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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Special Meeting in Dharamsala comes to a close and perspectives from inside Tibet

November 24, 2008

ICT Report
November 21, 2008

The Special Meeting to debate ways forward for Tibet concludes
November 22 in Dharamsala, India with a final plenary session to be
addressed by the Tibetan Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) Samdhong
Rinpoche and the Speaker of the Parliament. The Dalai Lama will
address delegates and the press on the morning of November 23. Views
from Tibetans inside Tibet expressed on blogs and on the telephone,
linked to the Special Meeting, are enclosed below.

The dagger revealed with the unrolling of the map
by Woeser

Translated by Andrew Clark,, and written
for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia

The eighth round of Sino-Tibetan talks was, obviously, a major
turning-point. Beijing harshly declared that His Holiness the Dalai
Lama "had absolutely no standing to negotiate with the Central
Government." The Vice-Minister for the United Front who was taking
part in the negotiations declared at a press conference, without the
slightest concern for etiquette, that His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"was concealing his evil intent" and that his message was a
"deceitful lie." He even denied that Deng Xiaoping uttered that
saying thirty years ago which people have since overused, namely,
"Anything can be discussed except independence." To these
developments, one upright and much-respected Tibetan retorted, "This
is precisely the way of hegemony!"

After their initial shock and repugnance, many Tibetans inside the
PRC have recognized that this outcome was not wholly unanticipated.
When Beijing sprang this on the world, like the dagger revealed with
the unrolling of the map, it was accompanied by a murderous glance;
but it was only the unmasking of their true face. And like a
thunderclap it put an end to the last thread of illusion that still
lingered in Tibetan hearts. It's been known for a long time that
little could be expected from talks with a high-handed adversary who
was lacking in good faith, but it took the eighth round, and
Beijing's callous judgment, for Tibetans to lose hope entirely. One
Tibetan said, "That moment of disillusionment is perhaps a new
turning-point, and it could lead to a new breakthrough."

While witnessing the enormous change in Sino-Tibetan relations and
looking back on the turmoil in our world, we can see that history
repeats itself. I'm referring to an essay by the founder of Communist
China, Mao Zedong, directed at America and the Kuomintang [Chinese
Nationalist government], or, as he called them, "Imperialism and its
running dog." He appealed to the Chinese people: "Cast aside
illusions and prepare to fight." I'm not exactly a fan of Mao,
although the indoctrination of my formative years set him up - in my
mind and countless other minds - as a god.

But on this point (prescinding from the others), we can discover in
his essay a practical significance. We need only reverse the roles.

Mao says, "Imperialist elements will never repent and see the light
until they are exterminated"­ To hope to persuade the imperialists
to have a change of heart and reverse course is impossibility. The
only way is to organize our forces and fight them... " Hence Mao
demanded that clear-headed people "fulfill their responsibility to
co-opt elements within the middle classes and centrist parties,
laggards in every stratum of society, all the people who are still
uncommitted... Â to use goodwill to help them, to criticize their
indecisiveness, to teach them, to win them over so they will take a
stand on the side of the masses, not to let imperialism draw them
away: tell them to cast aside illusions and prepare to fight."

But in our circumstances today, this 'fight' does not signify as it
did for Mao something bloodstained and violent, an armed revolution,
a class struggle. Non-violence is also a struggle, a greater and more
enduring fight! For each individual, this fight starts with oneself,
in the present moment, in each particular detail of living. Let us
begin identifying ourselves as Tibetans, for this is our duty: any
effort of daily life, however small, is still a kind of struggle.
What must be clearly remembered is that the struggle is not
irrational, but rational; not impulsive, but deliberate; not
necessarily lofty and tragic, but reflected in practical action;
bound up in the defense of the rights of every human being, the old
and the young, children, men and women, clergy and laypeople:
defending and protecting the rights of all human beings.

