By Tephun Tenzin Shastri (Tawang, India)
Time to Adopt Realistic Policies: Beijing has learned nothing from 2008 nationwide protest in Tibet
The Political Reality of Tibet
The 2008 Tibetan national uprisings that shook the foundations of Beijing power corridors, is again being repeated this year. This shows that Beijing had learnt nothing from 2008 Tibetan nation-wide protest and global outrage over its brutal crackdown. Then it did nothing to alleviate the problems faced by the Tibetans built up over the sixty years of Chinese tyrannical rule and this time again Beijing is responding with same ruthlessness and by completely denying existence of any problem at all and wilfully accusing His Holiness the Dalai Lama and exile Tibetans for the protests as it did in 2008. Then Beijing refused to invite independent investigation team to prove its accusations and this time again neither it has courage nor confidence to yield to the demand made by Tibetan Prime Minister (in exile) to allow international media and independent investigation team to find out causes of self immolations by young Tibetans as ultimate protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet and its colonial rule that was never ever acceptable to the people of Tibet.
This then is the political reality of Tibet today. It sums up the Sino-Tibetan diplomatic relationship and the very nature of so-called diplomatic efforts from both sides defined by series of non-productive talks held on the peripheral of Beijing repeatedly denying every existence of 'Tibetan Issue' in the first place. Over a decade later, the intention and vision of China over the issue of Tibet has become most familiar and easiest political issue that even a school kid could predict and foretell. The Tibetan government in exile and its diplomats leading these talks should have became much wiser about China's stand, intention and policies. By now for the rest of the world it is amply clear that present 'Middle Way' approach is leading Tibetan Freedom Movement to nowhere and the persistent deadlock in Sino-Tibetan diplomatic development is most unlikely to break, for the simple reason that Beijing is either completely unprepared or unwilling to resolve the differences on core issues at stake.
Unfortunately, despite great sacrifices made by our people inside Tibet, Beijing has not conceded a single point to the Tibetans. On the other hand, Dharamsala has shown great political immaturity by making series of unilateral and political concessions of unimaginable scale and serious nature that have far reaching historical ramifications and which have only added to the political crisis and which but for political commitment of the exile Tibetans could have dealt a serious blow to the on-going Tibetan Freedom Struggle in the free world.
Once again, there is a dire need to remind oneself and our leaders repeatedly that Beijing is only waiting for the Tibetan Freedom Movement to die a natural death with the exit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from the political scene and that we must never live in the hope of seeing this so-called dialogue process ever reaching its logical climax. By now, we can declare with certainty that it was never meant to be by Beijing regime.
So what should we do?
Here I am to argue for a new line of political concept of the whole issue, a new political thinking and ideology, a new perception and outlook of China's attitude and stand, a new means and methods to carry forward our freedom movement on a grander and global level, injection and infusion of a new fire and power in the movement by applying new techniques and strategies, by mobilising every patriotic Tibetan in the world and by enlisting active participation and action from every Tibetan nationals across the world but never wavering from the path of non-violence and laws of the host nations. Why not a Fifty-year Integrated Tibetan Freedom Movement Strategy and Plan with break-up of First to Fifth Ten-Year Tibetan Freedom Movement Plan?
How can we forget or ignore the historical truth that 1.2 Million fellow Tibetans have given up their lives for our freedom and Independence from China? How can we forget or ignore hundreds and thousands of Tibetans who had sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their precious lives for the Tibetan national cause and restoration of freedom and liberty to our nation and people in Tibet? How can we forget or ignore the death-cry of those nine patriots who gave for future of our nation their ultimate sacrifice with self-immolation? This time we cannot allow going their ultimate sacrifice in vain by fooling ourselves with set of same rotted political gimmicks and same routine activities that will evaporate without producing any real result or effect on the issue at stake. This time we must not rest until Beijing has taken solid political steps and actions to redress the political injustices meted out to the fellow Tibetans and answered their just demands on a satisfactory level. This time, if there is no real breakthrough in the diplomatic relationship between two nations, fully knowing that it is just a futile exercise being played up by China with only purpose to hoodwink the international community, we must completely stop talking to China until and unless China comes up with a concrete agreeable proposal to resolve the political issues.
Why New Approach, Why New Policy?
As a human being, I firmly believe that justice, equality, liberty, freedom and democracy are the birth right of every human being. As a Tibetan national, I firmly believe that the Issue of Tibet is the issue of an ancient nation and a people. It is not an issue of the Dalai Lama, not of present generation of Tibetans. Therefore, the fight for Freedom of Tibet will continue for generations to the last Tibetan until Tibet becomes free and Independent once again.
