As 2010 awaits, looking back at the closing year there is not much fuel to maintain the fires of optimism. Afghanistan suffers still, Iraq struggles to rise from the destruction visited upon it, courtesy of the USA and Britain. Palestine continues to be sorely oppressed, with the people of Gaza abused by an Israeli authority contemptuous of international law. Much debate and analysis continues to greet these issues, yet in essence such cases do not require philosophical examination, nor intellectual reasoning, they are simply an abhorrence.
Likewise, the invasion and subsequent destruction of Tibet’s Buddhist culture, in which a nation, that had enjoyed all the features of an independent state, was forcibly annexed and its people brutalized, massacred, starved, marginalized and assaulted with a range of social, and political controls. All of which shared one objective, the eradication of Tibet’s distinct culture and identity. Such cultural genocide invites a response from anyone possessed of normal intelligence and integrity. An ethical demand is surely placed upon the conscience of any who uphold the values of justice, freedom and human rights.
Do we stand with those who endure and resist such oppression? Should we wring-our-hands and peddle defeatism and despair, or be inspired by the incredible bravery and sacrifices made by those who risk all to champion the cause of independence and identity? If we subscribe to the path of so-called ‘realism’, what future awaits the spirited and freedom loving people of Tibet? After more than five decades of Chinese rule Tibetans know too well that under Beijing’s ever draconian grip, no form of so-called autonomy will respect their cultural, political or national identity. China seeks to extinguish any sense of Tibetan separateness, and is thus entirely intolerant of increased ‘autonomy’. The assimilation and colonization will continue, whatever insane agreement may be reached between the TGIE and Beijing. The ruthless exploitation of Tibet’s environment, the mass-programs of forced sterilizations, which traumatizes countless Tibetan women, the censorship and oppression, the political control and murderous suppression of any form of dissent, will continue.
Such is the reward of submitting to Chinese control. The alternative to such capitulation has already been committed to action by those inside Tibet, resist the occupation, protest against the injustice and violations, and remind both the world and communist China that the hopes, determination and desire for Tibetan freedom burns as strong now as ever.