Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Manuel shows ignorance of Tibetan history

March 31, 2009

The Times (South Africa)
March 29, 2009

We express our surprise and distaste at recent
comments by minister of finance Trevor Manuel on
the denial of a visa to the Dalai Lama and on the
motives and person of the Dalai Lama. The
Committee and Members of the South African Friends of Tibet

The Dalai Lama did not "want" to come to South
Africa to speak about "the secession of Tibet
from China," as Manuel stated. The Dalai Lama was
invited by his fellow Nobel laureates to attend
the Johannesburg Peace Conference and take part in the discussions.

In speaking of Tibetan "secession" from China,
Manuel shows ignorance of the real situation. The
Tibetan government in exile was formed by the
Dalai Lama and several government ministers who
followed him into exile after a Chinese plot to
assassinate him was uncovered. Since then, the
Tibetan exile government has called for genuine
Tibetan autonomy within a greater China.

Manuel’s comparison of Tibet to Taiwan, as
wishing to secede from a "single China," is
nonsensical and shows ignorance of the historical
facts. Before the illegal and brutal invasion and
occupation of their territory by China, Tibetans
had, since the early 1900s, been a de-facto independent state.

We dismiss with contempt Manuel’s comment that,
in some quarters, criticis ing the Dalai Lama is
equivalent to "shooting Bambi." We are
disappointed by the decline of an otherwise
responsible and competent politician into
becoming a mouthpiece for crude Chinese propaganda.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank