Why Are Tibetans Asked To Surrender Their Just Cause?

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No matter how devoted to the cause of Tibet supporters of Tibetan national freedom may be, the distracting currents of confusion, resulting from conflicting statements issued by Tibet’s, now only spiritual leader, continue to generate puzzling diversions. Take the latest comments, reported April 22 by Voice of Tibet, in which the Dalai Lama is claimed to have made the following request

‘Instead of independence, I plead other freedom fighters to adopt middle way’:

For anyone not familiar with that term, ‘middle way’ refers to a set of proposals put to China by the Tibetan leader, in which he abandoned aspirations for Tibet’s rightful independence, in exchange for seeking a form of autonomy under China’s national and regional laws. Here’s the confusing part. In 2009 during an NBC television interview the Dalai Lama conceded that his ‘Middle Way’ proposals had proved a failure, which he again repeated during a BBC interview in 2012 , where he affirmed that:

“Our approach [has been] more or less failure to get some kind of cross understanding with the Chinese government and some kind of improvement inside Tibet. In that aspect [it has] completely failed,”

This somewhat contradictory circumstance is difficult to understand, a situation in which inside occupied Tibet courageous Tibetans are resisting China’s vicious occupation to demand independence for Tibet, yet in exile their spiritual leader is asking them to forgo that struggle and embrace a policy, which he himself has conceded has proved a singular failure. Beyond this troubling contradiction however lie even darker waters, the consequences and challenges of which can only be fully understood or felt by Tibetans themselves, arising from their deeply profound and historically established faith and reverence towards the Dalai Lama.

In making such an appeal the Tibetan leader is unwittingly placing a colossal burden upon the shoulders of those who are actively seeking Tibet’s national freedom, as his words speak directly to the heart of each Tibetan, forcing an impossible dilemma upon individuals to honor and respect the wishes of the Dalai Lama, at the expense of surrendering Tibet’s just cause, for a condition in which Tibetans would remain under China’s draconian grip, with at best cosmetic improvements and limited religious or cultural freedoms. It is nothing less than asking Tibetans to give up their decades old struggle and endorse a ‘solution’ which not only has been consistently rejected by China’s Regime, but one in which the very author of that proposal, the Dalai Lama, has admitted has failed.

What is going on behind the scenes which may help to explain this remarkable appeal? Is it simply the words of an enlightened Buddhist who wishes to see an end to the suffering of his people and feels the surrendering of their struggle would best serve that objective? Alternatively, are his words constructed to send a positive signal to China, in a bid to encourage negotiations between his representatives and their counterparts from the Chinese government? Without doubt the ongoing self-immolations and violent oppression inside occupied Tibet have focused minds within the exiled Central Tibetan Administration, yet as their compatriots defy the tyranny of China’s paramilitary forces, to demand national independence, such an appeal not only undermines their efforts and sacrifices but generates confusion for a people who would follow their leader over the edge of a precipice.

5 thoughts on “Why Are Tibetans Asked To Surrender Their Just Cause?

  1. Wow, good questions. As I read this I am remembering the hardships the Tibetan people have endured. Hardships which I can only hope to understand. I think the self-immolators are making an impact, but on whom?

  2. Guri says:

    we all know that the middle way approach failed, but by whom??? isnt it the CCP? sure, the dalai lama and the central tibetan administration failed to work out a deal with those authoritarian thugs, no doubt, but the middle way policy itself is not a failure at all!! the CCP isnt just loosing in tibet, it looses in the whole of the PRC, every single day a little more! just because the CCP managed to raise chinas economy by exploiting its people by selling it to foreign companies to slave conditions doesnt mean they will succeed in the future! the days of the CCP being outnumbered very soon since they terrorize all people in the PRC territory and violating the laws and its own constitution daily till the people will rise up against them, what always happens from time to time and more and more protests are being held every year!

    the CCP fails, not the middle way policy! its just more that the middle way will never ever become reality, they will skip it and start with independence instead, since the CCP will be destroyed and tibet and the whole of china will be free soon

    • Guri, Thanks for your insights on this, you raise valid points, as to the failure, that relates to the fact that the Middle Way failed to be the capitulation demanded by China, so it has been rejected consistently. It also fails seriously the Tibetan struggle waged inside occupied Tibet by abandoning Tibetan nationhood in favor of submitting to Chinese rule with limited and cosmetic improvements in so-called ‘autonomy’

  3. Guri says:

    if you take a look at tibets history, everything except independence is unacceptable, no doubt! regarding to this viewpoint, the middle-way approach is a failure, yet the only logical thing to ask for if you negotiate with something like the CCP who claims sovereignity over tibet and the fact that todays world leaders support this, historically inaccurate as hell, views by china by accepting chinas rule over tibet openly and in such a disgusting way, yet they all agree to the dalai lama’s middle-way approach. its tibets only hope for now till china stands up and abandon the evil communist party and freedom will ring in tibet with full independence, for sure! this is the plan, nothing else will work! open the eyes of more and more chinese! the tibetans failed to greet chen guangchengs arrival in the united states to show support once again which is very sad! such an oppurturnity to show support for the han chinese struggle should be taken everytime….

    tibet will be free when the chinese people killed off the CCP! lets just hope that till then, there is a “tibet” left that can be freed

    • It is easy to note the alluring reason in such a viewpoint, however hoping for compromise and reason from China’s tyrants to accommodate such a proposal is political innocence off any known scale. Secondly the idea that ordinary Chinese people and a more democratic Chinese system would happily agree to Tibetan independence again smacks of optimism over reality. Can we truly imagine a future democratic China would not wish to maintain control over Tibet and its resources, including water? Agree that it is helpful to inform Chinese dissident movement, yet it is also instructive to note just how few within that body has expressed support for an independent Tibet. Shapes of things to come perhaps!

      Lastly the proposal to seek ‘autonomy’ within China, that has received such crocodile support from western governments, misses one very important factor, namely the struggle being waged by Tibetans inside Tibet, and their rightful aspiration for Tibet’s independence. As Kundun has stated it is not for the Dalai Lama, nor the Chinese government to determine Tibet’s future status, but the 6 million Tibetans.

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