Starting March 1 we are running our online lobby in support of Tibetan national freedom.
Our subscribers and friends are invited to join this action. From the comfort of your lock-down lounge.
in just a few taps of your device you can send an important and powerful communication to your political representative, that ensures they are aware of Tibet and it status as an independent nation under an illegal occupation. Our target areas are the USA, the European Union and Britain.
It will run up to and including March 10, the date commemorating the 1959 Lhasa Uprising against Chinese rule.
Further posts will follow here containing our Action Pack, so keep it here and watch for updates.
You can also follow our Twitter crew @tibettruth who’ll be 24/7 on this.
Image: original photo State Department, amended for accuracy by @tibettruth
Of course Secretary Blinken did not appear Feb 12 with the Tibetan national flag, either behind him or upon his lapel. He followed a long line of Secretary’s of State by avoiding any reference to the notion of Tibet as a nation, either through displaying emblems or via his carefully scripted New Year greeting. While many Tibetans are encouraged that he offered up solidarity on Tibetan culture, language and religion, it should never be forgotten that since Nixon reached an accord with Mao Tse Tung in 1972 successive administrations, be they Republican or Democrat, have recognized the bogus claim, and affirmed, that Tibet is part of China. This been the central policy of the State Department for decades, encouraged and shaped by a powerful coalition of corporate interests, whose prime goal is maintaining and expanding financial ties with China.
Online activists Anonymous Tibet have published a video challenging UK politicians to speak-out on Tibet with the same urgency and condemnation currently expressed on the plight of Uyghurs under Chinese rule. Our thanks to @AnonymousTibet for sharing news on this.
Recent declarations signed by outgoing President Trump supporting the Tibetan tradition of selecting the Dalai Lama and demanding non-interference in that process have no doubt offered comfort and encouragement within the exiled Tibetan community. Political solidarity however has its shelf-life, and changes or is abandoned according to events of economics and politics.
With that in mind, as China’s regime is covertly engineering a plastic figure to propose as the rightful next Dalai Lama, we wonder what response will be forthcoming from future US Administrations and the State Department when faced with the following inevitability.
Having carefully constructed its bogus Dalai Lama every effort will be made to exploit this creation for political and propaganda purposes. For example we envisage the plastic figure will be sent on global tours spreading its message of ‘harmony’ and ‘good will’. A key destination for such orchestrated deception will of course be the USA.
So what will the reaction be from US authorities to a request from the Chinese regime that every diplomatic courtesy and support is extended to its plastic representative? Would the Secretary of State decline a meeting with this polymer puppet and declare support and recognition only to that Dalai Lama chosen by exiled Tibetans in accord with genuine tradition?
Or would the ever-present pressure of trade with China reassert itself? These are sobering questions that need to be raised as a reality-check against the integrity and motives of a US political establishment. Which since 1972 has betrayed the just cause of Tibet’s people for national freedom.
Festive greetings to our readers and subscribers hope you and your families are well and enduring these insane times. It’s been a while since the last item posted, various constraints, resource issues and time all impacted, but we thought to mark the closing of 2020 with an article on a persistent issue afflicting exiled Tibetan concerns. The condition of the democratic process within the Tibetan Diaspora as applying to the election of Sikyong (political leader) currently represented by Dr. Lobsang Sangay.
Campaigning has been going on for a few months now, the election looms on January 3 2021, and across social-media and within exiled Tibetan communities much debate, heat and smoke is generated. As a position we tend not to express favor with any candidate, nor do we usually comment on the process or politics involved. However, having been recently contacted by a senior Indian newspaper and giving thought to the matter we decided to present a number of concerns. We do so because they relate to critical points of importance to the Tibetan cause, which will be ignored by virtually every Tibet related organization and media platform.
First let’s breakdown a little context here. The adoption of western ideological ‘democratic’ process by an exiled/refugee Tibetan community presents a number of interesting challenges. Sure there’s been progress, the establishment of regional and local voting, an election commission and parliamentary assembly. Yet these indicators of democratic accountability and procedure are restrained and influenced by a set of cultural factors and societal norms not always harmonious to the full enjoyment of political expression. Vulnerabilities of course exploited by the Chinese regime, which seeks to sow division and distrust.
