International Campaign To Betray Tibet’s Struggle

Lodi Gyari Advocates Autonomy As Tibetans Strive For Independence

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Should the so-named International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), an organization based in Washington DC consider re-branding itself and selecting a working title more reflective of its policies and objectives? The ICT has a long history of averting its usually meticulous gaze from the issue of Tibet’s independence, the common aspiration of Tibetans across occupied Tibet, and has on numerous occasions either ignored or misrepresented on the issue, inviting questions about promoting an agenda in accord with that of the Exiled Tibetan Government, namely accepting Chinese rule in exchange for what’s described as ‘meaningful autonomy’.  A prominent Tibetan figure within the ICT is Executive Director, Lodi Gyari, a personal envoy of the Dalai Lama, and member of a negotiating team that meets with the Chinese Regime to seek a ‘solution’ to the issue of Tibet. He is an advocate of surrender to China’s rule and has even recently taken to suggesting his compatriots in Tibet are one of China’s  ‘nationalities’. Report Here According to archive reports in the Tibetan Review, in 1990 Gyari was a leading participant at an international conference on Tibet, during which an agreed statement was mysteriously edited at the last minute, without the knowledge of those attending, to remove the term ‘statehood and independence’ from a reference to the rights of Tibetan people!

The ICT has over the years maintained, what appears to be a policy of omitting or expunging any reference to the subject of Tibet’s  independence, most notably when reporting on protests from within Tibet. In 2007 there was the widely reported case of Tibetan protester Ronggay A’Drak who leaped upon a stage at a Chinese propaganda show to demand independence for Tibet and a return of the Dalai Lama. For whatever reason the normally accurate ICT failed to report that Tibetan protester, Ronggay A’Drak had called for Tibet’s independence. They were forced to concede the fact in the September 2007 edition of the Tibetan Review,  claiming that they could confirm other comments made by Ronggay,  but strangely were not able verify the fact he had indeed called for Tibetan independence. Other credible organizations did not suffer from such challenges, including the Tibetan news service Phayul  Article Here as had the respected Tibetan research group, the Tibetan Center For Human Rights & Democracy (TCHRD) Report Here 

Further omission and misrepresentation struck again in their reportage of the 2008 Tibetan national Uprising. As Tibetans took to the streets on March 14 of that year demanding independence Reports Here  a fact reported by Reuters and the TCHRD, a spokesperson for the International Campaign For Tibet appeared on the BBC World Service’s ‘News-Hour’, who became more than objective commentator and morphed into spokesperson for the Tibetan people, by asserting that Tibetans were seeking a very different political objective, so-called ‘genuine autonomy’. Interview Extract Here 

That fact-free assertion was a cynical dissimulation of the objective of thousands Tibetans who risked their lives to demand Tibet’s rightful independence and once again revealed that the ICT appears unwilling or unable to report honestly on the political aspirations of Tibetan protests. It is disappointing and troubling that such a body with its resources, and political and media influence should be presenting  the struggle inside Tibet in such a distorted and selective fashion. An article written by its current President, Mary-Beth Markey, published on May 26 2011 opens with the following observations

“Every day, Tibetans risk their lives to speak up for the Dalai Lama’s return and against Chinese policies that constrain their free access to their spiritual leader….”.  She goes on to advocate so-called ‘genuine autonomy for Tibetans as a solution, no doubt fully aware that inside occupied Tibet the Tibetan people are risking their freedom and lives to call for their nation’s independence. Such a reality does not seem to bother either Ms Markey or her organization who appear indifferent to the political aspirations of Tibet’s people and their struggle for national liberation.  Clearly we are in the presence of agenda here one that promotes the abandonment of Tibet’s nationhood, ignores the rights of Tibet’s people to independence and is seemingly content to misreport and misrepresent the objectives of political struggle in Tibet. Maybe it should consider re-naming itself as ‘International Campaign For the Betrayal Of Tibet’s Cause’?

2 thoughts on “International Campaign To Betray Tibet’s Struggle

  1. There is certainly a lot of tragedy in the loss of the Tibetan lands and the way the Chinese are fighting to remove Tibetan culture.
    Concerning the opinion or call of the Dalai Llama for Autonomous Tibetan Rule within the Chinese Government, we must take into account the practicality of the call.
    Tibet has about as much chance of getting their land and self-governance from China as The Native American Indians have of getting their land back from The United States of America. It doesn’t matter what the morality of the takeover was at this point, it’s best to take stock of the current situation and move forward.

    • Thanks for your views. The central issue from our perspective relates to the common political aspiration of 6 million Tibetans for their nation’s rightful independence .While theargument of practicality has an allyre in terms of reason, fact remains that Tibetans are striving for their national freedom, not autonomy, therefore the article argues it is the ethical and compassionate obligation of so-called support groups to stand with the Tibetan people,regardless of the challenges.Such struggles often face overwhelmings odds and many voices of reason have counselled against resistance and for ‘pragmatism’, only should the Tibetan people decide that course for their cause will our network endorse such strategy, until then we are in solidarity with the cause of national liberation. It is a matter of regret that organizations such as the ICT seem unable or unwilling to support the same goal as that of Tibetans in occupied Tibet.

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