RED CHINA – RED ALERT – TIBET’S FREEDOM
On behalf of Special Frontier Force I share my concern about Tibet’s Freedom. Decades of military occupation and repressive rule by Red China could not wipe out Tibetan Identity. As long as Tibetan Identity lives, Tibetans will continue to resist military occupation and will continue to seek their natural rights. The problem is indeed about the loss of American Identity. Americans have lost connection with values that shaped founding of their nation. Democracy, Freedom, Human Rights, and Peace do not continue to inspire the minds of American people. Tibet’s Freedom is at risk as American Values have evaporated.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
The Spirits of Special Frontier Force
|The Spirits of Special Frontier ForceSpecial Frontier Force is a military organization funded by United States to secure Freedom &…|
|View on www.facebook.com||Preview by Yahoo|
Human rights activist & Deputy Director at Tibet Action Institute
Tibet Isn’t Free Yet; That Doesn’t Mean the Dalai Lama Has Failed
Posted: 06/25/2015 3:38 pm EDT
In recent years, I’ve noticed an increasing trend of articles and commentaries examining the Dalai Lama’s life and legacy that conclude Tibetans, and he as their leader, have failed in their cause to restore freedom to Tibet. Having worked for this movement for 18 years, I can understand having doubts about what the future holds. But really? Failed? It’s a done deal?
Some voiced similar sentiments in the 1960s and 1970s, when most people had never heard of Tibet, and certainly no countries were bothering to advocate for Tibetan political prisoners or other rights. China had been “lost” by the west and Tibetans were unfortunate casualties.
But the gloom-and-doom analysis proved to be misguided then, as the mere handful of Tibetan refugees who had resettled globally built awareness and inspired activism. Huge protests in Lhasa in the late 1980s, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Peace Prize, Hollywood and the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, drove Tibet into international public consciousness. Likewise, this frame of analysis is misguided now.
Perhaps I’m just too invested to acknowledge that the cause is lost. But I don’t think so.
First of all, it’s human nature that where there’s injustice, there’s struggle. People don’t just give up trying to make their lives better because the odds are against them; the daily effort to resist indignities and oppose oppression continues regardless of what the endgame might be. Tibetans demonstrate this constantly, showing their opposition to China’s occupation by wearing traditional clothes, patronizing Tibetan-owned shops, holding onto their language and fighting for its use in schools, deploying art, music and poetry to express themselves and rally each other, using blockades and other direct action to protect lands, and even making the extreme choice to light themselves on fire in defiance of Chinese rule.
In fact, while state oppression has increased in recent years, resistance in Tibet has grown and deepened. A decade ago, opposition to Chinese rule seemed to manifest mainly through small, unplanned protests, which though symbolically powerful, are easily countered by China. Today, resistance is constant, sophisticated, and waged on many fronts.
And while our collective memory is short, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to remember that many — perhaps most — conflicts about rights, territory and self-governance have taken decades or centuries to resolve. Think slavery and civil rights in the U.S.A., Irish independence, the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, Indian independence and decolonization the world over.
The conditions affecting rights and freedom for Tibet are daunting, to say the least. China has steadily gained economic clout and countries increasingly react in fear when it flexes its economic muscle. Tibetans number roughly six million, Chinese 1.3 billion. Tibet’s high, mountainous plateau has kept it isolated and made it easier for China to severely limit both physical and virtual interaction between Tibetans and the outside world. And Tibet’s mineral and water resources and strategic location in the heart of Asia make it an economic and geopolitical prize.
Looking at these factors, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the Tibetan struggle hasn’t yet been won.
But not having yet won a struggle is very different from having lost it. Bill Moyer, an American theorist and activist, developed a strategic model for explaining the progress of social movements and used case studies to illustrate eight distinct phases. He emphasized that after substantial gains, such as building a mass movement, achieving popular support and defining an issue as a problem on society’s agenda, movements often find themselves mired in a sense of despair and powerlessness based on a misperception of their progress.
Tibetan freedom movement has made significant strides toward its goals: establishing the legitimacy of Tibetans’ claims to freedom, building a mass base of popular global support, overpowering China’s propaganda factory in the media, and making Tibet a constant challenge to China’s reputation on the global stage. There is much more to be done, clearly, but the critical foundation has already been built.
In fact, amidst all the tragedy, suffering and daily hardship that Tibetans face, there is much to celebrate. Far from having failed, the Dalai Lama should be recognized as one of the global leaders of the 20th and 21st century who has made an indelible, positive impact on the world.
The Dalai Lama brought the issue of Tibet to the world and inspired tens if not hundreds of thousands of people to support the cause. He bridged the various religious, regional and other divides within the Tibetan community to unify Tibetans behind a strategic approach to the struggle that included making it visible internationally — despite China’s constant objections and best efforts