Guest report by Vijay Kranti
Nervous communist regime, growing spirit of resistance in China and changing international mood give new hope to the colonized people of Tibet. And international webinar discusses “hope and possibilities for a free Tibet in the present international scenario?”
NEW DELHI-PARIS-LONDON-BERLIN-DHARAMSHALA, March 11: Tibet experts from a cross section of countries see signs of hope for the colonized people of Tibet and other countries, occupied by China, in the ever increasing nationalist rhetoric by the Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who are now struggling to keep their hold over China’s ruling system. In an international webinar, held on the eve of 64th anniversary of Tibetan people’s uprising against Chinese colonial rule over Tibet, they saw a big hope in the continuing expression of resistance against Chinese rule among the Tibetan population living under the Chinese rule.
The webinar was organized jointly by the Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies and Engagement (CHASE) and Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) and the topic of discussion was “Hopes and Possibilities for a Free Tibet in the Present International Scenario.” The expert speakers included Pierre Antoine Donnet, an internationally acclaimed China expert, author and journalist who has had a long stint in Beijing as a correspondent of French news agency AFP. He joined from Paris. Another speaker was Kai Mueller who is Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Germany who joined in from Berlin. Ms. Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, a member of the Steering Committee of International Tibet Network (ITN) joined in from London. The fourth speaker was Ms. Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar who is an elected Member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile. Prof (Ms) Aaayushi Ketkar of the Special Centre for National Security Studies at JNU and a scholar in international relations and security matters handled the question-answer session of the webinar whereas Ms. Tenzin Lhamo, the Information Secretary of TYC presented her concluding remarks and vote of Thanks. Vijay Kranti, a veteran Tibetologist and Chairman of CHASE moderated the webinar.
The experts took note of the pan-Tibet anti-China protests of 2008; Tibetan people’s deep reverence for Dalai Lama despite his six decade long absence; unending spate of unfortunate self-immolations; and public and individual protests happening frequently across Tibet. They termed these elements as a clear indication of the spirit of freedom remaining alive among the Tibetan people despite rigid controls of China on their lives.
In her presentation Lhagyari underlined the significance of the 10th March in the ongoing history of Tibetan freedom movement. She said, “This day is not only a day for expression of Tibetan people’s collective voice for a free and independent Tibet, it is also to draw world’s attention to the occupation of other colonies of China like East Turkistan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong. Our struggle is for the cause of entire humanity,” she said. She recalled how China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) has killed more than a million Tibetans to fortify its occupation of Tibet. Asserting that Tibet has been a free and independent country throughout the history she said that China is trying to manipulate and rewrite history to assert its claims over Tibet.
Referring to the unabated spirit of the Tibetan people to regain their independence from China, Lhagyari drew attention of the world community to the new campaign of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party under which hundreds of thousands of Tibetan children are being taken away from their families to be forcibly kept in the CCP schools to brainwash them in the Communist ideology and to wean them away from their cultural identity
Pierre Antoine Donnet, who has a long experience in watching political developments in China, said that although the CCP has achieved strong control over China and appears to remain in power for a long time, but still the Chinese communist bosses are quite nervous today because of rising opposition and resentment among the Chinese population. He said that after the historic democratic uprising of Chinese youths against the communist regime in 1989 this was the first time that the Chinese people stood up against the communist leadership and the CCP’s for their poor handling of Covid-19. “There were demonstrations in more than 20 cities in which thousands of Chinese youths openly demanded resignation of President Xi and replacing the communist rule with a democratic one. This is a very significant development,” he said.
Donnet underlined the nervousness among the Chinese communist leadership, especially President Xi. “This nervousness became evident from the sudden U-turn on Covid controls,” he said. He also referred to the speeches of President Xi and his new PM at the latest meeting of the Parliament. “Both Xi and his new Prime Minister devoted long time in criticizing and accusing America and western countries. They looked nervous because they are finding that more and more countries are joining hands against China.” He observed that the freedom movements both in Tibet and Xinjiang are gaining momentum. “The international awareness about the real situation in Tibet and Xinjiang is increasing among the world community which is a good sign for both,” he added.
Kai Mueller expressed concern over China’s role in the ongoing Ukraine war. He pointed out that more and more western countries are now realizing that China is becoming a close ally of Russia and cannot be relied upon for conducting any honest negotiations with Russia for bring truce and peace in this war. “World is now realizing China’s increasing attempts in the United Nations, especially in the UN Human Rights Council where it is continuously attempting to undermine definitions, standards and processes of acknowledged and well established UN Rights mechanisms,” he said.
Talking about the take away of the Ukraine war for the Tibetan people he said, “The issue of near total dependence on one source for energy has become quite evident among the western countries during the ongoing Ukraine war. This might now lead to decoupling and diversification of trade with China. If this happens then we can hope a lesser influence of the western corporates over the foreign policy of their respective governments about China. And this will surely lead to a better realization and understanding of western governments on the Tibetan and the Uyghur cause.”
