Communist China has again (February 1) formally rejected any notion of improved autonomy for Tbetans, it has also dismissed extending such freedoms to the three traditional regions of Tibet (Amdo, Kham and U-Tsang) so-called Greater Tibet, which the Dalai Lama rightly insists compromises Tibetan territory. Thus, as known for many years, Beijing’s focus is entirely upon the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (a truncated area carved from Tibet following China’s annexation of the country). Even within that area the prospect of genuine political, religious and social freedom is unlikely in the extreme.
What now for Samdhong Rinpoche and other advocates for negotiations and compromise with China? The choices are stark indeed, abandon Amdo and Kham and further talks are possible, providing of course that Tibet’s political leader also conforms to additional demands not to engage in any activity which Beijing considers against the interests of China. Such an action would cruelly betray the Tibetan people, formalise the partition of historic Tibet, acknowledge that Amdo and Kham are Chinese territory, and also result in the extinction of Tibet as an international issue, with the demise of Tibet’s national identity.
Surely the moment has arrived for the Exiled Tibetan Administration to jettison its fossilized and vacuous strategy of appeasing communist China, to re-instore Tibetan freedom as the central objective, withdraw from any further attempts at negotiating, and launch a renewed international effort to promote and secure Tibet’s self-determination and independence. There is only one course to follow, the alternatives would submit to slavery and the consignment of a distinct Tibetan identity to the history books, one people, one nation, one goal-independence for Tibet.
Tibetans inside Tibet and beyond will be looking to their leadership and praying that the myopia and political desperation which has driven the Exiled Tibetan Administration to compromise on Tibet’s nationhood, will be swiftly replaced by a unified and resolute policy based upon the goal of national liberation.
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