The International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet continues to work against the political aspirations of Tibetans by its shameful promotion of autonomy under communist Chinese law, as a supposed solution to the question of Tibet. Prostrating before the communist Chinese regime, and to the delight of the Tibetan Administration, the honorable Parliamentarians have called upon the forthcoming Toronto G20 economic meeing to actively support “the protection and development of the unique Tibetan identity” claiming that condition could be realized within the “pre-existing principles on autonomy as defined in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China”.
Anyone supportive of Tibet’s right to self-dermination and the Tibetan people’s desire for national independence will not be reassured by the objectives of the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet, which include the following (in italics):
“Seeks a resolution for Tibet that guarantees genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.”
Apart from the inherent difficulties and dangerous ambiguities faced in defining autonomy (it is an almost impossible task to secure a conclusive or succinct legal definition of autonomy. Since it describes a number of political structure and arrangements. One common and somewhat sobering reality shared by all forms however is that any ’rights’, granted to a minority group by the dominant power, are determined by that authority; and more worryingly, in terms of guaranteeing and protecting Tibetan culture, can be removed by that same power. Tibetans will recall that communist China has extended so-called autonomy to Tibet previously, at the time of the so-called 17 Point Peace Agreement. Any dubious rights that presented to Tibet were swiftly and unilaterally removed by China. Such is the precarious security offered by autonomy. The subsequent violence and brutal suppression of five decades of Chinese occupation have demonstrated to Tibetans that meaningful autonomy in practice is not possible from the communist Chinese government.
“Recognizing that the People’s Republic of China has a moral responsibility to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people through fair administration of rule of law under international standards of justice, respect for freedom of religion and expression, protection of the Tibetan people’s right to express their cultural identity and way of life, and implementation of genuine autonomy.”
Tibetans inside Tibet are not opposing Chinese rule as some form of grievance against unfair law, economic disparity or religious expression. As revealed by the 2008 uprising Tibetans are demonstrating for their national independence.
“Considering the experiences of the many autonomous regions around the world, for instance Trentino-South Tyrol in Italy, which have shown that conflicts can be overcome by respecting the fundamental rights of distinct peoples and ethnic and linguistic minorities and enabling them to exercise the right to self-government while respecting territorial integrity of the state.”
Engineering an autonomous entity from a democratic system applying to Italy is of course a somewhat more attainable and realistic objective than establishing such a territory within a totalitarian state like communist Chinese Empire. Moreover Tibetans should be aware that this model only allows the people of South Tyrol control over some of its natural resources, and limited areas of law and administration of justice. Are such ‘rights’ what Tibetans inside Tibet are resisting Chinese occupation for?
The determination to bury forever Tibet’s rightful nationhood and appease communist China by promoting an autonomous solution is clearly blinding these Parliamentarians to the political, economic and strategic objectives of communist China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. Would they have realistically proposed an autonomous region for a Jewish population within Nazi Occupied Europe, and expressed a similar confidence in terms of protecting rights, culture and political autonomy?
In the unlikely event that Beijing accepted the TGIE’s dangerous capitulation, with its willingness to submit to Chinese rule and autonomy under China’s national and regional laws on autonomy, Tibetan national identity would be eradicated. Thankfully, in terms of securing Tibet’s national and political freedom, such a home rule ‘solution’ would never be tolerated by communist China. Even though such an arrangement, would in practice, leave all major economic political and security powers and structure in the hands of Beijing. However, rights extended to so-called minorities are ultimately controlled by the ruling state, and within international understanding limited to the more individualist based issue of human rights. Such a development would mean that Tibet would no longer be an international issue and so considered by the world community very much as an internal matter of the communist Chinese state.
“Support for substantive negotiations between the Chinese government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama toward a meaningful resolution of the Tibet issue, with the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy as a realistic and constructive basis for such negotiations.”
This memorandum which proposes complete submission to Chinese rule has not received the formalized consent of the Tibetan people, moreover how constructive will it be for a future Tibet to accept autonomy as dictated and determined Chinese law? Furthermore there are dangerously oblique and ambiguous elements of this proposal, which leave open an opportunity to agree a so-called ‘single Tibetan Autonomous Region’ that may not include the traditional regions of Kham, Amdo and U-Tsang. This was revealed by remarks made by Samdhong Rinpoche, which referred to such an entity being comprised only of areas already titled as Tibetan Autonomous regions. On a national level of government within Communist Chinese law, Amdo is classed as Qinghai Province, not an autonomous region (even though it has within it Tibetan autonomous areas). Such ambiguity demands immediate clarification. Sadly none has been forthcoming and the Tibetan Government in Exile has refused to issue a public statement, that in any proposals with Beijing, there will be no abandonment of either Kham or Amdo. As such this memorandum is neither realistic nor constructive, and is no more than a formalized surrender of Tibet as a distinct culture and nation
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