Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tibet Rising not Uprising -- Again

Dalai Lama Harshly Condemns China Over Tibet
New York Times copyright


My comment #46
March 10th, 2009 9:15 am

Tibet Rising not Uprising -- again

This is a 50 year dilemma, originating in and fueled by imperial British "buffer state" Tibet policy.
The memory of the mis-named 'uprising' definitely calls for a celebration, something the Chinese government will not tolerate.
How can China possibly permit a celebration that calls attention to its own oppression?! The Beijing Govt. is on the wrong side of history.

The Dalai Lama has never asked for outright liberation and nation-state sovereignty for Tibet. The Dalai Lama has reasonably and rightly maintained that Tibetans can be part of China, while the Chinese for their part need to respect both in letter and spirit, religious, cultural freedom and economic freedoms of Tibetans.

Instead the Chinese have operated with a heavy hand, centralizing instead of devolving local power into the hands of Tibetans. China has an almost unbroken history of centralized government, the Beijing govt. simply doesn't know any better at this stage in their own development.

Note that Dharmsala is in India. The Dalai Lama and his thousands of followers have lived in India since 1959 when the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama fled to India and were given peaceful refuge here.

Dharmsala is no Darfur.

I grew up in India seeing and hearing about the Dalai Lama who was a close associate of Jawaharlal Nehru, (a co-founder of the Non-Aligned Movement), and other Indian political leaders. Tibetans over the years have been born in India in the half century that their "country" has been under occupation. They have lived and worked throughout India as well as sought refuge and economic opportunity throughout the world. However, Tibetans are entitled to their own historic homeland, which of course they can and must peacefully share with others, local ethnic Chinese especially who have also lived there historically.

The Dalai Lama has never pressed for Tibetan independence from China while residing in India, because to press for Tibetan independence would jeopardize India's rightful stand on sovereignty over Kashmir. Indian secularism and democracy are being tested in Kashmir, no less than the less visible quandary of Tibetan refugee rights to enjoy freedom while in their long unfair exile. In any event, Tibet and Kashmir are not comparable, they each follow a distinct colonial and post-colonial trajectory.

If only China can be quietly yet urgently persuaded to allow 1) full cultural religious freedoms of Tibetans, 2) unconditional right of Tibetans to return if they please to their ancient, peaceful homeland, 3) to develop their own unique notion of being a 'people.' in the world.

Idealistic pragmatism can be the ethical choice in Tibet. The loss of the ancient ways in Tibet (while Tibetans themselves, not Beijing, decide how they want to shape their own lives in a modern Tibet), would be a loss for us all.

The Arc of Justice bends slowly but it bends toward Tibet and the Tibetan people.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
Recommended by 28 Readers


No comments: