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Tibet and the Paper Tigers
By e-mail[Tuesday, December 05, 2006 15:46]
By Yeshe Choesang

The world doesn't care about peace!

Spiraling violence in Tibet since the last four decades presents a serious threat to world peace. Religious and peace leaders, particularly the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, legendary African archbishop Tu Tu, 1979 Nobel peace prize winner Williams of northern Ireland, Arab king Abdullah, have genuinely worked for peace. They have repeatedly called for urgent resolution of festering conflicts of the world, especially issues of Tibet, Middle East, and current Iraqi issues etc. Yet, the world doesn't care for peace and nonviolence. There is no thought beyond war, business and daily life. How can Tibet trust a world that continues to ignore its repeated pleas for peace?

Why are Arab-World issues and Tibetan issues treated differently?

Ongoings at the 61st general assembly of UN only show member nations in an unending scramble for power - power to occupy, power for war, power for weapons. Of course, there are talks about religion, nonviolence, good will, environment protection, global warming, etc. So-called peace makers see the same problems in Tibet, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. But there is no voice rising for humble and occupied Tibetans. All attention gets focussed on Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East, only for material gains like oil or increasing terror or political power. Why is there no resolution for the Tibetans?

Peace is but a meaningless word, in a world competing for weapons, economic power and political advantages. The world saw the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, can we count of the people killed? The war on terror is on, can we count the people that have become terrorists? In 1959 China occupied Tibet, killing 1.5 million Tibetans from 6 millions Tibet population, the victims were only Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile has estimated at least one million Tibetans have died under Chinese rule and around 80,000 refugees have fled the country. The death toll is comparable to the Jewish deaths from Nazi attrocities. It is common belief that involving paper heroes such as UN, USA, EU, ARAB world and SAARC etc can be helpful. But, unfortunately, a Paper Tiger never bites, will never bite.

For the Tibetans, the dilemma is clear exclusion from political stake holding, which radicalizes and legitimizes violence of red Chinese. Which is why there is no effort to solve the Tibetan crisis. Isn't that how Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East are different? We must take the first difficult steps on that road of equality. An equality that has so far evaded the snow people since the 1950s. The Chinese are still hunting down Tibetans like rats in the snow. I say, Tibetans can't trust the world that doesn't care about Tibet. Tibetans are losing hope to resolve their issues.

A huge banner, with the humble character for way or road painted on it, hangs above the main hall of the assembly to constantly remind the more than 450 to 550 senior religious and political world leaders attending many conferences, to find ways to fulfill the stated aims of confronting violence and advancing shared security of peace in this world. Tibetans are escaping from their home, without a single weapon, getting killed by heavy arms of Chinese military in Tibet and its neighboring borders. Big eats small, even in animals, the bigger ones become friends, UN is one of them. Smaller become victims, like Tibetans are.

UN, EU don't have any old or new proposals for Tibet and its people's sufferings. The Chinese occupation since 1959 sent thousands of Tibetan refugees into India, Nepal and abroad. The bodies, however, never considered any welfare, security, aid and support for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Neither was there any effort to call for an active participation of all Asian states. Hardly are there any press conference addressing Tibet issues, but many leaders have commented that attempts at peace were not successful at creating peace between Tibet and the China for the reasons that Chinese secular efforts were not enough to solve the problems between people of different faiths.

Mediations may be necessary in the Utsang province (Western Tibet), Kham province Eastern Tibet, Amdho province (Eastern Tibet)' from western country. Thousands of Tibetans from occupied Tibet, they cried out to the world to help the Holy Land regain freedom of all and peace. There has been too much bloodshed over Snowland, particularly the recent murder of 7 Tibetans between Tibet and Nepal boundary. China can claim no victory after killing innocent Tibetan women (Nun) and children.

No official international Committee ever invited the spiritual leader of Tibet, The Dalai Lama on a platform of the International Inter-religious and Political Affairs for Tibet. The reason is clear, he is known to the world as a peacemaker. Many current anti-peace men dwelt on the causes of violence in the name of religion. When our identities are threatened we seek to defend them. As an ancient scholar once explained the reality of future, "All scholars are thieves; I am the leader of the thieves."

