CHINA-PAKISTAN AXIS – THREAT TO FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND PEACE IN THE WORLD
CHINA-PAKISTAN AXIS – THREAT TO FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND PEACE IN THE WORLD
In my analysis, the United States must give serious attention to grave threat posed to Freedom, Democracy, and Peace in the World by China-Pakistan Axis. These Axis Powers illegally occupied territories of Tibet, India, and Balochistan. Pakistan is just a stepping stone as China asserts its military power far beyond Asian continent.
DID CHINA PLAY INTO PAKISTAN’S HANDS IN DOKLAM STAND-OFF?
New Delhi: Was Doklam stage-managed by the Chinese to please Pakistan. Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer Amar Bhushan says that the problem will not escalate beyond this point. He says that let us face one fact straight and that is there will be no escalation from both sides. He says that the Chinese may have come under pressure from Pakistan to escalate the matter and cause a diversion.
Pakistan is under a lot of pressure, thanks to the aggressive stand taken by our Army. They are facing major losses and the country is facing the heat like it has never done before.
In such a scenario, they looked towards China for support. In my analysis of how the events unfolded at Doklam, it looks like the entire episode was staged to benefit Pakistan.
Pakistan felt that it needed some breathing space after receiving a beating from India and hence may have requested the Chinese to create a diversion, Bhushan also points out. All these borders, be it with Pakistan or China go quiet during the winter and these issues would automatically be resolved then, Bhushan also said.
Bhushan says that since this entire Doklam issue looks staged, there is no chance that it would escalate any further. There would be a resolution soon on the issue or matters would just drag till the winter, he also says.
Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is in China for the BRICS summit and is expected to raise the Doklam standoff. There are a couple of points Doval is likely to raise on the Doklam issue. The first would be to work around a resolution and open a channel for talks.
Bhushan says that Doval would tell the Chinese that the Prime Minister is keen on resolving the crisis. He would suggest for future engagement on both the economic and political level. Both India and China would have been convinced that there is no point in getting bogged over this small bit of area.
China has however made it clear that India will need to first pull out before both nations could work out a resolution. However, Doval is unlikely to agree to that clause. India is likely to agree for a troop withdrawal only if its men are replaced by the Bhutanese forces.
CHINA-PAKISTAN AXIS – THREAT TO FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND PEACE IN THE WORLD.
NATURAL HISTORY OF HIMALAYAN FRONTIER – TIBET IS NOT PART OF CHINA
Natural History of Himalayan Frontier establishes truth about Tibet’s Identity. Tibet is not part of China.
Red China is making invalid and baseless claims of historical ownership of Himalayan Frontier.
China warns India not to ‘push its luck’ amid border stand-off in Himalayas
Published time: 24 Jul 2017 09:06 Edited time: 24 Jul, 2017 09:09
FILE PHOTO: An Indian Army soldier stands in front of a group of People’s Liberation Army of China soldiers © Indrani Mukherjee / AFP
China has warned India not to “cling to fantasies” amid a tense border stand-off, which also involves Bhutan, involving disputed territory in the Himalayas. Earlier, China staged live-fire drills in the area while India deployed troops there.
“China’s determination and resolve to safeguard national security and sovereignty is unshakable,” Defense Ministry Spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian said in a statement on Monday, as cited by AP and local media. His words come ahead of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
“Don’t push your luck and cling to any fantasies,” Wu said.
“The 90-year history of the PLA has proved but one thing: that our military means to secure our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has strengthened and our determination has never wavered. It is easier to shake a mountain than to shake the PLA.”
© Google Maps
China and Indian ally Bhutan have been disputing the narrow Doklam plateau at the tri-junction of the three countries’ borders for decades. India says the area is Bhutanese.
Tensions between Beijing and Delhi escalated this June when Chinese teams started building a road on the plateau. Bhutan requested help from India, which sent its troops across the border.
‘Avoid escalation’: China demands India withdraw troops from disputed Himalayan territory
India also warned China that the road was a “serious security concern” because it would give China access to the Siliguri Corridor, also known as the ‘Chicken’s Neck,’ a narrow stretch of land linking India’s northeastern states to the rest of the country, NDTV reported earlier in July.
Also in July, China staged 11 hours of live-fire drills in Tibet, not far from the disputed territory, Chinese media reported. The exercises involved soldiers armed with rocket launchers, machine guns, and mortars.
