August 7, 2009
   Posted in News Flash
Published By Tashi

Resolve the Issue of Tibet and Half a Million Careers Go Up in Smoke

The Reason for No Positive Response to Dharamsala’s Autonomy Proposal, Chinese Say


Geneva, 7 August – Yesterday, the Tibetans explained. The Chinese listened. Today, the Chinese talked. The Tibetans listened.In
a session crafted to both soul-search and brainstorm and rich with
symbolism and resonant with historic potency, the more than 100 Chinese
and Tibetans attending the Finding the Common Ground conference were
divided into four groups to grapple with the challenge of moving the
Sino-Tibetan dialogue process forward and reaching out to the Chinese

One Chinese participant said that one
major stumbling block in this challenge is the network of organs in the
party, government and army that constitute China’s vast anti-splittism
bureaucracy. He said China’s current “anti-splittism rampage gives
career and livelihood to at least about 400,000 cadres involved in the
campaign. If the dialogue between Dharamsala and Beijing succeeds,
these people will be out of jobs the next day. The speaker said that
this bureaucratic grip on policy-makers in Beijing is the real reason
why there is no positive response from Beijing to Dharamsala overtures
and fresh ideas. Vested interests formulate policy and their interests
outweigh China’s national interests.

One participant said, “I am not for
Tibetan independence but I support the right of the Tibetan people to
their culture and religion. I’ve been to Tibet. Chinese condescension
of Tibetans is obvious.” The speaker said that this was not helped by
the distorted Chinese government propaganda. The speaker said, “We need
to discuss how we can expose and discredit government propaganda. We
can do this by writing on the issue of Tibet extensively and non-stop.
We need to destroy big Han chauvinism.”

During the workshop session, two
groups were assigned to discuss and come up with fresh ideas on how the
Sino-Tibetan dialogue process can be advanced. The other two were
assigned to come up with new ideas on how to strengthen the ongoing
outreach to the Chinese people. The common theme for the four groups is
Tibet-China interface: the Chinese perspective.

Given the range of issues that are
being discussed and the vigour with which ideas are expressed and
exchanged make this conference go beyond the past Sino-Tibetan dialogue
conferences that constituted
Tibetans-have-suffered-and-Chinese-apologize type. Both His Holiness
the Dalai Lama’s encouragement yesterday to never give up and Kalon
Tripa, Samdhong Rinpoche’s responses to the wide-ranging questions seem
to have given a new lease of life to the interface between Tibetan
exiles and the Chinese interested in the issue of Tibet.

One Chinese participant said, “If we
want to decide the issue of Tibet, we first must decide on the issue of
the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. If we manage to decide on this
issue, everything about Tibet can be easily decided.” The speaker said,
“This is because the Dalai Lama is not only the leader of the Tibetan
people but has become the leader of the Chinese. Because of this, his
return should take place without any pre-condition, His wish to go on a
pilgrimage to Wutai Shan is his right.”

Another participant responded to this
suggestion by saying, “The authorities fear that even a visit by the
Dalai Lama to Tibet or China will unleash strong latent forces which
the authorities would not be able to control and hence no positive
response from the authorities for permission for a simple pilgrimage to
Wutai-shan.” Wutai Shan is considered by Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists
alike as the abode of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom.

Another speaker said, “I have work
with the People’s Daily for more than 20 years. Then I had no knowledge
of Tibetan culture. Only thing I knew was something vague about
Shambala. Now it is our collective responsibility to understand and
dessiminate the values of Tibetan culture to people in China.”

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