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The Terrified Monks -- Your Comments on my Tibet Column

May 19, 2008

By Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
May 15, 2008

My Thursday column (The Terrified Monks, is from the
Tibetan areas of Qinghai and Gansu Provinces - the area that used to
be the Tibetan region of Amdo. I'd welcome your comments, partly
because my Sunday column is also likely to be about the Tibetans. I'm
a little vague about my vacation at the moment, since I don't want my
trip cut short".

I'm sure that many Chinese readers will be outraged by the column, so
I welcome their thoughts. The Chinese narrative has focused on other
threads: The attacks against Han in Lhasa, the supposed ingratitude
of Tibetans for Chinese economic development, the injustices in old
Tibet, and so on. But even if one accepts all those arguments -- and
I don't, for I think history is much more ambiguous "then is it still
right to arrest and beat Tibetan monks for peaceful protests?
Granted, a monk who threw rocks at police in the U.S. would be
arrested, too. But a monk who tried to talk to journalists, or who
shouted slogans for separatism, or who denounced the government,
would not be. And isn't it fair to say that the Chinese hard-line
policy adopted after Hu Yaobang's fall from power in 1987 has been a
complete failure? Isn't it time for China to return to the Hu Yaobang
moderation in Tibet that prevailed from 1980 until 1987?

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