In June, to support its claim, China provided historical documents which it says prove the Doklam plateau belongs to Beijing.
“First, in terms of history, Doklam has always been the traditional pasture for border inhabitants living in [China’s] Yadong [county], Xizang. China has been exercising jurisdiction over this area,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement.
However, those claims are disputed by India, which accuses China of cherry-picking facts to suit its agenda.
Both India and China reportedly bolstered their troops in the area in June, with each side adding about 3,000 soldiers, the Times of India said at that time.
The standoff is the longest between the China and India since 1962, when the two sides fought a brief war over tensions surrounding Tibet and other points along the border in the Sino-Indian War, which China won.
© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005–2017. All rights reserved.
Inserted from <https://www.rt.com/news/397299-china-india-military-border/>
TIBET EQUILIBRIUM – PAKISTAN, CHINA NORTH INDUS RIVER CASCADE – ILLEGAL BARTERING
The five dams forming the ‘North Indus River Cascade’ that Communist China plans to build in Pakistan-Occupied Indian territory represents Illegal Bartering. Firstly, Communist China’s Tibet Occupation is illegal for it violates Natural Law, Natural Balance, Natural Order, Natural Equilibrium, Natural Harmony, and Natural Tranquility that formulates connections between man and Nature. Tibet Equilibrium gives Indus River the ability to flow down to reach Arabian Sea.
China’s doctrine of Neocolonialism drives her capital investment projects to develop infrastructure and exploit natural resources to ensure her political, economic, and military domination of world. North Indus River Cascade in its essence represents the actions of two thieves sharing stolen assets. In my analysis, Communist China sponsored Indus River Projects bring no Joy, no Peace, no Harmony, and no Tranquility in the lives of people for Beijing is Doomed.
PAKISTAN’S INDUS CASCADE A CHINA-SPONSORED ‘HIMALAYAN BLUNDER’
The Indus River in Diamer District of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Pakistan’s Indus Cascade a China-Sponsored ‘Himalayan Blunder’
Updated: 22 May 2017 4:27 PM IST
The five dams forming the ‘North Indus River Cascade’ that China has just promised to finance and build in Pakistan – including Pakistan-administered Kashmir – has the potential to generate over 22,000 MW in an energy-starved country.
But the dams will also stop the flow of silt which is the lifeline of agriculture downstream. In non-monsoon months from October to June, they may also reduce the flow of water down the Indus to Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces.
Climate change is making water flow along rivers more erratic – especially rivers like the Indus, that flow from the Himalayas.
Pakistan’s entire water supply for agriculture, factories, and homes is dependent on rivers in the Indus basin. Water availability is already below the 1,000 cubic meters per person per year level at which a country is described as water-scarce, according to the global norm followed by most UN agencies.
In this situation, it is critical to look at food, energy and water together, as a nexus. Instead, the planners of Pakistan appear to be looking at energy alone.
Money, CPEC, OBOR
China is providing Pakistan with US $50 billion for the Indus Cascade. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to this effect during the recent Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – previously known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR) – conference in Beijing. China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) will oversee the funding.
China Three Gorges Corporation – which runs the world’s largest hydroelectricity project at the Three Gorges Dam – is the frontrunner to build the five dams that will form the cascade.
The MoU was signed by Pakistan’s Water and Power Secretary Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong in presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
This is in addition to the US $57 billion China is providing to Pakistan for a series of infrastructure projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of the BRI. The infrastructure projects include the building of coal-fired power stations and the port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
The Indus Cascade
The cascade plans all the way down the Indus from Gilgit-Baltistan to the existing Tarbela dam near Islamabad. It will effectively turn this huge transboundary river into a series of lakes in the last part of its journey through the Hindu Kush Himalayas to the plains of South Asia.
The uppermost of the five dams is planned at Bunji near Skardu in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, though both only control parts of it, with China also controlling some.
The 7,100 MW Bunji Hydropower Project has been described by Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) as a run-of-the-river (RoR) project. But the same promotional video (for the entire cascade) which provides this description also indicates that:
This project will have a reservoir that will spread along a 22-km stretch of the Indus and inundate a 12-km stretch of the road between Gilgit and Skardu – the two main towns of Gilgit-Baltistan. So, despite the description, this may not be an RoR project.
The next dam in the cascade is the big one – Diamer-Basha – with a planned live storage of 6.4 million-acre feet (MAF) of water and a hydropower generating potential of 4,500 MW.