"Casting aside illusions" does not mean giving up our dreams. There's
a young Tibetan who says that November 4, 2008 was the most beautiful
day in his life. Although he could not cast a ballot, he too wanted
to celebrate Obama's election to the American Presidency. For Obama's
victory was historic; it showed people that nothing is impossible. A
dream that was once beyond belief can come true today; so why can't
our dreams of today come true tomorrow? But to reach that tomorrow
will require a struggle. If you think you will get it as a favor from
someone, if you think it will all come soon or easy, then those are
the illusions you have to cast aside.

November 12, 2008

Woeser wrote this article for the Tibetan-language service of Radio Free Asia.

"United in our message, diverse in our methods"

Despite physical limitations, Tibetans in Tibet have remained
intellectually engaged in the Special Meeting in Dharamsala, India.
Comments left on Woeser's blog highlight some of the proposals being
circulated by Tibetan intellectuals and others in Tibet in relation
to the Special Meeting.

While strategy proposals vary, Tibetans have remained resolute in
their commitment to a non-violent solution and in their recognition
of the Dalai Lama as the true representative of the Tibetan people.
The Special Meeting has been recognized as a unique opportunity for
the voice of Tibetans from across the political spectrum to be heard,
while also presenting an opportunity to come together to forge a new way ahead.  Â

Anonymous says:
Suggestions for the Global Tibetans Special General Meeting:

1. The Dalai Lama belongs to the world and he should be truly
returned to the world. Comprehensively plan the dissemination of
Tibetan Buddhism around the world. Religion cannot be separated from
politics, and it is advocated to maintain the Middle Way.

2. All responsibilities should be handed to the Tibetan Government in
Exile. At the same time, plans should be drawn up as soon as possible
for selection of the 15th Dalai Lama. Â

3. The direction of the Tibetan Government in Exile should be fixed
by the outcome of discussions at the meeting. Because our government
is in India, everything should be considered. United in our message,
diverse in our methods.

4. All Tibetans and their social organizations in all countries of
the world without exception support Tibetan independence. The
question is not declaring independence, it is recovering independence. Â

5. Tibetans on the inside should study the UN Declaration on Human
Right and the Chinese Constitution and according to law, struggle
against the law to attain rights. Unite peaceful and other means.

6. The Tibetan Parliament and Government in Exile should jointly
establish a long-term "Assistance Fund for Tibetan People in Tibet"
to help people who have injured and persecuted in sacrifice for their
people and country.

Sangjie Jiacuo

November 20, 2008..


Anonymous says:
It is hoped that the meeting will formulate a long-term plan taking
into account all aspects of the struggle. The Middle Way is still the
best case, but careful preparations must be made beforehand for
non-violent struggle because Tibet has always been in a position of
weakness. Â
November 20, 2008.

  Anonymous says:
We should not be put off Tibet's course by the older generation. Now
is the time for fiery young men to stand up for our country and for
the next generation.. Independence it is our only path. Â Â
November 20, 2008.


Anonymous says:
Suggestions for the Global Tibetans Special General Meeting:
1. Identifying the goal is very important, limited resources must be
united for the great and glorious pursuit of independence. We can no
longer spend time infighting and wasting time, and should space for
future generations to give play to their abilities. Â
2. While the Dalai Lama is with us we have resolve and wisdom. The
Dalai Lama must himself affirm the process of reincarnation. It is
only with the 14th Dalai Lama that this will have any prestige and
legitimacy, preventing a period of vacuum in the reincarnation and
the involvement of external forces. Another choice would be for the
Dalai Lama himself to institute a new rational system allowing
different Tibetan religious traditions around the world to select the outcome.
3. The Tibetan meeting cannot be once every 50 years, and there
should be a meeting of representatives every five years to allow for
the timely adjustment and reform of government and parliament's
functions and the allocation of resources. Â
4. The government in exile should strengthen its overseas offices and
as a contingency make ample plans for the possible day when the
Indian government prohibits Tibetan freedom activities.
5. The Tibetan freedom and liberation movement should arrange
powerful and solid unions with international organizations,
governments around the world, and grass roots people's organizations. Â
November 20, 2008.

