture as some form of inevitable ‘progress’, we only need to recall the ‘Manifest Destiny’ justification, that encouraged and excused the genocide against the Native American peoples. Within such imperialist reasoning there are no oppressed, no freedom denied or sovereignty stolen, what exists is a grateful people benefiting from the technical, economic and educational superiority of a more advanced society!
Of course symbolism as ever is important, a grand gesture to reinforce the notion of supremacy, no more appropriate setting for such aggression than an iconic cultural landmark or sacred location. A triumphalism let loose and a reminder of who holds the power. No place in North America illustrates such a racist and imperialist arrogance more disturbingly than the so-called national memorial in South Dakota.
Like the First Nations of North America the people of occupied Tibet are witnessing the destruction of their sacred landscape as mountains and lakes considered as holy are ruthlessly exploited by Chinese companies. The traditional architecture of Tibetan towns is facing extinction too, after decades of Chinese occupation many Tibetan settlements have been transformed into concrete and glass examples of Chinese ‘modernity’, with the loss of a unique architectural and cultural Tibetan heritage. Such obliteration is particularly noticeable in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, which has witnessed the demolition of the majority of Tibetan architecture. Indeed there remains now only a core of the traditional city and that has only been tolerated due to its appeal as a tourist cash-cow.
However even that area now appears under threat as China seeks to construct various shopping malls and offices in the center of Lhasa, an action that would add further erosive pressures upon that iconic symbol of Tibetan Buddhism, the Jokhang Temple. Recent reports from Tsering Woeser, the Chinese-Tibetan Blogger, has revealed a new program of destruction which has attracted the concern of Tibetans worldwide, who are mobilizing various campaigns to expose and oppose this latest assault upon Tibet’s rich heritage.
Image: via thetibetsun
Any efforts to oppose this destruction are welcome, however it should not be forgotten by anyone who feels sad and frustrated with the situation in Lhasa, that while China has the ability to demolish Tibetan architecture it cannot obliterate from Tibetan hearts the desire or determination to strive for an independent Tibetan nation.
Meanwhile if you feel compelled to take action against the loss of Tibetan architecture do contact Paris-based UNESCO, either call them directly +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00 or via their Twitter account at @UNESCO Ask them to issue a statement on China’s demolition of Tibetan architectural heritage in Lhasa.