Image:capture from facebook video posted via sonam samanatha
In exile Tibet’s cause reached a disappointing low on March 10, a date commemorating the 1959 Lhasa Uprising and a central focus to honor Tibetans inside Tibet who continue their courageous and peaceful resistance to Chinese tyranny. For the second year running New York was the stage upon which a cynical game of manipulation and the promotion of political approved agendas was acted out.Unlike last year however, when such covert actions were restricted to the prominent placement of slogans promoting the policy adopted by and actively followed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and the Central Tibetan Administration events yesterday took a disturbing turn for the worse.
It would appear that in the land of free speech there is no place within the Tibetan
community of New York for any mention of Tibet’s independence or slogans calling for a
free Tibet. So what was going down? From various reports it appears that a coalition of
censorship and political conformity, comprising prominent figures within the Regional
Tibetan Youth Congress, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, Tibetan Community and
Chushi Gangdruk had agreed upon excluding from the organized rally any voices or protests that dissented from the officially approved call for ‘genuine autonomy’.
The resulting scenes were deeply troubling with Tibetans, by their own people, being
marginalized, bullied and censored simply for daring to promote the rightful national
freedom of Tibet. As you may imagine the sense of outrage, frustration and sadness which emerged was a cause of much debate and division, resulting in division, accusations and genuine anger. Understandably so, after all the struggle being waged inside Tibet seeks not submitting to Chinese communist laws on autonomy but demands nation liberation and independence, it is the duty and birthright of exiled Tibetans to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Tibet towards that just objective.
The resultant reaction across various social media platforms has been volcanic to say the
least, especially upon Facebook, people rightly condemn what was a blatant attempt to
censor any mention of Tibetan independence by silencing and ostracizing those who dared to shout for national freedom. Much finger-pointing, excuses and denial have been offered in the subsequent exchanges on the subject with calls for unity and tolerance, yet those who seek to castigate pro-independence Tibetans as being responsible for causing
disabling division are being duplicitous and delusional in their criticism.
Why so? Well the origins for this regrettable incident are to be correctly sourced not to people holding a conviction who support Tibet’s independence, nor can it be explained in any reasonable manner to an unwillingness to tolerate different views on Tibet. The seeds of this divisive and damaging schism were engineered in the political laboratories of a Central Tibetan Administration that for years now has been actively promoting a policy of appeasing China’s regime. It’s Middle Way ‘solution’ seeks not an independent Tibet but merely the application of Chinese communist laws relating to autonomy of so-called ‘ethnic minorities’.
There’s a problem though, and one lying in a dark corner that explains events at the rally yesterday, the Chinese regime has long dismissed such overtures from the CTA as a veiled bid for independence. So from the perspective of the Central Tibetan Administration the issue of Tibetan independence is deeply problematical, indeed it is regarded as an obstacle to progressing talks with China, as such a response was needed.
How best to reassure China that the CTA was not advocating an independent Tibet? Statements to that effect were clearly not enough, actions were needed, some physical manifestation perhaps to help dispossess the Chinese government of its suspicions? So in addition to relentlessly affirming via official statements that only genuine autonomy is being sough a covert campaign has been set in motion that’s manipulating various global protests for Tibet, along with the exile Tibetan community into endorsing the official proposals of the CTA. False choices are being presented in which supporting the Middle Way is portrayed as being loyal to the cause of Tibet and His Holiness, while advocates of Tibet’s rightful independence are marginalized as being disloyal, extreme or unrealistic. Such has been the toxic and cynical narrative increasingly clouding the exiled Tibetan movement.
To the disadvantage and embarrassment of Tibet’s cause there are a significant number of Tibetans in New York who for reasons of conformity, lack of understanding, personal gain or wishing to demonstrate what in reality is a misplaced loyalty now act as censorial attack-dogs for the policy of surrender being pushed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and his colleagues within the Central Tibetan Administration. Their unthinking obedience is betraying the sacrifices and common political aspirations of their brothers and sisters inside occupied Tibet, such treachery, for that is what it is, needs to be urgently exposed and challenged, in that regard we hope that their disgraceful attempt to silence fellow Tibetans who support Tibet’s independence will serve as a call to action!