Below is our response to an article ‘The Rangzen Myth’ by Mr Sunanda K. Datta-Ray which appeared in The Asian Age May 25, 2015. Article HERE
The aspiration for an independent Tibet is not represented accurately by being described as ‘myth’. It is a hope and just cause that burns brightly in the hearts of Tibetans, especially those suffering under the tyranny of Chinese occupation.
While there are no doubt considerable challenges to the realization of a liberated and sovereign Tibet being re-established the movement towards such an objective is not helped by a commentary of despair, which while posturing as wise or realistic advice, in truth seems more a message of defeatism.
It is all too easy for those who do not feel the jackboot of a foreign oppressor upon their throat to adopt a position of supposedly informed detachment and realism. No doubt similar voices urged the Irish to face the impossibility of securing national freedom from English domination. Surely Ireland’s freedom-fighters were desperately naive to consider taking on the economic, political and military dominance of their British neighbors?
What of the struggle of the Indian Sub-Continent to overthrow the oppression and injustice of the British Raj, was that rightful cause met with naysayers, denigrated as too simplistic, fractured and deluded?
Indeed there exists a callous, self-interested political elite which cares more about appeasing China and securing trade and maintaining political interests. Such a realpolitik has shadowed the Tibetan issue since 1950 when China invaded and occupied Tibet. However while it is important to recognize the limitations such political self-interest exerts it is equally vital to acknowledge the right of the Tibetan people to strive for the re-establishment of their nationhood. As has been noted elsewhere since the end of the Second World War nearly 100 countries regained their independence, Tibetans, despite the immense obstacles, absence of support from largely corrupted and uncaring governments, should expect no less.
To restore a unified, determined and forceful movement for Tibetan independence, one in solidarity with the courageous resistance of Tibetans inside Tibet is an essential direction for Tibet’s cause. For as has been conceded social and economic forces within China may well at some stage lead to radical change, even the collapse of the vicious insanity of China’s Regime. It would be during such times that Tibetans could most effectively press their legitimate claims for national freedom. In such circumstances to secure such an outcome requires unity, political will and singularity of purpose.
There is only one objective that could bring about for Tibetans such a determined and vigorous solidarity and that is Tibetan independence. In that context any movement or event that seeks to unify Tibetans and further the cause of national freedom should be applauded and encouraged, especially by those who are longstanding friends of Tibet’s people. Unfortunately some of those supporters are not quite as they seem and Mr Sunanda K. Datta-Ray perhaps recalls the controversy that stained the 1990 London International Consultation on Tibet at which the agreed conference statement that acknowledged:
“Where the Tibetan people’s inalienable right to self-determination, statehood and independence continues to be violated..” (Agreed and Circulated Declaration 8th June 1990)
Was mysteriously changed retrospectively to:
“Where the Tibetan people’s inalienable right to self-determination continues to be violated..” (Conference Report 1990)
The mention of Tibet’s independence has long attracted the unwelcome attention of those who prefer the status quo, especially Governments who exercise a policy of appeasement towards China’s regime. That was clearly the case at the conference attended by Mr Sunanda K. Datta-Ray.
Returning to the previous topic, of course the circumstances of a fractured China, in revolt against its tyrannical government has not yet arrived, however a cohesive and assertive campaign for Tibet’s independence is a vital requirement for the here and now. Apart from acting as a counter-balance, by challenging the dangerous compromises offered by exiled Tibetan Administration in its efforts to appease the Chinese Regime, the movement for an independent Tibet exposes and confronts the ideological war waged by China and its bogus claims on Tibet.
The desire for liberty, a dream of a life without oppression and injustice is within the DNA of all peoples. Such aspirations may indeed appear excessively innocent when viewed against the formidable interests of a cynical and greed-driven political mind-set. Yet those who dare to dissent, aspire to freedom and the enjoyment of human rights deserve much more than a counsel of despondency.