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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."

The Issue of Autonomy for Tibet

October 27, 2008

By Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa
October 25, 2008

I support His Holiness the Dalai Lama's call for genuine autonomy for
Tibet. But I support it only if it is within the realm of a truly
democratic China, not under the sovereignty of a communist China. And
I support it only if we are stand on our principles and not on the
pretext of joining China's economic boom as that would enslave us
under their monetary power.

Why? Because China, under communism, has already flagrantly reneged
on an autonomous agreement signed in 1951, which they themselves
dictated - clearly proving that to communists an agreement is meant
to be broken, not to be kept. An agreement is like a "paper tiger" to
communists. They feel they can easily tear it up when and if it
doesn't suit them and use it in a predatory manner when it does.

Further, communists believe that religion is poison, as Mao himself
told the Dalai Lama, while Buddhism is a sacred religion to Tibetans.
Also, since communists believe that religion is poison, they
logically believe that the religious head of an institution is
"lethal" poison, which the Tibetans can never accept because to
Tibetans the Dalai Lama is not only the supreme head of their
religious institution but also the reincarnation and emanation of the
God of Compassion.

Moreover, communism is fraught with dictatorship and totalitarianism
while Tibetans fervently believe in democracy. And if we seek
autonomy only for their economic power, we will always be slave to
their monetary power -  meaning, we will only be working for a boss.

Finally, I believe that with a genuine autonomous status within the
realm of a truly democratic China, Tibet has a good chance of
regaining her independence rather than under the tyrannical
sovereignty of a communist regime.

* A passionate political activist for a free Tibet, Tsoltim N.
Shakabpa is a retired senior Tibetan-American international
investment banker turned recognized poet.
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