Over the past few weeks, China has accused the "Dalai Lama clique" of inciting the violent protests in China and the damages to the Chinese embassies in countries sympathetic to the Tibetans independence cause which were cleverly disguised into one Western “buy-in” package – safeguarding human rights and religious freedoms – a sensitive nerve and values in the much publicized Western based democracy system.
Obviously, the Dalai Lama immediately dismissed the notion that he has anything to do with the violence. Let us give the benefit of the doubt to the religious leader but his presence and actions do have this “unseen” effect of motivating the Tibetans monks to initiate the protests, which is peaceful at first. His subsequent actions of not calling off the spreading violence by his people confirmed his inert intentions to create further unrests in order to put pressure on the Chinese government to listen to his uncompromising demand for a Greater Tibet dream.
Dalai Lama actionsI am not particularly concern of the Dalai Lama’s continued provocation by traveling abroad to gain international mileage towards his proclaimed “non independence cause” and his moral authority which has captivated Westerners but there is this growing radical dissident group known as the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), which has became very active of late.
The Dalai Lama has been positioned as the “goodness” part of the freedom cause free from violence like Mahatma Gandhi, a guru on using non violent means to achieve its objectives. He traveled to the sympathetic Western nations on a periodic basis to solicit for moral support and to raise funds necessary for his “partial” autonomous objectives. His peaceful face and his philanthropist gestures draw WESTERN international support by portraying China as the “bad guy” and the worse human right abuser in the world worked magically well to the Tibetans underlying “independence” cause. That is why the exiled Tibetan government administrator in Northern India is very concern by the Chinese allegations and retort this by constantly releasing statements (willingly consumed by the Western media) to deny the accusations at every which way they could using the central theme – our act is to protect human rights, religious freedom and safeguarding our Tibetan culture.
Tibetan Youth Congress extreme stance
The TYC was founded in 1970 by some young exiled Tibetans who were desperate that the Dalai Lama’s so-called middle path, of not advocating for full autonomy, was not working or effective. Hence, they rejected their religious leader stance and started to support full independence to the extent of using violence means if possible. TYC is the most influential of the many Tibetan organizations in exile wearing the pro-independence hats. TYC is reported to have 30,000 members and it has 70 branches throughout the world. Using the Dalai Lama as its respected religious leader, it was able to source for donations and financial assistance from Western sympathizers, perhaps, even including international clandestine spy agencies and the CIA.
For the past decades, the TYC were behind the many demonstrations, protests and hunger strikes to fight for the full independence of Tibet. I would not be surprised if the TYC is actively involved in the planned violence in China through its “planted” representatives in the monasteries and among the Tibetan activists.
The TYC has attracted a number of young, Western-educated Tibetans in exile, whose religious enthusiasm is not as zealous as that of older generations. They still respect the Dalai Lama but do not see the spiritual leader as the living Buddha who cannot be challenged. One TYC’s leader is its current President which needs to be mentioned here is Tsewang Rigzin, who grew up in southern India and is now a naturalized American citizen. He is presently living in Dharamsala, leaving his wife and children in the US. More than once during interviews with Western media, he has said there is no guarantee that Tibetans would only resort to non-violent actions.
The violent tone of the TYC's rhetoric first appeared in 1989 when the Dalai Lama became determined to take the "middle of the road". The then TYC president, Tseten Norbu, claimed in interviews that the “middle-of-the-road” line took into consideration interests of both Tibetans and Chinese, which the TYC found this to be unacceptable as they would only consider full independence of Tibet and would use every available means including terrorism to end the Chinese Communist Party’s rule in Tibet. He also once said that freedom and independence were worth dying for, drawing comparison with people in Chechnya and Bosnia fighting for their independence through armed struggles. Tseten Norbu even compares his Tibetan movement to that of the Palestine Liberation Organization, eventually to have its own country, and flying the Tibetan flag over the Potala Palace.
The TYC is slowly but surely evolving into a real terrorist organization taking up arms and violence to attain its independence objectives. With the passing of the Dalai Lama (now aged 72), we believe that there will not be any more restraint to resort to means such as cutting off electricity lines, blasting bridges, killing innocent people and destroying highways.
The potential threat of radical Tibetan organizations especially the TYC is very real. With China’s political and economic muscles expanding rapidly, organizations of a similar nature could be made use of by western forces who may want to prevent China from being what it is supposed to be – a world’s superpower – in the future. With financial aid and arms provided by these foreign countries, such organization could create trouble in China’s backyard delaying the projected growth of its economy and prosperity of its 55 other ethnic groups. It is likely that the stronger China becomes, the more foreign aid such independence seeking organizations would receive.
Beijing should take note of the TYC’s violence means and it is clear that they wish to take Tibet out from China. If the Dalai Lama is not around anymore, we certainly would see more violence and increased terrorist activities from the TYC.
There are only two possible solutions to the Tibetan issues.
One possible solution is to completely ignore talks with the Dalai Lama and fight the Tibetan independence cells particularly the TYC with proven and effective strategies – both internal and abroad.
The second suggested solution is to engage in peaceful dialogues with the Dalai Lama (noting his weakened authority). First and foremost, in order to gain Chinese trusts, China should insist that he goes to the United Nation and make a public declaration that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China. He must also demonstrate that he has the support and commitment of all the various rebel parties within his clique. The Chinese government will then seriously reopen talks with him or its representatives (known most likely as the 6th round of negotiations) with the hope of finding a compromising outcome. The Tibetan religious leader must also tone down his demand for a Greater Tibet (including enlarging Tibet region with lands from Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Qinghai).
Westerners asked to rebuff extreme direction
I hope the many Tibetan sympathizers from the West who was so self-right in their opinions concerning the rejection of Hamas (for its terrorist acts) in the Middle East will not be blinded by the human right activists, and boldly act to rebuff the violent and extreme directions of the Tibetan pro-independence groups especially the TYC.