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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Opinion: The Tibet Blame Game

June 20, 2008

American Chronicle
Szilvia Gogh
June 18, 2008

China should never have been picked to host the Olympic Games, the
symbol of tolerance between different nations and people. China is
powerful enough to not care about anybody else, and enforce its will
on the rest of the world.

This heated situation between China and Tibet is not new, it has been
going on for almost 50 years. However, under the light of the Olympic
torch, now the world finally opens its eyes to see China´s barbaric
suppression of Tibet, but will it make a difference? Will things
change? I don´t think so.

Asia Times reported that China believes that the Dalai Lama wants to
use the occasion of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing to
"internationalize" the Tibet issue in the hope it would lead to the
ultimate independence of the Himalayan region.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and
spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He does not live in Tibet
though; he lives in India, where he was given political asylum in 1959.

"His holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with
Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the
thirteenth Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the
Buddha of Compassion. The world´s foremost Buddhist leader travels
extensively, speaking eloquently in favor of ecumenical
understanding, kindness and compassion, respect for the environment
and, above all, world peace," wrote Jeffery Hoppkins , professor of
Tibetan and Buddhist studies at the University of Virginia.

In November 1950, His Holiness assumed political power, after some
80,000 Peoples Liberation Army soldiers invaded Tibet. Beijing´s
ruthless policy ignited an upraising and resistance that exploded in
the capital of Tibet, Lhasa on March 10, 1959 with the largest
demonstration in Tibetan history, calling on China to leave Tibet and
reaffirming Tibet´s independence. The uprising was brutally crushed
by the Chinese army and His Holiness was forced to escape. He was
exiled to Dharamsala, India with some 80,000 Tibetan refugees.

Dharamsala, known as "Little Lhasa" became the seat of the Tibetan
Government-in-exile. Today, more than 120,000 Tibetans live in exile
and Tibetan leader could not set foot on Tibetan soil for almost 50
years, according to the Government-in-exile.

Over the years, His Holiness appealed to the United Nations, calling
on China to respect the human rights of Tibetans and their desire for
self-determination without achieving any change in the situation.

The Dalai Lama tirelessly urges people to be more tolerant in his
public speeches around the world. He believes that "it is better to
have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than
one single religion or philosophy." He met Pope John Paul II at the
Vatican to discuss tolerance and ways of achieving peace between
nations, religions and people.

"We live in a period of great crisis, a period of troubling world
developments. It is not possible to find peace in the soul without
security and harmony between peoples," said the Dalai Lama.

The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Dalai Lama with a
Nobel Peace Price in 1989 and praised him. "The Committee wants to
emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the
liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He
has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and
mutual respect," the committee said.

China has drawn international criticism because of its recent
crackdown in Tibet. Peaceful pro-independence protests began in Lhasa
on March 10. But than violence erupted, with shops burned and stores
looted. The protests have threatened to overshadow Beijing´s hosting
of the Summer Olympic Games in August, reported CNN and other
international news agencies.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao accused the Dalai Lama of trying to
undermine the Games. "They want to undermine the Olympic Games. We
should respect the principles of the Olympics. We should not
politicize the Games," he reportedly said.

"Many nations have called on China to exercise restraint in dealing
with the Tibetan protests, but none has indicated it will boycott the
Olympics", reported the Asia Times.

Despite the rhetoric, the latest events are unlikely to change much.
China is so big and powerful that nobody can tell it what to do. As
much as I know, all the protesters could be dead or in prison for
life. China is known for expelling foreign reporters from troubled
areas and mounts its own media campaign, disregarding what a free
press should stand for. Beijing organized a "news tour" for selected
reporters to Lhasa to report the protests, but restricted the visits
to the burnt out shops and damaged temples. Interviews included only
civilians whose families were killed in the violence and injured
policemen. Monks were not allowed to be interviewed, but that did not
stop a group of Buddhist monks from disrupting the tightly controlled
tour by shouting, "Tibet is not free!"

Unfortunately for the Tibetan people, instead of making things better
with attracting the world´s attention to the Himalayan region, they
only angered mother China. The Western world most likely will soon
forget about the few hundred dead in Lhasa in the shadows of Iraq,
Afghanistan and other regions with higher death rolls, but Beijing will not.

After the friendly Olympic Games are over, China will take the gloves
off and assure that Tibet does not break up a nation that is taken so
much work and lives to "unite".
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