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A political catch 22
Phayul[Tuesday, October 20, 2009 12:09]

The widening gap between Dharamsala and Beijing’s political gambit!

by Chime Tenzing

China has once again managed to stall a meeting between two Nobel laureates recently – a meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and the new Nobel laureate-in-waiting Barrack Obama of America. This had drawn severe flak on Obama’s intentions as a result Obama had to purposefully sent his delegates to Dharamsala to meet with the Dalai Lama to make his intentions clear once and for all. However, amidst such growing Chinese political browbeatings against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exile government, Dharamsala always play it safe in matters relating to so called diplomatic negotiations with Beijing .While Beijing always intentionally engage in covering up Tibet’s issue whenever there’s a remote prospect of a good political climate, Dharamsala invariably limits itself to just letting out a feeble cry of objection which always tend to fall flat on the deaf ears in Beijing.

Today it’s an open secret that Dharamsala is caught between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea. Despite ceaseless blatant attacks by Beijing, Dharamsala is always gung-ho and obsessed about creating a conducive atmosphere for dialogue and hoping for a divine intervention in solving Tibet’s issue.

So far we have had eight rounds of 'inconclusive talks' and still we look forward with a hope for a breakthrough in our future envoy’s visit to Beijing notwithstanding the fact that Beijing has no intention of breaking our political deadlock.

We have spent our 50 years in exile just kow-towing and dancing to the tunes of Beijing while there’s not even a remote sign and good will gesture from the other side. Instead, what Beijing always seems to be interested is in flexing its political muscle and sweeping Tibet’s issue under the carpet. In a way it looks like we have indirectly contributed in making Beijing proficient in playing this nasty political game due to our defeatist psychology.

If you have the guts you will have no qualms in admitting that Beijing will never tire from articulating its pseudo concerns and claims of modernization in Tibet despite its terrible records of human rights abuses. Apart from issuing mild political sanctions against Beijing, the international giants like the U.S and Britain remain sucked in its business ties with Beijing’s rising economy.

To stoop too low amidst such political climate we are doing nothing more than flogging the dead horse to life. We had remained just mute spectators to the communist splendors that have recently been displayed by Beijing on the occasion of 60 years of communism in China. Instead of the desirous downfall of communism they have shown to the world that communism in China is very much alive. This comes as a huge blow, particularly to the Tibetans as we have always hoped for an advent of democracy in China, which would eventually ease in solving Tibet’s issue. Instead a death-knell in true sense of the word has been sounded!

Going by our experience dealing with China in our 50 years of exile have taught us one thing loud and clear – that Beijing always regard our cry for freedom or autonomy not more than just a pinprick of a mosquito bite. To them we are just like those dancing clowns in circus shows.

What China fears most today is the power of the simple Buddhist monk whose non-violence propagation is received like a dagger at their heart. Because of this fear Beijing always makes sure to warn any country from welcoming the Dalai Lama on their soil. For them, with the passing away of the Dalai Lama Tibet will also disappear into thin oblivion and Tibetans will be reduced to mere unknown citizens of the world. Despite our repeated refutation of this Chinese notion, Beijing still clings to the erroneous belief!

We had already observed and thanked our host country on completing 50 years in exile, Tibetan Youth Congress has also observed its 40th founding anniversary just recently, China has also celebrated 60 years of communism and we will have observed and celebrated many founding anniversaries of our NGOs, institutes, and governmental organizations in the years to come. But sadly all these year counts remind us that the issue of Tibet has not made any breakthroughs in all these years.

Our exile community is weakly polarized in our varied political views and stands. We have to accept this fact that we are always confused on how to go about making our views heard. While we unanimously endorse ‘middle path’ endorsed by His Holiness, we also get ourselves caught in the call for freedom during our political rallies. If we are for ‘middle path’, should we also resort to demanding complete independence? Or the other way round? Or there’s also benefit of doubt without swearing allegiance to neither of our stands?

Like the fickle minded communist brothers, our Tibetan brains are also on the verge of becoming invalid and one day it would stop functioning altogether! Beijing traditionally suffers from its suspicious nature while we keep hoping for some sort of miracle that would bring about a sudden change in our quest for Tibet. (Bhoed rewai phoong, Gya Dhokpai phoong) This is due to our short-sightedness and weak heart that delays us from seeing the greener side of the shore.

Our fifty years of political struggle for Tibet has reached nowhere today. Despite our discounts and compromises, Beijing is still dead solid in its mission to erase Tibet from the collective memory of the world. It works day in and out to churn out propagandist campaigns against the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile. Despite our repeated proposals for a solution to the Tibet’s issue through dialogue Beijing is not ready to move even an inch. The atrocities being meted out to Tibetans inside Tibet has become a ritual and no bloody world powers have the guts and willingness to push Beijing to the negotiation table. In this political melee Tibetan exiles remain confused in the middle of all this political gambit between Dharmsala and Beijing.

All these grim realities stand testimony to the fact that there is an urgent need of an overhaul in our political attitude and stance against Beijing’s cunning ploys. Be it our government or the mass, we need to wake up before the cloud of uncertainties loom over our heads. A ‘tit-for-tat’ approach is not a bad idea. It’s time that we danced according to the beats of Beijing’s drum. Otherwise we will be caught in this vicious circle of political Catch 22 forever and after!



The views expressed in this piece are that of the author and the publication of the piece on this website does not necessarily reflect their endorsement by the website.
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  Readers' Comments »
We do need divine intervention! (pedhma)
Thank you for the wakeup call (vox_pop_75)
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