One of my friends, Mr. Dhardho Karma said because religion is so profoundly related to identity, when people are hurt they fall on their religious traditions to give them a sense of purpose and seek self-justification in a way that disregards and stigmatizes the other. This way, he continued, politicians come to the conclusion that for peace building must be kept away from religion. He said, he would have urged the assembly to acknowledge that terrible things have been done in the name of religion and would refer to the Holy Land as an area where conflict resolution has failed because red politicians did not work together with religious leaders. I know that he is trying to remind me how many holy places were destroyed by Chinese in Tibet since 1950s.

What happened to the promise of chairman Dang?

Yes, Karma played an instrumental role in bringing together the two political monotheistic faiths for the first Tibet inter-faith group meeting in Dhartsedho (A place of Tibet, bounded with china) in 1985, a place, where never knew about a UN human rights declaration, it was drawn up condemning violence in the name of freedom. At the same time Chinese chairman Dang declared that everything was possible except Tibet freedom.
Many Tibetans said they hoped the United Nations 1980s theme of Dialogue among Cultures, occupation, human rights and Civilizations (which I expected) would yet pave the way for talks to resolve the China and Tibet crisis.

Bapa Phuntsok (First Tibetan communist) used to say that although he respected the roots of Han-Chinese civilization, he hoped its great capacity and energies could be utilized to establish peace and stability for mankind even in Tibet. But this capacity was being squandered by Chinese politicians who are ‘neither serving the interests of Chinese citizens nor the people of the whole 95 minorities of China. Chinese made Tibetans minority of China, but we are not minority, we have our own language, history, tradition, culture, custom, and particularly country's money, national flag and anthem, symbolizing Tibet as a completed nation.

If Tibetans act in any direction for their independence, terrorist development had nothing to do with it. As signatory to the UN human rights Treaty, Tibet have the right to develop any action for freedom and struggle for peaceful purposes, but still Tibetans are like rat without teeth in front of Chinese. In exile Tibetan community, some Tibetans used hunger strikes, burned themselves, showing their sufferings, but never an active action has been taken for free Tibet. One of my friends, Mr. Luzi, Chinese origin from Malaysia, advised me that why not you Tibetans take any action for Tibet independence and why Chinese leaders and militaries are so happy in Tibet? These are so important questions to Tibetans; we never make it difficult for Chinese leaders and militaries in Tibet.

Speaking of the Chinese attack on Tibetans in recently, even many western people said, such a brutal attack has to be premeditated. Killing Tibetans is not an act of selfdefence. The country is fighting to protect its culture, customs and identity. Tibet's potential in helping to solve the China and Tibet crisis should be recognized.

Why are Human Skeletons in the every corner of the mountains?

Many world leaders, particularly, an UN torture investigator, Mr. Nowak revealed that his investigations for human rights and human torture records in Tibet reported terrible wrong-doings. Every year, more than 3000 Tibetans escaped from Tibet. From 1960s to 1980s, Chinese border military murdered hundreds of Tibetans in mountains. Many skeletons of those who tried to escape from the cross borders lie buried in the mountains, even now.

The current peace process or middle way approach of the Dalai Lama with Chinese consisted mainly to build a corridor for peace and prosperity which would enhance the living standards of the people in both Tibet and China through the creation of an agro-economy park and foreign policy museum in the Tibet. The red China never had a heart for others. From 1990s, Tibet and its people lost all their political prosperity, their dignity and their ancient history. Still there is no propaganda for Tibetan issues. Why are Tibet and its people's issues are so cheap?

Yeshe Choesang la is currently working as the assistant editor and designer of The Tibet Express and the General Secretary of The Association of Tibetan Journalists and Khawa Karpo Tibet Culture Centre at Dharamsala. He is also the Tibet correspondent for Reporters Without Borders international.You can reach him at ychoesang@gmail.com

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