By China Watcher
After the huge international publicity created by the resignation of a prominent Hollywood film director as artistic director for the Beijing Olympics to commence in August this year, human right activists, once again, stirred up the Tibetans in-exile in Dharamsala, India to conduct a protest march all the way to Tibet from India to commemorate the anniversary of the 1959 failed uprising. There were only 100 protestors. I would view this matter more symbolic than anything else since trekking across the Himalaya into Tibet is certainly very dangerous as it is a long and treacherous path, which may cost human lives. And the Western media obviously loves to highlight this small event to discredit the Chinese government.
Simultaneously, the Chairman of the Tibetan government in China, Champak Phuntsok, confirmed on Monday, 10 March 2008 that there were about 300 monks from Drepung monastery outside Lhasa who set off on their march to the city but the issue was resolved without incident. I am of the opinion that the protest is confined to a small group of pro-Dalai Lama Monks and there are certainly not representative of the larger Tibetan population. This is clearly an act of desperation on the part of the monks who wanted to bring back the past feudal system whereby the monks have a complete hold on the lives of the Tibetans for centuries.
I am sure the average Tibetans would not want to relive the past of serfdoms and masters. China has brought development to Tibet, a land-locked country, but the Western media always play up this stale agenda to highlight the damages to the colorful surroundings and environment, the eradication of Tibetan Culture and the restriction of places of worship for the Tibetans. Why don’t the critics take a trip to Tibet and see it for your own what the Chinese has done for Tibet?
Maybe the migrated Han Chinese from other parts have done well economically but the Tibetans are also faulted for not attempting to learn Mandarin, the business language, and acquire entrepreneurial skills from the various training institutes across the country. There are already Tibetans who are educated from Beijing University who have not only been successful in Tibet but in other parts of China. The Chinese autonomous government in Tibet has always provided education as a means to raise the standard of living of the average Tibetans and it will take some time for the success of this program to take root.
In most Chinese internet forums, the online users are supportive of a Tibet which is part of China and not the other way around like the Western media puts it. The internet users also expressed their dissatisfaction recently over a foreign singer who shouted for Tibet's autonomy in a concert at Shanghai. The West has tried to champion an independence Tibetan cause but I view the matter as clear hypocrisy because when the British ruled India at one time, they have the opportunity to free up Tibet with their influence but they did not do it. In fact, the British is a party to the division of the border along the northern part of India with China which to this day these “grey” regions are hotly contested between the two countries.
Personally I believe that the activists protest is merely an act to take advantage of the publicity to disrupt the Games run-up so that they can achieve their agenda of a Free Tibet. But I am confident this will never happen.