Anonymous says:
"Five Suggestions to the Tibetan Special Meeting" from 108 Tibetan
scholars within China. Â
As Tibetans within the borders of China, we have conscientiously and
solemnly mulled and discussed the following several suggestions for
the special meeting, and we ask that the meeting consider and bring
our ideas to the attention of all the meeting's delegates.

1. We demand that the central Chinese government immediately stop its
demonization and slanderous attacks upon the Dalai Lama. The Dalai
Lama is the revered spiritual leader and root teacher of all Tibetan
people. Any insult and demonization of the character and spirit of
the Dalai Lama is an insult and demonization of the character and
spiritual beliefs of all Tibetan people. Â

2. We strongly oppose the propaganda and activities of criticizing
the 'Dalai clique' being carried out in Tibetan areas and within the
borders of China.

3. We strongly call upon the central Chinese government to release
immediately all people connected to the March 14 incident, and to
publicly apologize to them and offer compensation. There must be a
formal, complete and transparent public enquiry into the whole
incident, with full media access. Â

4. We demand freedom of expression in Tibet.

5. We call on all Tibetans to continue to maintain their support for
"peaceful and non-violent" dialog with the central government in
order to eventually attain the goal of political, economic, cultural
and linguistic autonomy for the Tibetan people under Chinese law.

And finally, we bow to His Holiness the Dalai Lama! We hope you can
return to Lhasa as soon as possible we love you!

108 Tibetan scholars
November 20, 2008.   Â

The Tibetan parliament, courts and government in exile are all the
products of democratic selection and represent the wishes of the
people. Tibetan social organizations throughout the world are also
democratically elected and are representative of the people's wishes.
Some of the people in parliament came out of Tibet in recent years.
They are enough to represent all of the more than 6 million Tibetan
people. I myself work in Tibet and have lived here for 40 years.
Although I can't participate in parliament, I wholly support them.
The relevant media can watch videos of this latest meeting and
understand. But then they should look at people from all three
regions of Tibet since March of this year, and what does it say that
they are not afraid of the sacrifices in raising the Tibetan flag?

The Tibet question is in no way a question of poverty. Never mind the
Karmapa or Arjia Rinpoche, the former abbot of Kumbum monastery now
in exile], there are many people whose lives when they were in Tibet
were okay and even good; but nomads, traders, students, cadres,
artists and so on and so forth, they risk being shot dead by border
People's Armed Police or being detained to escape to India. They do
this for their people's freedom and liberation, and so that our land
will not be occupied by China's fascist colonizers.

Sangjie Jiacuo
November 19, 2008


Anonymous says:
A people must evince their own ability and determination to decide
their own fate Tibetans must understand this!
Independence and freedom have never been gifts!

November 20, 2008

"We have a huge responsibility. If we sit back comfortably,
everything will be lost"

The following comments were made during a recent Radio Free Asia
call-in show. The callers, a Tibetan student named Losang studying in
China, and a Tibetan woman named Tsamla, both emphasize the need to
take action in the face of China's policies in Tibet.

Caller from China Male Losang
Since a long time ago, the Tibetans outside of Tibet have been
striving for the freedom and rights for the Tibet issue and many have
died along the way.

Right now, a lot of us younger Tibetans inside Tibet feel that we
need to do something too to stand up. So, I would like to ask how can
we stand up more, even if it can't be called Rangzen straight out,
how can we help support a results-based dialogue between China and Tibet?

And while this Special Meeting is going on, I would like to ask if
they have any hopes and messages for us in Tibet.

I am a student in China, and I could have an easy life if I just go
to school and not pay attention to politics. But we are a people that
are oppressed by another, and little by little, pieces are being cut
off and destroyed. So I feel that those of us inside Tibet and China,
especially need to work as much as we can in a peaceful way. The
March 14 incident wasn't all good but we need to know that there were
farmers, ordinary people and also some Chinese disguised as Tibetans
in the masses. This incident lead to a lot of bad publicity and the
Chinese portrayed this incident to show a biased view of Tibetans
causing tremendously bad feelings. But then when the May earthquake
happened, outside world leaders called Chinese leaders to express
their sympathy and I heard the American President mention that the
Tibet issue is a Chinese issue and should be paid attention to. This
made me realize the importance of the March 14th demonstrations,
because even under the state of emergency due to the earthquake
victims, this world leader mentions Tibet. Â So I feel we should do
this [protest] again, but first we need to look back at the March
14th event and learn from the experience. And this next uprising
should be the intellectuals and the educated people. Those of us
inside Tibet need to start actions like peaceful marches, even if it
means giving up our lives then there will be some affect.

