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"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?"

City of Berkeley hosts Tibet's Prime Minister: middle ground sought

June 2, 2010

Tibet's Prime Minister, local citizens and Amnesty International representatives together presented the case for "middle ground" from the Chinese government.  

Sandhong Ripoche is encouraged after attempting nine different times since 2002 to gain constitutional safeguards for Tibet from the Chinese government.   In 1950, Tibet was invaded by the Chinese Army, who quickly won the invasion resulting in a 17 point agreement in '51 which recognized China's sovereignty over Tibet.  This latest move to have Chinese people inside and outside of China support some "middle ground" for Tibet brought the Prime Minister to Berkeley.   Ripoche states  he is encouraged because "Chinese in China are supportive of the Tibetan cause."  Though there has been failure to gain ground for Tibetan government in the past, Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet are seeing this shift as a positive that may impose some pressure on the Chinese Government for the changes they are seeking. 

But it is noted as Tibet makes an effort in Berkeley to gain US sympathy,  that in 2008, in Tibet, Chinese were attacked, killed and injured because of their ethnicity alone (wikipedia article on Tibetan unrest) and neither Dalai Lama nor the Tibetan leadership acted to discourage or condemn such actions by the Tibetans.  There is the  perspective that the government that the Dalai Lama established after fleeing Tibet in 1959 does not have the sympathetic response of the Chinese people because of the 2008 killings, and other incidences. 

(**Please take note of the COMMENTS offered from parties in response to this article; people directly acquainted with the issues of Tibet with China, the history and the status quo, what is holding the issues in place.)

The City Council of Berkeley recently had citizens request that Berkeley be a Sanctuary City for illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, still under consideration. If Tibetan leaders are looking for a home in Berkeley, or at least a base of sympathy for their history with China, all sides of the story will unfold and are certainly worthy of serious debate and consideration.

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