From Diamer-Basha, the projects run along the Karakoram Highway, which China built in the 1960s through Pakistan administered Kashmir despite strenuous objections from India. The reservoir that will form behind the Diamer-Basha dam will submerge 104 km of the Karakoram Highway and displace about 30,000 people, according to WAPDA.
The Diamer-Basha dam is promoted by WAPDA as a sediment trap and therefore good for downstream hydropower projects. But the same sediment – mainly silt – rejuvenates the soil downstream every year and has been the main reason sustaining agriculture in the Indus valley for over a millennium.
Building the Diamer-Basha dam is estimated to cost US $15 billion. For years, Pakistan has been seeking the money from multilateral funding agencies. Experts at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have advised Pakistani planners to think of smaller dams instead. Now China has promised funding.
Just downstream of Diamer-Basha is the third dam in the cascade – the 4,320 MW Dasu Hydropower Project. This will have a reservoir that will stretch upstream for 74 km along the Indus, all the way to the Diamer-Basha dam, according to WAPDA. It will also submerge 52 km of the Karakoram Highway.
Some of the peripheral work for this project has started, and people have already been displaced, with WAPDA seeking contracts for resettlement and providing free transport to resettlement sites.
And immediately downstream of that, WAPDA has planned the 2,200 MW Patan Hydropower Project, with a 35-km long reservoir that goes up to the Dasu dam.
The Indus River from the Karakoram Highway (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Once again, the fifth dam in the cascade is just a little downstream – the 4,000 MW Thakot Hydropower Project in which the plan is to divert the Indus waters through four headrace tunnels to generate electricity.
By the time the Indus emerges from the tunnels, it will be close to the existing dam at Tarbela, which has been in operation since 1976.
The Plan, the Effect
The electricity that will potentially be generated by the five new projects forming the Indus Cascade adds up to a little over 22,000 MW. Officials in Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power have been telling the domestic media that experts from the Chinese NEA conducted feasibility study of the entire cascade this February and satisfied about feasibility of the project.
The officials say that now, after the signing of the MoU, the Chinese experts will conduct a more detailed study for three months to finalize both financing and execution of the projects. In 2015, China Three Gorges Corporation had said it wanted to be part of a financing consortium with a US $50 billion fund to build hydroelectric power projects in Pakistan.
The corporation may be the frontrunner to build the dams, but it is not the only competitor. After the MoU was signed in Beijing, several Chinese power sector companies showed willingness to join the project. This will be the first large-scale private sector hydroelectricity project in Pakistan.
At the MoU signing ceremony, Nawaz Sharif spoke glowingly of cooperation between the two governments to overcome Pakistan’s energy crisis.
“Development of the Indus Cascade is a major focus of my government and the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam is the single most important initiative in this regard.” Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister, Pakistan
He also said, “Water and food security are of paramount importance for Pakistan, keeping in view the challenges posed by climate change.”
The Indus Cascade will reduce water and food security in Pakistan instead.
One proven effect of climate change is intensification of the water cycle. In lay terms, it means fewer rainy or snowy days but more intense rainfall or snowfall in those days. Pakistan is already suffering the effects.
For the first nine years in this century, the Indus failed to reach the sea. Then there was such a cloudburst in 2010 flooding a fifth of the country. The floods also brought down, and continue to bring down, huge sediment loads that reduce the working lives of dams. To build more large dams in this situation appears dangerously short-sighted.
A side effect of the cascade project will be the need to rebuild large parts of the Karakoram Highway. Building a road in the mountains always has a strong negative effect on the environment and increases the risk of landslides manifold.
India has already boycotted the BRI conference because many of the CPEC projects are in Kashmir. Addition of a project as big as the Indus Cascade to that list is likely to lead to more protests from India and to raise tension in the region.
(This article was originally published in ThirdPole.net)
First published: 22 May 2017 4:27 PM IST
2017 © Copyright TheQuint
BEIJING INVITES HER DOOM BY EVIL ACTION IN TIBET
Red China finds comfort and security in her military power and thinks that there is no power besides her own. Red China’s action of using military force to subjugate Tibet is Evil action. Beijing sealed her fate for she invited Doom by her own actions.
CHINA FLEXES ITS MILITARY MUSCLE IN TIBET, CLOSE TO BORDER DISPUTE WITH INDIA – SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Armed forces take part in live ammunition drill that one observer says was intended as a clear warning to India
A fully staffed and equipped brigade engaged in various drills involving the rapid movement of troops, use of digital devices and combined attacks by multiple forces on the 5,000m high plateau, China Central Television said over the weekend.
