One of Tibettruth’s major campaigns is to ensure that the voice of Tibetans inside Tibet is not misrepresented, ignored or concealed, their courageous protests for national freedom, and determined resistance to China’s occupation has one central objective, independence for Tibet. A fact witnessed during the many demonstrations that erupted across Tibet during the Uprisings of 2008, that continue today. That aspiration is not supported by the exiled Tibetan Government, nor by governments who cynically promote the Dalai Lama’s compromising strategy of so-called genuine autonomy for Tibet, in order to placate Chinese sensitivities, and maintain positive commercial and political relations with Beijing.
Such sly political posturing betrays the hopes of Tibetans and rejects their legitimate demand for self-determination and independence, by actively supporting the Dalai Lama’s proposed solution, which would surrender Tibet’s right to national identity and self-determination in exchange for a form of autonomy under communist Chinese rule. Politicians across the United States, Europe and elsewhere have endorsed this proposal as a means of supposedly resolving the issue of Tibet and emphasize the realism and foresight of Tibet’s leader, while regarding calls for Tibetan independence with a barely concealed contempt.
Tibetans should not be deceived by such duplicitous and self-serving support, the object of which is not to secure a just solution for Tibet but to finally remove what continues to be a troubling obstacle in terms of relations with China. Such an outcome would consign Tibetans to a dangerous and uncertain future as another minority people of China, and extinguish Tibet as an international issue, the USA and Europe would be relieved of an unwelcome hindrance in their economic and political exchanges with China. It should be recalled too that the people of East Timor were not pressed by the same governments to accept Indonesian rule, nor Kosovans required by international political opinion to submit to the authority of Serbian governance, yet Tibetans are informed that accepting Chinese rule is the only solution.
There is a well organized political effort across governments and international institutions to promote this surrender, under the guise of aiding the Dalai Lama the USA, European Union and others are actively engaged in promoting the capitulation of Tibet’s nationhood and suppressing any discussion or exposure of the political aspirations of Tibetans inside Tibet. Tibettruth has been actively challenging such censorship and evasion by lobbying the US Congress, the European Union and individual Governments to recognize the political objectives of the Tibetan people inside Tibet. Thanks to the support and activism of our subscribers and supporters those aspirations for an independent Tibet have been directed at Senators, and Members of Parliament of the European Union.
The response has been extremely revealing and demonstrates just how politically sensitive is the issue of Tibetan independence for those politicians and governments who are seeking to bury Tibet as an issue of international concern.Tibetruth asked people to lobby directly their political representatives to present a specific question, within Europe this sought to get a response from Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (a virtually identical question was put to Senators by US subscribers of Tibettruth)
“Will the High Representative acknowledge that Tibetans inside Tibet , in their ongoing resistance to Chinese occupation, are demanding independence for Tibet?
This simple and clear inquiry seemed to generate considerable difficulty for politicians, who either ignored their constituents efforts to obtain an answer, or in responding evaded the question entirely. A number of Tibetruth subscribers in Europe very kindly forwarded copies of response received from their Member of the European Parliament. The following extracts summarize accurately the equivocal responses to this important question:
“I think the statement that you are asking MEPs to send to Baroness Ashton is factually incorrect. It is well known that for some time the position of the Tibetan Government in Exile is to retain some meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people but not to seek independence from China…” (Reply On Behalf of Ms. Mary Honeyball MEP).
“Conservative MEPs though supportive of cultural autonomy for Tibetans supports the territorial integrity of the PRC so we cannot support your line of questioning to the High Rep Baroness Ashton.” (Reply on Behalf of Dr Charles Tannock MEP)
Despite such slippery posturing it was highly encouraging to note that some politicians were possessed of sufficient independence-of-mind and political conviction commitment to press the question within the Senate and European Union. One example in particular merits exposure and Tibettruth express its appreciation to supporters in London, England, for their action on this campaign, and to Mr Syed Kamall MEP for presenting a parliamentary question to the European Commission, as follows:
“To the Commission- Subject: Chinese occupation in Tibet. I have been contacted by a constituent who would like to know if the Commission acknowledges that Tibetans inside Tibet , in their ongoing resistance to Chinese occupation, are demanding independence for Tibet . If so, my constituent would like to know what the Commission is doing to support these Tibetans in their efforts to achieve independence.” (April 20, 2010 E-2591/10 written question by Syed Kamall-MEP)
The response from the European Commission, which was released on June 2, shows a staggering degree of denial and discomfort when addressing the subject of the political aspirations of the Tibetan people for independence, if we are to accept as fact the assertions it contains, then unlike the rest-of-the world, politicians within the European Union were seemingly blind to the many media reports that documented demonstrations across Tibet in 2008 which called for independence.
“The Commission is unaware of the facts described in the written question of the Honourable Member. . The EU position does not leave any room for misinterpretation. Therefore, let me stress: the EU respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China , including Tibet ….We respect the ‘one China ’ policy. However, we have always supported peaceful reconciliation through dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the representatives of the Dalai Lama. This dialogue has to be constructive and substantive, addressing all core issues such as the preservation of Tibet’s unique culture, religion and traditions and the need to achieve a system of meaningful autonomy for Tibet within the Chinese Constitution…. The dialogue should also address the participation of all Tibetans in decision making. For the EU, Tibet is a human rights issue. We have consistently passed this message on to our Chinese counterparts and listened carefully to their views, and we make every effort to understand their position in a spirit of mutual respect…. We welcome that the Tibetan side has reiterated its firm commitment not to seek separation or independence…”. (Maros Sefcovica Member Of The Commission, June 2, 2010 E-2591/10)
The European Union’s lack of awareness of China’s atrocities in Tibet reached sickening depths in 1998 when an EU Delegation of Ambassadors to Drapchi Prison in Lhasa, were apparently oblivious to the shootings of unarmed Tibetan political prisoners, as they stood outside the prison gates! As with the State Department, the European Union is contemptuously dismissive of self-determination and independence for Tibet and callously indifferent to the courageous struggle being waged by Tibetans inside Tibet, who unlike their exiled government (which receives the crocodile support of western governments) are not seeking negotiations with China, nor any form of autonomy as a solution.
They do not define their cause as one of human rights but national freedom and cultural identity, yet the European Union and the USA is unmoved, more concerned with appeasing communist China for political and economic interest. If through advocating the Dalai Lama’s proposals they can bring about the demise of Tibet as an international issue and legitimize forever China’s bogus claims over Tibet then they will have succeed in their objective of serving national interests.
What counts in Brussels and Washington DC is not the rightful cause of the Tibetan people and the re-establishment of their nation, but the economic, political and military power of communist China. Tibetans would do well to reflect upon that reality and urgently review the political support from such questionable international friends.