Mr Karma Chophel, exiled Tibetan Parliamentarian vilified, marginalized and misrepresented by an ignorant mindset that has exposed the absence of genuine democracy within Tibetan society. What calumny and character assassination does he or his family now endure because he had the integrity and courage to publicly withdraw his support for a policy which seeks to surrender Tibet’s nationhood in exchange for a dangerous and uncertain future under China’s dubious laws on autonomy?
Was this man of principle set up at a meeting in May this year when a Tibetan student posed, what many would question to be a loaded and agenda driven question to the Dalai Lama? Whose agitated reply claimed the particular Parliamentary comments of Mr Chophel had made the Tibetan leader’s position on Tibet’s future status appear insincere.
The record notes that in withdrawing his support for the Middle Way Mr Chophel noted that while the Dalai Lama may have proposed the policy as a response to the critical circumstances inside Tibet, Chophel felt that on a deeply personal level he longed for Tibetan Independence.
Are such comments truly worthy of the volcanic reaction which has followed? Do they seriously undermine the standing or sincerity of His Holiness with respect to his position on Tibet’s future status? Was Mr.Chopel not simply reflecting upon a very fundamental truth, which ironically His Holiness has previously acknowledged “It’s important for the Chinese authorities to recognize the true aspirations of the Tibetan people..virtually all Tibetans long for nothing less than full independence for our country” (Dalai Lama March 10, 1990). In the quiet moments of a personal and inner communion is it that unlikely, like the vast majority of his countrymen and women, the Dalai Lama has not cherished a dream for a free Tibetan nation?
Yet for daring to suggest as much Karma Chophel seems to have incurred the wrath of the exile Tibetan political establishment, why would his principled and reasonable comments have sparked such a reaction? The answer surely lies in the ongoing efforts to appease China’s regime and convince the Chinese leadership that the exiled Tibetan leadership is indeed sincere in its claim to be seeking only autonomy, as defined by the communist party of China.
The inflamed response to Mr Chophel’s public withdrawal of the Middle Way policy, and his not unreasoned remarks on the Dalai Lama, reflect the raw insecurities of the Central Tibetan Administration, which is desperately promoting what has proved to be a failed ‘solution’. Meanwhile in it’s myopic campaign to accept Chinese rule, minus any democratic rights; as asserted by Doctor Lobsang Sangay, it poses as a democratic body yet is intolerant of the dissenting voice, particularly those that challenge its orthodoxy.