On the subject of Kundun’s resignation the discussion has attracted the attention of Mr. Robert Barnet See Article
He offers an outline of historic episodes from Tibet in which the succession of the Dalai Lama was seemingly arranged to ensure a retention of political control and facilitate a trouble-free continuity to exclude external interference from either China’s then Mongolian and later Manchu rulers, both cultures having embraced Buddhism and eager to secure relations with the institution of the Dalai Lama.
The former part-time actor seems eager to elicit sympathy for China’s bloody regime by asking us to consider, that the recent decision by the Dalai Lama to retire, is thought by China’s regime to be a similar move, aimed to prevent Chinese interference. He asks readers to ‘understand’ the position of China, its sense of distrust based on centuries of political history and occasions when the Mongolian and Manchu dynasties that ruled China were outflanked by Tibetans, determined to prevent any foreign meddling in the succession between Dalai Lama’s.
Those who are familiar with Mr Barnett’s writing, and his troubling record of misrepresenting the nature of Tibet’s struggle, his long-standing denial and distortions regarding the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women by China’s coercive population control programme, will not be unduly surprised to note yet another article that peddles a barely disguised bias towards China. Occasionally the pseudo-intellectual guard is exposed and we can glimpse crude propaganda of the sort engineered by China’s Xinhua agency. Take the following ‘gem’ asserted by Mr Barnet:
“When Mao briefly allowed Tibet almost total autonomy in the 1950s, it was probably in part because he knew from historians that it had never been a province or an integral part of China in the past”
What disinformation is this? It has echoes of other arch-China apologists Grunfeld and Goldstein and Shakya who chorus the line that Tibetans enjoyed some ‘golden age’ of ‘moderation’ following China’s annexation of Tibet. Not that the oppressed Tibetans took to the streets with tears of gratitude, having seen Mao’s jackbooted thugs trampling over Tibet and its culture!
Surely Mr Barnet is not suggesting Tibetans enjoyed a political freedom, or equates that with the autonomy experienced by the Scots, Basques or Catalans? Far from years of contentment slyly suggested by his assertion, the decade he refers to was one of military tyranny, with cosmetic political posturing in Lhasa, while in Kham and Amdo Tibetans were being subject to ever increasing abuses, suppression and violent tyranny. Strange, how that reality was omitted in his article. Perhaps he was wary of upsetting China’s regime; which (he informs readers) considers Robert Barnett sufficiently impartial, on its occupation of Tibet, to seek his views on the subject of the Dalai Lama’s resignation.