By Tenzin Khedup
In 1950 when the PRC invaded Tibet under the pretext of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet the Tibetan people were completely taken by surprise and were not prepared to defend ourselves. At that time no country came to our rescue as we had no links with the outside world.
Today China is celebrating 70 years of the peaceful liberation of Tibet. Over a hundred thousand Tibetans died defending their country. A million Tibetans perished in the last seventy years.
What has China got to show after seventy years of occupation. Tibetans in Tibet hate the Chinese and likewise Tibetan cadres are not trusted by the Chinese and are treated as second class citizens. No religious freedom absolutely no freedom of speech or movement. No Tibetan in the last ten years has been able to get a Chinese passport. No Tibetan can travel to China without being questioned. Why should Tibet be a part of China. Tibetans deserve the right to choose their own destiny. Tibet is now being flooded with Han settlers making them a minority in the big cities like Lhasa and Shigatse. What the Chinese have accomplished is the systematic degradation of the Tibetan culture to the point where the Tibetan people are completely subservient to China.
During Xi’s recent to Tibet visit which was meant to celebrate the 70th anniversary of “17 point agreement” and “peaceful liberation” of Tibet. But during the entire visit and in all his talks there’s no mention of “17 point agreement”, not much “peaceful “, but only “liberation”! But his visit itself during this tense situation and his high profile meetings with the military in Tibet certainly showed China’s commitment to the defense of their strategic interest in Tibet.
After seventy years of occupation Wang Yang the Chairman of the CPPCC on a visit to Tibet calls on Tibetans to accept Communist Party rule. Beijing has lost the race to control the minds of the Tibetan people and feel unsure of their control. In the minds of the Tibetan people lies the spirit of the Dalai Lama. No Tibetan can be coerced to change their strong traditional religious beliefs. Beijing is trying to raise the image of their appointed Panchen in front of the Tibetan people thinking that one day he will be able to replace the Dalai Lama. This strategy will not work as the Tibetan people will never accept him.
Seventy years of occupation of Tibet has turned out to be a futile exercise for China as it has failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.
(Views expressed are his own)
The author is a former member of Parliament who served from the Dhomay constituency in the 12th and 13th TPiE.