In video clip shown on CCTV over the weekend, soldiers armed with machine guns, rocket launchers and mortars were seen launching an assault on an “enemy position”.
They used radar to target “enemy planes” with anti-aircraft guns and also employed anti-tank grenades, the report said. One brigade of soldiers was involved, which under the structure of the People’s Liberation Army, consists of between 4,000 and 7,000 soldiers.
A large amount of military hardware was on show during the exercise. Photo: Handout
“The 11-hour exercise covering a dozen elements was testimony to the PLA’s [Chinese military’s] combined strike capability,” it said.
The report did not give precise details of where or when the exercise was held, though it came as Chinese and Indian troops remain locked in their worst stand-off in decades, on the tri-junction with Bhutan.
An observer said the drills were meant as a warning to India. Photo: Handout
One observer said the show of strength was likely intended as a warning to India.
“The PLA wanted to demonstrate it could easily overpower its Indian counterparts,” said Beijing-based military commentator Zhou Chenming.
The Chinese force that took part in the drill is stationed in the Linzhi region of eastern Tibet, close to the stand-off. It is one of only two Chinese plateau mountain brigades in Tibet, the report said.
A fully staffed and equipped brigade took part in the drills, which lasted 11 hours, CCTV reported. Photo: Handout
In comparison, India has nearly 200,000 troops stationed in the areas it disputes with China, outnumbering its neighbor’s forces by as much as 15 or 20 to one, it said.
Nonetheless, China has a clear advantage in terms of speed of movement, firepower, and logistics, Zhou said.
“[By staging] a small-scale drill, China wants to control the problem and lower the risk of shots being fired,” he said.
China and India fought a border war in 1962, partly because India’s then leader Jawaharlal Nehru took China’s dovish stance as a green light for him to advance without retaliation, said Wang Dehua, South Asia studies experts at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.
“Showing an opponent that you are combat ready is more likely to prevent an actual battle,” he said, adding that broadcasting the drill on CCTV was also likely designed to keep the public happy.
“It could also reassure the Chinese people that a strong PLA force is there, capable and determined to defend Chinese territory,” Wang said.
REMEMBERING JULY 16, 1945 – NATURAL FREEDOM IN TIBET IS JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY
Natural Science, Physics and Chemistry describe Four Fundamental Forces, and Four Fundamental Interactions. Applying these principles, man developed explosive device called Atomic Bomb to conduct its successful test on July 16, 1945.
Applying the same principles, I recognize the potential power of heavenly bodies such as large stones to yield massive force that can change the attitude of belligerent nations.
Natural Forces acting together established Natural Freedom in Tibet. It is of no surprise to note that Tibetan Existence for centuries was characterized by Independent Lifestyles in testimony of Tibet Equilibrium or Tibet Tranquility based upon Natural Balance, Natural Harmony, and Natural Peace without any human intervention.
Occupation of Tibet since 1950s involved application of man’s Military Force. To counteract it, I am not seeking application of Strong Nuclear Force of man-made devices like the Atomic Bomb. If I am correct, Natural Freedom in Occupied Tibet is ‘Just a Stone’s Throw Away’.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB TEST IS SUCCESSFULLY EXPLODED – JULY 16, 1945 – HISTORY.com
On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt supporting the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as a basis for a weapon of mass destruction. In February 1940, the federal government granted a total of $6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.
Brigadier-General Leslie R. Groves, himself an engineer, was now in complete charge of a project to assemble the greatest minds in science and discover how to harness the power of the atom as a means of bringing the war to a decisive end. The Manhattan Project (so-called because of where the research began) would wind its way through many locations during the initial period of theoretical exploration, most importantly, the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi successfully set off the first fission chain reaction. But the Project took final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began directing Project Y at a laboratory at Los Alamos, along with such minds as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and Fermi. Here theory and practice came together, as the problems of achieving critical mass—a nuclear explosion—and the construction of a deliverable bomb were worked out.
Finally, on the morning of July 16, in the New Mexico desert120 miles south of Santa Fe, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The scientists and a few dignitaries had removed themselves 10,000 yards away to observe as the first mushroom cloud of searing light stretched 40,000 feet into the air and generated the destructive power of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. The tower on which the bomb sat when detonated was vaporized.
