It is a sad fact that within the exiled Tibetan elementary education system there is virtually no study of the twenty year war- of-resistance waged by Tibetans against communist Chinese occupation following the invasion of 1950. Nor it would appear does the ongoing Tibetan resistance appear on the curriculum for Tibetan children. Apart from schooling in essential subjects, the emphasis is upon the remarkable achievements of the Dalai Lama, the history and role of Tibetan Government in Exile, the noble truths of Buddhism and the profuse and ancient Tibetan cultural traditions.
There is it would seem no place for recent Tibetan history, no accommodation of the heroic sacrifices of Chushi Gangdruk, whose inspiring and valorous exploits are perversely absent. The struggle for nationhood, individual sacrifices, the political aspiration for Tibetan independence, sense of national identity and political history has been selectively excluded by Tibetan education administration in favour of affirming more passive and Buddhist centered values. Arguably no bad things, however at a period when Tibet’s culture is under increasing assault and erosion, with Tibetans facing violent oppression yet resisting communist Chinese rule, surely to educate younger Tibetans about of the inspiring sacrifices of their compatriots, and the movement to regain Tibet’s just and historic independence, would serve to create a powerful sense of unity and purpose. Within a somewhat fractured and disillusioned Tibetan Diaspora, torn by loyalties towards the Dalai Lama and a heartfelt desire for a free and independent Tibet.
Unfortunately there exists within the Tibetan Administration neither the will, interest, or support to afford this subject a prominent and formal place within the exiled Tibetan school curriculum. It would after all possibly generate further opposition to the vacuous and failed Middle Way Approach (which has abandoned Tibetan nationhood with its proposals to accept Chinese dominated autonomy). Yet in concealing and censoring any meaningful study of Tibet’s resistance to Chinese occupation an immensely valuable opportunity is being cast aside, that would invest a sorely needed sense of purpose and determination within Tibetan society and unite, in action and objectives, the will of Tibetans within and beyond Tibet, to strive with one heart for the national freedom of their country.
It is after all a unique and incredible story. A people who despite five decades of suppression, cultural destruction, human rights violations, mass-colonization and assimilation, remain fiercely determined to resist Chinese rule and fight for Tibetan independence, armed only with truth and courage, against a ruthless killing-machine, that seeks the elimination of a separate Tibetan national identity. That resistance, belief and objective, though resulting in individual suffering and loss, is a remarkable display of heroism, and a cause for celebration.
The courageous sacrifices of the Tibetan people should be an inspirational rallying call in the cause of a free and independent Tibet, and most certainly honoured and recognized by the exiled Tibetan Administration, not airbrushed by a prevailing orthodoxy, from history books. Moreover it can serve to unite all Tibetans and their supporters behind one nation, one people, one solution-independence for Tibet. Yet the historic resistance and present sacrifices remain largely ignored, a shameful betrayal of all those Tibetans who gave their lives and freedom for their nation’s independence. That demands to be challenged.
In that context Tibettruth wishes to publicly suggest to Tibetans within the Tibetan Youth Congress, Chushi Gangdruk, Tibetan Associations and the TYAE, the creation of Rangzen Memorials which would bear an inscription in Tibetan, and the language of the host country, to be set up in appropriate places. These could act as an assembly point on relevant dates within the Tibetan calendar, provide an important and powerful symbolic focus for Tibetan communities, which may allow members to honour and reflect on the fight for Rangzen, past and present. We cannot allow that struggle to go un-noticed and dishonoured.