Other than this, others talk about improving the economy, improving
our life style, but this is not the time for that.

I feel that the people inside Tibet need to 'start the fire', so to speak.

The Chinese are deceiving not only the world, but their own Chinese
people with pictures of a peaceful Tibet.

We need to work not only for the Tibetan people but for democracy for
the whole of China. We cannot sit back and wait for support; we have
to make sacrifices ourselves, first.

Caller from China Female - Tsamla

This past August, during the Olympic Games, I sincerely thought there
would be some outcome in the dialogue process but there has been no
progress on that. And inside Tibet now, our culture is being
destroyed and so many things happening. I always felt that for Tibet
and our culture to survive, we need to strive for independence, but
about a month ago, I came across acha [sister] Woeser la's husband
Wang Lixiong's book 'Sky Burial: The Fate of Tibet' and this had a
profound affect on changing my thinking.

Lets say we are on the path towards complete independence, then we
will find Tibetans have to be ready to die, wage war, ultimately even
if we get independence, then those of us striving for our
independence and the Tibetans outside Tibet and the government in
exile, need to be prepared to change our society immediately from one
based on communism to one based on capitalism. Are we preparing for
this? We need to establish 2/3 political parties and forms of
thought. As a nation wedged between India and China, what will be the
best prospect for us? And as we move in this direction, from
establishing a nation to running it, we should also be prepared for
the economic challenges that the people will face when changes in
society take place. Have we considered these factors?

The exile Tibetan government has worked hard for the last 50 years if
we didn't have this then we would have ended up just like the people
in Inner Mongolia these days. They were Buddhists from the Yuan
dynasty but there is no trace of it now. Right now, inside Tibet,
there are no human rights, no freedom of religion, no freedom of
speech; but they do pay us high wages and provide some economic
benefits. But at the same time, they are slowly cutting the roots of
the basic differences between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. If
there isn't a strong movement to counter this, it won't be long
before the Tibetans become completely sinocized. And I worry that
then there'll be no one paying attention to the Tibet issue. Right
now, His Holiness is with us, the exile government is strong, and a
lot of world nations are supporting us. So we are in good shape.

But working everyday inside Tibet, the high officials in Tibet
Autonomous Region (TAR), whether Tibetan or Chinese, do not speak the
truth. It's another matter if Chinese officials don't speak the
truth, but Tibetan officials should strive to speak the truth. Maybe
they fear for their lives.

Then there is the March 14th incident. A lot of those involved were
farmers who are very poor and very religious, but they were
frustrated and they put their lives on the line to express
themselves. The Tibetans sitting in high Chinese posts, even while
they light up their butter lamps, incense and recite prayers, in
reality, play along with the Chinese and they are the ones who open
and shut their eyes and even write discriminatory notes against the
Dalai Lama just to safeguard their good lifestyle. This is the worst.
If you can denounce your own root Lama then there is nothing else you
won't do. The Tibetans inside Tibet not able to fulfill their part in this way.

No matter how hard the Tibetan government-in-exile works, the Chinese
are getting stronger and more powerful. So those of us who are living
under the Chinese, we need to act and retain our culture and strive
not to become sinocized. We have a huge responsibility. If we sit
back comfortably, everything will be lost.

We need to think about starting organizations inside, like the
Tibetan Youth Organization inside Tibet with connections to outside
organizations. It may be for Rangzen [independence], the Middle Path
approach, or maybe something new but unless we have new forces like
this, the Tibet issue will not be solved easily.

International Campaign for Tibet
1825 Jefferson Place NW
Washington, DC 20036. USA
Phone: (202) 785-1515
Fax: (202) 785-4343
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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