The question now became—on whom was the bomb to be dropped? Germany was the original target, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only belligerent remaining was Japan.
A footnote: The original $6,000 budget for the Manhattan Project finally ballooned to a total cost of $2 billion.
NATURAL TIBET – VASTNESS AND EMPTY AREAS OF TIBET SICKENED BY OCCUPATION
World must know about Real or Natural Tibet where Natural Forces, Natural Factors, and Natural Conditions shape Tibetan Identity. The vastness, and empty areas of Tibet sickened by Occupation bear testimony to burden, hardship, pain, suffering, and misery endured by Tibetans. The Blessings of Natural Freedom, and Independent Lifestyles enjoyed by Tibetans over centuries got compromised or abridged by Occupation since 1950s.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
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Photographs Taken During a Journey Around Tibet in 1997 by Linda Griffiths
on 14 July 2017 •
My old blue notebook is very rough, with scribbled notes of routes, ongoing costs and map marked up. My daughter accompanied me. We took a flight from Kathmandu into Lhasa on Saturday 5 April 1997.
We received a warm welcome from the many Tibetans we met — a life-changing experience for me, a homecoming — the landscape, buildings and the people merging, and overnight stays with Tibetan families wherever possible. Initially I had altitude sickness, tight headaches and vomiting. So tiring at first being at Lhasa altitude so suddenly — only 3,590 meters. We adjusted after a few days and crisscrossed many passes way higher than Lhasa.
We stayed in Lhasa for 5 days visiting the Jokhang Temple many times and the Potala Palace once. In the streets and markets, meeting people, arranging the many visas required for each step of our journey, hiring a 4-wheel drive vehicle, with a Tibetan driver and a Tibetan guide. They made our journey a wonderful experience and kept us safe across the vast snowy high plains totally devoid of markings of any sort, not even tracks of other vehicles, no signs. Only Mountain peaks. We had to take everything with us, medicine, water, snacks, gifts and prayer flags.
On Thursday 10 April, we left Lhasa for Tsetang visiting Gonkar Chode monastery on the way, not far from the airport. We also visited Tradruk Monastery. Stayed in Tsetang — not a wonderful experience.
Friday 11 April, we took the Land rover on a ferry across the Brahmaputra — 90 terrifying minutes, then drove through desert to visit Samye Monastery for a day before returning to Tsetang for the night. Samye is amazing, wonderful.
On Saturday 12 April, we visited Chonge tombs and continued via the Luga La pass at 4,600 meters. Views of the nomadic grasslands and lakes. We stayed at Tanzik Gov. Guesthouse — best place so far. Many yaks, horses, great birds, sheep and rabbit like animals. Saw Mawochock monastery from afar hanging on a sheer cliff face.
Owing to us not being granted access to military areas we were forced to take several round about routes doubling our journey so we could visit important places. The many extra hours in the vehicle were hard but worth it.
On Monday 14 April, we arrived at Dowa Dzong capital of Lhodrak County. A drive up the winding pass of Gampa La at 4,794 meters. We looked down at the astoundingly turquoise Yamdrok Yutso Lake. Finally, a tea stop in Nakartse. High plains, vast and empty without sign of humanity, then small villages with very friendly people. Then the high pass, the Monda La at 5,266 meters. This is high altitude. Prayer flags on piles of carved rocks at the top.
On Tuesday 15 April with visited Sekar Gutok, a military town. We continued to the 9-storied tower constructed by Milarepa. A place most difficult to reach — 32 km along a very deep sided gorge with rushing waters. We felt trapped in the gorge, perhaps the rushing waters would submerge us, we felt so small. This area with the famous tower is close to the Bhutan border. It feels like the end of the world. Finally, a small village with lovely people and lots of children. At the tower, itself we were well received. We hung prayer flags outside all around the building. Very special. This was our ultimate destination of the trip. We felt a sense of fulfilment, we felt blessed.
On Wednesday 16 April, we travelled to Gyantse, a very large town where time has stood still for centuries after retracing our steps via the Monda La pass and along the side of Phuma lake, frozen over today. We turned off to Nakartse. We had a day around Gyantse visiting the great Kumbum stupa and the monastery. Next, we went to Zhigatse where we visited the large and impressive monastery with many monks. A lively place. Nice place to stay.
We decided to make a 3-day detour on our road back to Kathmandu to visit Base Camp Mt. Everest on the Tibetan side. We also visited the nearby monastery. Main memory is of vastness, empty areas, only the wind breathing.
