Last night I had an appointment with a Polish Journalist. We talked about Tibet, Tibet and Tibet. In fact it was I who did all the talking. To have an objective discussion on Tibet is one of the most difficult thing to do in this world. This is because the issue, especially for us Tibetans, is a very emotional one.
Considering the precarious situation of us exiled Tibetans, the only pragmatic thing we can do for Tibet is talk and debate on it. In the process, we can hope to find a new way for Tibet. Some actions can also be taken, and is being taken by courageous Tibetans - some non-violent protests, every now and then.
Such campaigns have been initiated ever since we were driven out of our homeland – way back in 1949. Its been a long time back now. Fifty years might not be a long time for a national liberation struggle. They say India fought for two hundred years before it became independent. But then we should also remember that it took just thirty odd years to completely change the face of China. The country was one of the poorest in the world when it was established in 1949. But now it is considered as the future superpower, overpowering even the mighty United States.
Sadly, no concrete solution has been found for Tibet. Tibetans on both sides of the Himalayas continue to suffer severe repression and national humiliation. Democracy, human rights, economic development, global warming, rule of law, freedom, dignity – these are luxurious items for us.
We don’t even have a secure base. We are not sure of what will happen tommorrow. Despite such tough conditions, Tibetans have so far kept the issue of Tibet alive. It has remained steadfast to its struggle for national freedom. China keeps on lecturing on “peace and stability” in Tibet. This is a clear indication that so far it has not been able to pacify Tibet.
Although China controls Tibet physically thanks to its overwhelming force represented by the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police, it has not been able to extinguish the flame of freedom that burns in the heart of every Tibetan. Be they communist cadres, monks, nuns, or common Tibetans, all of them know that Tibet is an occupied country. They know that the identity of Tibet can be secured only when the Chinese are driven out of Tibet.
And herein lies the significance. As long as the spirit of the Tibetans last, as long as the will and aspiration to resist Chinese colonialism continues, there is always hope for Tibet.