At the core of such body politics is an intractable obstacle, which shades any open and diverse exchange. This disabling limitation is forged by an immense sense of respect and devotion towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His position on Tibet’s future status has during the past years promoted a form of autonomy as a solution, an idea which forms the heart of the so-called ‘Middle Way’ approach. Given it’s origin, that it’s the official policy of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) it is a heresy to publicly dissent from this position. The result is conformity, compliance, and sadly in terms of full political and electoral expression, little room for the advocacy of Tibetan independence. In this sense a form of self-applied censorship exists producing a somewhat stunted and slanted election.
This barely concealed fissure is used politically from within the Tibetan Diaspora and also by forces hostile to the notion of a free and independent Tibet. Including a number of western states who pose as friends of Tibet, but in truth offer advice to maintain the status quo of Tibet remaining under the bloody maw of Chinese rule. They do so of course to secure and further their economic and political ties with China. That is why they are so willing to support the fragile and distorted exiled democratic process. Because it more or less guarantees the continuance of a CTA which avoids any mention of Tibetan independence. A silence servicing the foreign policy and commercial relations of countries such as the US and others which does not want the thorny subject of Tibetan national freedom destabilizing relations with the Chinese regime.
The consequence of such suffocating factors is that any candidate seeking to become Sikyong is unlikely to stand on a ticket in favor of Tibet’s independence. While those that espouse Tibetan sovereignty are locked-down, targets of ad hominem and socially marginalized. These circumstances impose a corrosive limitation that undermines democratic diversity or indeed faithful representation. Because the heart-kept political hopes of so many Tibetans, for a free and independent homeland, is not allowed expression.
There are other forces at work which disadvantage exiled Tibetan politics to subvert elections, including of course the role played by the Indian government. They too have their interests and no doubt agenda. Meanwhile the political aspiration which dare not speak its name remains in the dreams of Tibetans who continue to hope and trust.
Through popular culture and news reports there’s an image burned into our consciousness that generally conceives torture as being inflicted upon an individual. The plight of a prisoner-of-conscience or innocent protestor abused in the cell has become firmly established. Tibetans know very well that harrowing experience at the hands of the Chinese regime.
The torment suffered inside occupied Tibet is not however restricted to a room in a forced labor-camp or Chinese security center. Nor is the abuse directed only at individuals and not contained to the crude horrors of physical persecution. Any tool of oppression that’s calculated and implemented to instill fear, confusion and compliance may be justly considered torture.
In that context it’s important to understand that the violations imposed upon Tibetans are not contained behind the walls of a prison. Equally it should not be thought that, beyond the detention centers and indoctrination camps, Tibetans are free from tyranny. The systemic oppression and misery forced upon Tibet also has a psychological component. There’s no doubt the emotional and mental impact of decades of Chinese occupation, and the unrelenting assault upon Tibetan cultural and national identity, has inflicted trauma, anxiety and depression on a massive scale.
The witnessing of Tibetan culture being bulldozed towards oblivion, forced relocations into concentration camps and exploitation as forced-labor have left Tibet’s sense of itself in shreds. What has happened to the Tibetan people, forever scarred by such a cultural genocide and engineered terrorism? With no escape from the 24/7 cult of China’s communist party and its glorious leader, Xi Jinping what choices are there?
Resistance is of course fraught with dark and grim consequences for the dissenter and their family. Compliance is for many the only way to survive. But there’s a price to pay for that also. The daily indoctrination sessions, public propaganda events, all under the un-sleeping eye of mass-surveillance and the ever present dangers of informers. There’s a mental and emotional cost for compliance, as it involves the breakdown of personal and cultural identity.
The societal and personal values which sprang from Tibet’s Buddhist culture are replaced by a fanaticism, and delusion. Individuality is rejected, there’s only subservience to the Chinese authorities and its political ideologies. The nature and extent of control which China has over Tibetans is staggering, not a single aspect of daily life is free from the intrusion of the occupying regime.
It is no exaggeration to say that Tibet itself is being tortured, and will be released from such anguish only when it regains its just national freedom. Otherwise the suffering will continue until the last remnant of Tibetan identity is destroyed.