Photographs Taken During a Journey Around Tibet in 1997 © Linda Griffiths
From a showing at the Golden Buddha Centre, Totnes.
Tags: Buddhist Photographs of Tibet, Gonkar Chode monastery, Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Milarepa
15 July 2017 • 2:46 am
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The vastness, empty areas of Tibet suffer from unnatural event called Occupation which imposes burden, hardship, pain, suffering, and misery for it compromises or abridges Natural Freedom and Independent Lifestyles of Tibetan people.
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NATURE PLAYS TIBET CARD TO GENERATE TIBETAN FLAVOR OF NATURAL FREEDOM
Man is Born Free and hence Man Claims Freedom as Natural Right. Natural Forces, Natural Mechanisms, and Natural Events created Tibetan Plateau over thousands of years imparting Natural Tibetan Flavor to Natural Freedom enjoyed by denizens of Tibet.
Occupation is Unnatural Event for it compromises Natural Freedom. Hence, Tibetans naturally respond to Forces of Occupation with Resistance Enduring Pain, Suffering, Hardship, and Misery.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
Indian Defence News
India-China Standoff: Free-Tibet Movement In News Again, But Does New Generation Really Care?
Thursday, July 13, 2017
By: Outlook India
“If New Delhi is pulling the strings of the Tibetan exiles’ political act of flag-hoisting, it will only have burned itself,” China’s state-run Global Times reacted in an editorial on July 9 after the Narendra Modi government reportedly allowed the Tibetan government in exile — on the eve of the Dalai Lama’s 82nd birthday — to perform rituals on the shores of Ladakh’s Pang Gong Lake along the disputed boundary with China.
China also warned India to refrain from playing the “Dalai Lama card”. This came amid the ongoing border row between the two nations in the Sikkim sector. Whether India plays the Dalai Lama card or not, the latest standoff has once again shifted a little focus on the struggle of the thousands of Tibetan refugees in India who have been demanding free-Tibet for more than six decades now.
Since 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled occupied Tibet to escape the Chinese regime, Tibetan refugees have been pouring into India. More than 100,000 Tibetans live in 39 formal settlements and dozens of informal communities across India. While the numbers have waxed and waned over the years the tide has never stemmed. The Indian government has funded schools to provide free education for Tibetans, and reserved seats in medical and engineering colleges.
A majority of the Tibetans living in India have been born and brought up within the country.
In a ruling last year, the Delhi High Court said nationality of Tibetans, born in India between 1950 and 1987, cannot be questioned under the Citizenship Act, and directed the government to issue passports to all Tibetans who meet the criteria of being Indian citizens by birth.
But the important question is does this generation have ties to their homeland as strong as those of their parents and grandparents? Do they share the same fierce hope that one-day, soon, Tibet will be liberated and the entire exiled community can go home?
Kunga Gyaltse, 43, a second-generation Tibetan refugee living with his family in Majnu ka Tila, a housing colony for Tibetans set up by the Indian government in north Delhi, is adamant that Tibetans in India have retained the purity of their culture. “Our ties with Tibet are just as strong,” he says.
The colony is only a heartbeat away from the main road, but it seems like a wholly different world. A Buddhist temple and giant prayer wheel hem in the main square. Groups of Tibetans sit around the square sipping cups of tea while Buddhist monks in chougu robes are immersed in the counting of prayer beads. Tibetan culture seems alive and vibrant in the heart of old Delhi.
Kunga places great value on housing colonies for refugees and the system of education controlled by the Tibetan government in exile. He believes that these have allowed Tibetans to flourish as a separate community with a distinct culture.
“We teach our kids that it’s their duty to love Tibet. Their education is in Tibetan. If we’d mixed in with the Indian community we’d have lost our culture. But we stayed apart,” he adds.
And what about the prospects of a Free-Tibet? Kunga and his friend, Dickyi, 48, are optimistic. “It will definitely be free in our lifetime,” Dickyi says.
“The Dalai Lama is the reason our culture persists,” adds Dickyi’s friend Dolma, 45. All the Tibetans, varying in ages, are unanimous in their belief in the Dalai Lama and his central role in the freedom struggle.
However, Jigme, 25, who lives in Dharamsala and works for the Tibetan government in exile, says a fully free-Tibet is unlikely to be realized any time soon.
“I vouch for the middle path, I think that’s far more practical,” he says.