Above all, I firmly believe in righteousness of our struggle and that it is absolutely founded on the human ethical and moral principles and thoroughly supported by socio-economic and political correctness and common shared human historical legacies.
If hundreds of nations had achieved independence under impossible looking political realities in the past and this fact has repeatedly been repeated in recent times and even in immediate today in front of our own eyes, why not Tibet can also rise up from the rubbles of national destruction to proclaim and reclaim its rightful historical entity and identity as an Independent free nation completely separate from PRC?
Agreed that wind of change is blowing across the world and economic globalisation and inter-dependence is ruling the roost but then dis-integration of Soviet Union, birth of many new nations within last few decades, trend-setting geo-political changes taking place everywhere and especially within big democratic countries like India and US, in particular wild fire of new freedom revolution engulfing the tyrant regimes on world stage led by Arab Spring now spreading to all political power houses - all this hard reality and fact point to one truth that nothing is more powerful than the united will-power of a people long suppressed and oppressed but whose true aspiration finally erupting on a volcanic scale. There is no stopping for such a people's war from winning!
The world economy is a constant changing phenomenon due mainly to its inherent inter-dependent and conditioning factors. Hence, China's current economic supremacy can never remain unchanged forever and when it goes down, there will be political crisis of unimaginable magnitude. China adopting democratic political system would be the first positive development that will occur but there will be many more tremors and shakings of horrible nature, and emergence of many new nations led by Tibet, Ugurs and Mongolia and others cannot be stopped under the impact of such a political earth- quake that will hit PRC eventually.
What we needed to do is 'perseverance' and trust in one's will power and conviction in the sacredness of our movement and its goal rather than wasting our positive energy and thoughts by reposing hope in a people and system that is most untrustworthy and deceptive in the whole world. A wise wisdom word from old Tibetan sayings come to my mind that teach us we Tibetans the best lesson that we can learn at this time in our history. It says, 'It is a height of foolishness to expect to get a share of blood even one drop from the devilish mouth of a hungry wolf'. We will lose everything, time, opportunity and generation of daydreamers hoping to get from PRC and its pig-headed leaders what we wish for our nation and people, but we will be rewarded only with disappointment, despair and dejection!
The exile Tibetan Government recently adopted ancient Indian wisdom word' Stayameva Jayate' (Truth only wins) as its motto. I take this as a god-sent hint for our leaders to correct the present false and erroneous political approach and policy based on 'middle way' under which we have accepted in principle our nation being a part of PRC and the Tibetans as the citizens of PRC, which is historically a myth and factually incorrect and false. The truth is that prior to Chinese invasion in 1949, Tibet had existed not only as an independent sovereign nation but also as a military super power in Asia for at least two centuries with over three thousand year civilisation and historical legacies. So if our leaders truly respect truth as the paramount principle to follow, then, we must give our movement its rightful and truthful direction guided by true mission and goal that can only be restoration of its lost independence. Hence, if we want to be sincere in respecting our national motto, 'truth only wins', the goal and purpose of Tibetan freedom struggle must be to gain right to self determination and ultimately complete independence for our nation- not autonomy of any measure or criteria.
In any case, we all have to leave this world one day. Luckily, this is 21st Century. Even if we rose up as one man to challenge Beijing's occupation of Tibet, Beijing can no longer repeat its past heinous crimes of genocide and mass massacre without risking its own destruction and demise. Nor are we going to die en-mass in a battleground, for we will consistently and resolutely remain completely non-violent in carrying forward our freedom movement. This will, while Beijing may take its own time to come to sense, our movement will not perish from the earth howsoever-long time it will take to score victory, or how many generations of Tibetans will have to continue it. The continuity and survival of our freedom movement will be secured at all cost and for all times to come.
This is the simplest and yet most powerful and well tested and tried political strategy to outlive hardliner Chinese leaders as well as to outlast totalitarian communist Chinese regime. Hence, with or without support from the world, Tibetans will never give in to brute force. The people of Tibet will never accept the myth of 'Tibet part of China' or 'China's Tibet'. The people of Tibet all over the world together will carry forward this struggle until their true aspiration is fulfilled and Tibet is fully liberated from communist China's illegal occupation and rule! Time is running out for us Tibetans. Sooner we woke up and came out of this cobweb of illusory hope and positivism spun by political black magic wizards in Beijing, the better for the future our nation and people!