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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."

After The Busted Boycott, What Next?

July 7, 2008

Tibet Space
July 5, 2008

Most Americans had to be disappointed today when they read Lodi
Gyari's report on the Tibetan delegation's recent meeting with the
Chinese.  Disappointed, but not surprised.

"There is a growing perception among the Tibetans and my friends that
the whole tactic of the Chinese government is to engage us to stall
for time," said Lodi Gyari, who led the two-man team which met
Chinese officials in Beijing.  While commentators like Jamyang Norbu
have long embraced a far more impatient version of this opinion, even
the most conservative of us realized early on that these talks seemed
nothing more than empty exercises, designed to quiet the
international community until the Olymics were done.

Of course, it's sometimes difficult for Americans to read between the
lines of Gyari's carefully considered prose, but one sentence in
today's statement concerning China's stall tactics seemed to verge on
the comical:  "My colleague and I told our Chinese counterpart
candidly that we ourselves are beginning to inch towards this school
of thought."  Inch?  How about leap?  Pounce?  While the Tibetan
delegation expressed its disappointment with the talks, the Chinese
had another perspective:  "The Chinese side expressed the view that
the dialogue process has been productive," Gyari reported, "and that
we need to keep in mind that a half-a-century-old issue of great
complexity, cannot be resolved in a matter of years."  These are the
kinds of comments that simply defy a rational response . . .

I still cannot help but feel that a boycott of the Opening Ceremony
would have been an effective means of maintaining the kind of
international pressure that was brought to bear on the Chinese in the
wake of the March protests.  But that's a dream, as the Globe and
Mail reports:

The boycott movement is now in tatters, with no major Western leaders
still on board. Only a few smaller countries - Estonia, Poland,
Austria and the Czech Republic - have announced that they will not
send any representatives to the opening ceremony in Beijing.  Several
other leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, are not planning to attend the opening
ceremony, but they have made it clear that that they are not
participating in a boycott.

Even our state newspaper here in Arkansas ran an editorial a couple
of days ago "Envoy protesting China's involvement in the genocide in
Darfur and pronounced these the genocidal games."

If our world leaders are unable to respond forcefully to the Chinese,
we can.  Watch the Olympic Trials, then cut the television
off.  Don't watch the Olympics.

Besides, the Tour de France has started, and they're trying to clean
up their act this year, which is more than I can say for the rogue's
gallery that will soon be packing for Beijing.
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