This refers to a policy that advocates for Tibetan autonomy within the framework of Chinese rule. Jigme acknowledges that this is not something the older generation is likely to support.
“My grandmother is purely Tibetan, she never adapted to Indian ways. She will only go back to a fully free Tibet,” he adds.
Jigme is also in favor of Tibetans applying for Indian citizenship, an issue that has divided the Tibetan community in India in recent times. Citizenship provides security and permanence. It eases problems that refugees face with college admissions, where their foreign status leads to exorbitant fees. It makes it easier to apply for jobs in the public sector. Yet many Tibetans shun Indian citizenship.
In 2015, the Election Commission, in a move aimed to ease the citizenship process for Tibetan refugees, allowed them to register for voter identity cards for the Delhi assembly elections. Many prominent activists and Tibetan leaders spoke out against the same. They argued that this move would dilute the cause for Tibetan freedom.
Many younger Tibetans feel differently. Twenty-eight-year-old Tenzing wants the law governing citizenship to be expanded to include younger Tibetans.
“I would like to apply for citizenship, it would help a lot,” she says ruefully.
Angphurvasherpa, 57, a monk, disagrees. He sees applying for Indian citizenship as a selfish act.
“In India, they give you documents to travel without having citizenship, so what is the need for it?” he says.
According to him, the younger generation doesn’t understand the kind of hardships people in Tibet are facing.
“They don’t value their own nation, they only care about themselves, they only value their own lives,” he says.
The relationship of Tibetan refugees to their homeland has changed over time.
Honey Oberoi Vahali, the author of Lives in Exile: Exploring the Inner World of Tibetan Refugees, describes how younger refugees view Tibet in a wholly different way from their ancestors.
“Younger Tibetans have begun to feel that carrying the homeland forward is more symbolic than literal,” she says. “Since they’ve never seen Tibet it is viewed as part of an imagined past, inherited from their parents and grandparents.”
Tenzing Sonam, 58, a writer, film director and essayist who is a long-standing advocate for Tibetan rights seems to agree.
“Today’s youngsters are several generations removed from a direct connection with Tibet. So, although their sense of being Tibetan is still strong, their idea of Tibet is almost mythical,” he say
He argues that Tibet has changed so drastically over the last 60 years that most exiled Tibetans would find it hard to adjust to life over there.
Those who have come more recently from Tibet, see vast differences between Tibetans in India and those in Tibet. Lkhyi, 22, is one such refugee. She fled Tibet for India when she was 12. She observes that refugees born and brought up in India have adopted the local culture and customs to a far greater degree than they realize.
“They are very different”, she says. “In terms of education, religion, the way they think everything. Even their taste in food is completely different.” She adds with a smile.
For younger Tibetans, born and brought up in India, balancing their Indian identity with their Tibetan roots is a challenge. Moreover, India doesn’t always welcome them with open arms. The alienation that Tibetans still face within the nation, a place they see as home, often pushes younger refugees to join organizations such as the Students For Free Tibet (SFT), a global network of students and activists that work for the freedom of Tibet.
Tenzin Tselha, SFT’s India branch director, recalls one such experience that prompted her to join the organization.
“I had a lot of difficulties during my college admissions. People thought I was a foreigner, but I’ve been born and brought up in India, that’s when it really hit me,” she says. Tselha, 22, wanted to learn more about her culture and do something for her people so she moved to Dharamsala and joined the SFT.
While some young Tibetans still echo the hopes and passions of their parents and grandparents, others are more focused on the present and creating a life of opportunity, than in the struggle to free Tibet.
Thomas Kauffmann, author of The Agendas of Tibetan Refugees: Survival Strategies of a Government-in-Exile, argues that one of the main problems that Tibetans in India are facing is the dismantlement of settlements.
“Many youngsters are indeed leaving the settlements because they don’t find jobs there and/or because they are attracted by other opportunities in cities or in other countries. There is nowadays a second migration from India to the West for the Tibetans.”
“Many young Tibetans are moving to places like the US,” says Angphurvasherpa.
He contends that since these countries don’t settle Tibetans into colonies, inevitably such relocation dilutes Tibetan culture. “But what can one do,” he says with a sad simile.
Today, as the fourth and fifth generations of Tibetans are born within India, the differences among the community seem large. There are competing ideas regarding the best path to freedom, clashes over accepting Indian citizenship and discontent over the migration of youngsters.
Despite this, until now the community has managed to preserve their culture. They have battled with yet stayed true to their identity.
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