It is a well known and recorded truth that inside occupied Tibet the Tibetan people have been resisting for decades China’s illegal and violent occupation. It is also a fact that Tibetans in their protests, individually and collectively have as a major political objective, Tibet’s independence, as revealed by a wealth of documented material and ongoing reports emerging from that blighted land. It is therefore accurate and fair to describe the Tibetan resistance as being pro-independence, a reality long acknowledged by the Dalai Lama in various statements.
What then are we to make of comments from the exiled Tibetan Prime Minister, Lobsang Sangay, reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald in which the Harvard educated lawyer offered a troubling response to what was presented to be the challenge of maintaining a line against non-violence; which the reporter implied was becoming difficult for younger Tibetans to support, in light of the moderate policies (political suicide more accurately describes those) of the exiled Tibetan administration.
When asked if that was becoming more difficult he replied:
“Yes in some senses because as more time passes, and there’s no progress, it validates the pro-independence argument – ‘see we told you so’. But for us, the values of democracy and non-violence are not negotiable.” Source: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dreams-of-a-leader-of-a-land-he-has-never-seen-20120625-20yh1.html
Interesting how those values are of such supreme importance that they are to be blindly followed despite a singular absence of any progress in terms of securing a meaningful agreement from China’s regime, however we digress, So the lawyer, with a trained exactitude for words, is content to suggest that those Tibetans who are actively support Tibetan independence have less regard for non-violence and democratic values than the privileged cabal known as the exiled Tibetan Administration? Moreover do these remarks slander the young Tibetans inside occupied Tibet who take to the streets to demand Tibetan independence and freedoms, that are indeed steeped in democratic principle, such as free speech, right to dissent and national self determination? His words are deeply divisive and fail to respect the common political aspiration of Tibetans for their nation’s independence, in portraying advocates of Tibet’s national independence as violent objectors to democratic they display an uneasy similarity to the rhetoric usually associated with China’s regime, it too denigrates Tibetan protesters seeking independence as violent.
By wrongly tainting the demand for Tibetan independence with violence Lobsang Sangay is walking a very dangerous road indeed, alienating himself and his exiled Administration from a deeply held hope of all Tibetans for an independent Tibet, and misrepresenting a Tibetan youth, which is courageously opposing China’s tyranny to demand their country’s rightful independence.It may well be that his comments were designed to appease China, a move to reassure the Chinese Regime by disassociating the exiled Tibetan Administration from the issue of Tibet’s independence by criticizing and denigrating those seeking that goal. If so, what next? How far is this position from endorsing China’s claims that such Tibetans are criminals seeking to split the Motherland? Is there no depth to which the appeasement of China’s Regime will not sink?