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, an old hand at developing strategies in the Tibetan campaign, reflected a hopeful scenario on the issue of Tibet as she finds a noticeable change and realization about China in many countries, especially in the UK. She said that the government and people of UK are waking up to their vulnerability to Chinese spying and surveillance through China made CCTV cameras and other equipment. “Just like we have been using asbestos in our homes and buildings without realizing its dangerous impact on our health, we are now waking up to the danger posed by the Chinese CCTV cameras and other Chinese equipment….. But UK is not the only country which is becoming aware of this danger from China. There are many other countries like Australia and USA who are rising up to this challenge. And all this will lead to a better understanding of the situation of the people of Tibet, ” she added. She pointed out at the naïve belief of many countries that more trade with China will bring more democratic and political change in China.
Readers interested in watching full video report of this webinar can connect to CHASE YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/@chase-himalaya
Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies and Engagemetn (CHASE) : +91-98102 45674 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vijay Kranti is a senior Indian journalist, photographer and a keen Tibet watcher for over four decades. During the first decade of 2000’s he visited Tibet many times on his self-assigned learning and photo-expeditions.
The independence of Tibet will be the Great Wall of India! For centuries, India was protected by a peaceful Buddhist nation of Tibet all across the Himalayas from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh! Tibet became a peaceful nation after Buddhism took root in Tibet that kept the peace for Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal and India. All these countries co-existed peacefully for centuries! In 1949, an alien ideology that professed violence as the only means to settle scores made its way to China and its proponents became the rulers. This ideology is not Asian but western ideology promulgated by Karl Marx and Engles. The Chinese communists who were bandits picked up the worst type of ideology that culminated in the death of 80 million Chinese, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians and Manchurians and the complete destruction of not only Tibet’s cultural heritage but also that of China itself! The Chinese communists exhorted the whole population to vandalism! Despite such shocking record of death and destruction, the Indian leaders were communist sympathisers and they themselves proclaimed to be socialists. The Indian leaders knew nothing about the deceit and back stabbing culture of the Chinese communists and were taken by the smiling assassins rhetoric of friendship, Asian solidarity and socialist utopia! The unsuspecting Indian leaders bought right into the Chinese trap and Tibet was sacrificed for Sino-India detente.
Tibet became the sacrificial goat with which India sought to cement its Hindi-China Bhai Bhai claptrap! India didn’t win anything and instead lost everything. It’s security was severely compromised by the Chinese occupation and militarisation of Tibet. It also heralded the Chinese invasion of India in 1962 using Tibet as a launch pad! To this day after seven decades, India’s greatest security Achilles heel remains the high Himalayas bordering Tibet in the north. Millions of dollars and man power to shore up both maintenance and infrastructure are draining the Indian coffers to vigilantly guard the Himalayas.
India has scored its own goal by throwing Tibet under the bus!
If India has learned its folly during the seven decades of acrimonious relationship with communist China and instead of improving, its in fact worsening, verging on divorce, it’s time to support Tibet’s rightful independence! TIBET WAS NEVER PART OF CHINA! IT IS ATTESTED IN GREAT BRITAINS POLICY OF NEVER ACCEPTING CHINESE SOVEREIGNTY OVER TIBET ALL THROUGH OUT BRITISH RULE OF INDIA! TIBET WAS CONQUERED BY COMMUNIST CHINA WITH WEAPONS SUPPLIED BY THE ERSTWHILE SOVIET UNION UNDER STALIN!
With India’s traditional arch enemy Pakistan in cahoots with communist China, India’s national security environment is as dangerous as that of Israel in the Middle East. India must not be merely fending off Chinese incursions and losing territory through Chinese salami slicing as it has done in Eastern Ladakh in 2022, India must have a robust strategy to end the danger that is posed by China from Tibetan territory. When you have a rattle snake in your yard, you don’t try to live with it but you do everything to get rid of it because it would prove fatal if you let it roam around in your yard! INDIA MUST SUPPORT TIBET’S INDEPENDENCE by supporting and encouraging Tibetan Independence advocates in India. The Chinese communist Party is penetrating into India with their multifaceted strategy, (soft and hard)of buying people, causing discord, creating disinformation, creating discord between leadership and the population. Whether it’s Taiwan or Tibet, the CCP’s foremost goal is to prevent secession. It is therefore creating proxies amidst the diaspora to do their bidding. This is a dangerous development for India’s security. The recent attempt by certain pro-China Tibetan living abroad to take down prominent Tibetan independence advocate by manipulating and doctoring statements to misrepresent her and cast her as “blaspheming” the Dalai Lama shows the level of CCP intrusion among diaspora population. This person has openly professed his love for the Chinese dictator, Xi JINPIENG!!! The generation of Tibetans who arrived in India in 1959-60s who hated the Chinese communists have passed away and a new second and third generation of Tibetans who have never seen Tibet nor ever experienced the horrors of communist China’s occupation of Tibet are being brainwashed by the Chinese soft power using beautiful Tibetan women to peddle its insidious propaganda on the internet. Such vulnerable people are often used to take down Tibetan independence advocates with official ambivalence. India and Indian supporters of Tibet MUST support Tibetan independence advocates because Tibetan independence advocates are anti-China and that is good for India’s national security! It’s good for the security of India for now and into the far future!