Exiled Tibetan Minister Smears His Own People?

Lobsang Sangay


It is a well known and recorded truth that inside occupied Tibet the Tibetan people have been resisting for decades China’s illegal and violent occupation. It is also a fact that Tibetans in their protests, individually and collectively have as a major political objective, Tibet’s independence, as revealed by a wealth of documented material and ongoing reports emerging from that blighted land. It is therefore accurate and fair to describe the Tibetan resistance as being pro-independence, a reality long acknowledged by the Dalai Lama in various statements.

What then are we to make of comments from the exiled Tibetan Prime Minister, Lobsang Sangay, reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald in which the Harvard educated lawyer offered a troubling response to what was presented to be the challenge of maintaining a line against non-violence; which the reporter implied was becoming difficult for younger Tibetans to support, in light of the moderate  policies (political suicide more accurately describes those) of the exiled Tibetan administration.

When asked if that was becoming more difficult he replied:

“Yes in some senses because as more time passes, and there’s no progress, it validates the pro-independence argument – ‘see we told you so’. But for us, the values of democracy and non-violence are not negotiable.” Source: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dreams-of-a-leader-of-a-land-he-has-never-seen-20120625-20yh1.html

Interesting how those values are of such supreme importance that they are to be blindly followed despite a singular absence of any progress in terms of securing a meaningful agreement from China’s regime, however we digress, So the lawyer, with a trained exactitude for words, is content to suggest that those Tibetans who are actively support Tibetan independence have less regard for non-violence and democratic values than the privileged cabal known as the exiled Tibetan Administration? Moreover do these remarks slander the young Tibetans inside occupied Tibet who take to the streets to demand Tibetan independence and freedoms, that are indeed steeped in democratic principle, such as free speech, right to dissent and national self determination? His words are deeply divisive and fail to respect the common political aspiration of Tibetans for their nation’s independence, in portraying advocates of Tibet’s national independence as violent objectors to democratic they display an uneasy similarity to the rhetoric usually associated with China’s regime, it too denigrates Tibetan protesters seeking independence as violent.

By wrongly tainting the demand for Tibetan independence with violence Lobsang Sangay is walking a very dangerous road indeed, alienating himself and his exiled Administration from a deeply held hope of all Tibetans for an independent Tibet, and misrepresenting a Tibetan youth, which is courageously opposing China’s tyranny to demand their country’s rightful independence.It may well be that his comments were designed to appease China, a move to reassure the Chinese Regime by disassociating the exiled Tibetan Administration from the issue of Tibet’s independence by criticizing and denigrating those seeking that goal. If so, what next? How far is this position from endorsing China’s claims that such Tibetans are criminals seeking to split the Motherland? Is there no depth to which the  appeasement of China’s Regime will not sink?

4 thoughts on “Exiled Tibetan Minister Smears His Own People?

  1. All good and important debate, necessary in a democracy, especially one whose very nation (and many lives) are under threat.

    However, please take care not to carelessly undermine very, very good work being done. Kalon Tripa had a hugely successful visit here, and is getting through to many people, next phase on target, as sleepy Australia makes vaguely awakening noises. The supporters here are very dedicated, and few work as hard as ATC, Simon and Kyinzom, as well as community leaders and representatives. Praise your good people for their hard work! Acknowledge the very wonderful work just done by your democratically elected leader.

    Tibet may even need to develop and cultivate more of a ‘culture of praise’ to avid the mindless and frustrating ‘tall poppy syndrome’!

    Both the US and Australia are often in danger of sabotaging (through ignorance, compromise to powerplays, and by not recognising serious manipulation) the very people who are doing the very best work in politics. Leadership is subtle and difficult at this time in history, and bullying is rife. Take care.

    Supporting very good leaders is just as important (in my opinion) as questioning and debating their words and actions.

    1. The issue was not the positive actions which Lobsang Sangay engages in, but his position, and more worryingly recent comments, regarding Tibet’s cause. While we recognize the validity of your points, fact remains that the CTA and Lobsang are not in harmony with the political objectives and struggle being waged by their compatriots in occupied Tibet, who sacrifice and resist NOT for slavery under China (so-called autonomy) BUT for their rightful independence. It is a tragedy that neither Lobsang or the CTA stand with their people in that courageous effort.

      As to ATC, we would be interested to know why they remain silent on the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women? Do you know the reason?

    2. I totally agree with you Kerry, thank you for your support for Tibet, freedom and truth.

      And tibettruth: The on-going crisis in Tibet are more worrying than these recent comments. It is good to pin-point arguable issues in order to make room for improvements but horrific description and finding some how a way to join it to “claim[ing] such Tibetans are criminals seeking to split the Motherland” next it way too much. Non-violence and the MIddle Way Approach (MWA) is the stand of the CTA (including Kalon Tripa), the Tibetan public have their own stand, may be independence or may be the MWA. So in short, I would worry more about our brothers and sisters in Tibet, their sacrifices and what we can do to bring peace and freedom in Tibet rather than creating unfair and negative doubts about the Tibetan community in exile and the Kalon Tripa.

      1. The doubts, divisions and uncertainties have been set in place, not by the article, but the policies, words and actions as expressed by Lobsang Sangay and the CTA, which instead of supporting the demands and common political aspirations of Tibetans in occupied Tibet, consistently ignore, marginalize or worse, oppose those rightful objectives, by appeasing China to secure so-called autonomy under China’s domination. That is where the negativity and concern is created, by the CTA refusing to honor and respect the struggle waged by the courageous Tibetan people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s