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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."

Opinion: Dear Envoys, how was your trip to Peking?

February 3, 2010

This article was originally published in Tibetan
in the latest issue of Bod kyi dus bab, and was translated by Tenzin Nyinjey
By mdo ‘dum tshang
Phayul
February 3, 2010

This morning I received a phone call. It said you
envoys arrived in Peking on January 25. It said
you would make your first visit to the province
of Hunan. It is said that Hunan is the birthplace
of Mao Tse-tung. It is said that after a few days
of sightseeing, real talks will take place in
Peking. Unlike in the past, it is said, for the
success of the talks, this time a special prayer
and ritual is being performed in Drepung monastery, South India.

Dear envoys of the Dalai Lama, have you finished
your tour? How is the landscape of Hunan
province? How are the people of Hunan province?
Did you see portraits of Chairman Mao there?

This morning I made a telephone call to Kashag
and asked about you envoys. The Kashag said it
placed into your hands a document outlining, in
detail, ways to achieve meaningful autonomy for
the entire Tibetan people. The Kashag said the
envoys are traveling once again to present this
document to the Chinese Government. Dear envoys,
is that true? Is this the only job you have this
time? Do you understand all the nuances of this
document? Do you think the Chinese officials will acknowledge this document?

 From January 18 to 20, the Chinese government
organized the so-called fifth Tibet Work
Committee meeting in Peking, during which it
reaffirmed its position that China’s policy in
Tibet is correct, devoid of any errors. During
your talks, are you envoys going to contradict
this and say China’s policies in Tibet are
incorrect and error-ridden? Or are you envoys
going to return in silence, after completing your
tour and presenting the document to the Chinese
officials? Dear envoys, please tell us!

Dear envoys, have you heard this: right before
you left for China, the Chinese government
sentenced monk Yeshi Jinpa from Sog county, Kham,
nun Chodron, laymen Tenzin Dhargey and Norbu
Sangpo to one to three years of rigorous
imprisonment respectively? They are presently
kept in dark prisons, dear envoys. Even worse
than that is the case of artist Tashi Dhondup,
who has been sentenced to more than seven months
in prison for singing so-called ‘politically
subversive songs.’ Dear envoys, have you listened
to his songs? He composed and sang this song, dear envoys:

Some say I am cruel
Some say I am kind
It doesn’t matter I am cruel or kind
For Tibet, the Land of Snows
I will offer this song

This song of pain and suffering,
Of being separated from my Lama
I don’t regret
Even if it cost my life

While listening to this song, a strong chill went
down my spine; my whole body trembled. Tears
welled up in my eyes. Dear envoys, what kind of
feelings the song evoked in you?

Dear envoys, how was your tour to the province of
Hunan? Did you breathe a clean air there? How was
the food of Hunan? Did it taste good?

Dear envoys, have you heard this: that on
December 26, trulku Jangchup Rinpoche, monk
Sangye Gyatso and Apo Ma were arrested by the
Chinese security forces? It is said that as soon
as you envoys set foot in China, the Chinese
government had further tightened its noose on
Lhasa; that security forces patrolling the
streets of Lhasa swelled to huge numbers.

Dear envoys, have you heard this: that on
December 26, cadres from the Cultural and Public
Security Bureau raided all the Internet cafes in
Lhasa, clamping down on my freedom to chat with friends on the Internet?

Dear envoys, what if Tibet once again plunges
into a vicious cycle of bloodshed after your
arrival in China? Can you envoys then have a peaceful and contented sleep?

Dear envoys, some powerful countries in the West
have welcomed your tour to China and your talks
with the Chinese officials. It appears they have
a reason behind this. It is said that another
goal behind your tour to China and talks is to
showcase your heartfelt acknowledgment of the
concerns expressed by all the countries that
support Tibet. However, I still don’t understand how you are going to do this.

Dear envoys, perhaps you are not aware of this:
while you are sightseeing, some of the monks in
my hometown have been ordered to surrender their
phone numbers to the Chinese security officials,
that if they are to spent more than one hour in
internet cafés, they have had to obtain a written
permission from them. Dear envoys, are you aware of these repressive measures?

Dear envoys, are you going to return in silence
after submitting the document to the Chinese
government officials? Or are you going to discuss
the current situation in Tibet, of cases of
torture and arbitrary arrests, with them? Are you
going to speak on this, dear envoys? When you
return after presenting your suggestions and
opinions, do you think the Tibetan political
prisoners will be set free? Do you think it will
help overcome the pain and agony of their family members?

Recently, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and
Democracy (TCHRD) published its annual human
rights report for the year 2009. The report
documented that in 2009 alone, 300 Tibetans have
been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned. Dear
envoys, before your return to Dharamsala, can you
help release at least 10 political prisoners, if not the whole 300 of them?

Dear envoys, during your tour in China, have you
ever kept your eyes on what’s happening inside
Tibet? I have a reason behind this question. I
still vividly remember an incident, dear envoys.
It occurred after the great peaceful
demonstrations that swept throughout Tibet in
2008. Moment after returning to Dharamsala from
your visit to China, you envoys met the press and
issued a statement. During that press conference,
the present deputy editor of Bod Kyi Bangchen
(Tibet Express), Mr. Chonyid Woeser, asked you
envoys a question: are you envoys aware of
Chinese security forces firing on unarmed
Tibetans in Chamdo? To this, the chief envoy, Mr.
Lodi Gyari, said: “We have not heard of it at
all… no body called us to relay this
information.” For an ordinary Tibetan citizen
like me, this answer still gives me pain and
suffering. Dear envoys, while touring China, you
might have been told to switch off your mobile
phones, to shut down your laptops. Dear envoys,
how did you then pay attention to all the
incidents occurring in Tibet? How did you call
Tibetans outside Tibet to seek information? If
you are asked these questions when you return to
Dharamsala this time, what kind of answers are you envoys going to give?

Dear envoys, even as I am writing this article, I
heard that you all have arrived in Peking. Have
you already submitted to the Chinese officials
the document that outlines in detail the ways to
achieve meaningful autonomy for the entire
Tibetan people? What was their reaction? Did the
Chinese officials read out to you envoys the
lengthy report that explained China’s grand plans
to develop Tibet’s economy and society? Did you
envoys put forward any suggestions regarding this
plan? Did you criticize the unbearable repressive
situation inside Tibet? Did you put forward your
demands for the unconditional release of all Tibetan political prisoners?

Dear envoys, did the Chinese officials listen to
and acknowledge your views and opinions?

Dear envoys, when you finish your tour, don’t
make haste; take your time, there’s no hurry in
making a return journey. Dear envoys, I pray for
your safe return to Dharamsala!
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