Lobsang Sangay was elected from within the exiled Tibetan community to the post of Prime Minister and travels the world articulating what he and his Administration consider to be the objectives of Tibet’s cause. What this urbane and media aware spokesperson chooses not to mention in his numerous interviews is the reality that the message he peddles is at complete variance with the political struggle being waged inside occupied Tibet. Not only that but the strategy which his declarations endorse, known as the Middle Way policy, has been conceded by the Dalai Lama as a failure. That sobering truth however has not prevented Lobsang Sangay and his colleagues from continuing to flog a very dead yak in their efforts to appease China’s leadership to return to what have proved utterly failed negotiations over Tibet.
His latest comments, featured in Foreign Policy again betray the common aspiration of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet, who face China’s tyranny to demand their rightful independence, while in the air-conditioned comfort of Washington Lobsang was assuring a reporter of The Cable that:
“If Tibet is granted autonomy, that could be a catalyst for moderation of China because if the Chinese government grants autonomy to Tibetans, for the first time they are accepting diversity within and accepting a distinct if not different people,“ (Emphasis Added)
This comment might be misread by some as the exiled Tibetan Minister implying Tibetans are in fact Chinese and belonging to the one big happy nation of the Motherland? Such a concession would not be entirely surprising given the record of dangerous surrender and appeasement which has characterized the efforts of the exiled Tibetan Administration in seeking compromises from China. Later in the same interview he claimed:
“We are asking for genuine autonomy within China, within the framework of the Chinese constitution. We are not challenging Chinese sovereignty or territorial integrity so we are willing to accept the One China concept,” (Emphasis Added)
Precisely who is Lobsang Sangay referring to when he talks of “we”? Clearly not those Tibetans who have for decades resisted China’s illegal and violent occupation of Tibet to demand independence. Nor is he speaking for Tibetans who self-immolate and have distributed leaflets calling for Tibetan independence, shouted slogans calling for the same, or as occurred on June 20 having doused themselves in gasoline and set themselves ablaze held aloft the symbol of Tibetan independence, the national flag of Tibet.
The exiled Tibetan Administration knows very well that Tibetans seek national freedom, a fact recognized on a number of occasions by the Dalai Lama, it is fully aware too of the stream of detailed accounts emerging from Tibet that documents protests, collective and individual that have as a central demand Tibetan independence. However this heartfelt and common aspiration is callously ignored in the pursuit of securing a condition of so-called autonomy in which Tibet’s rightful cause for nationhood is abandoned and Tibetans would remain under China’s bloody maw.