1) The Tibetans have the right of self determination. Their freedom and their rights supersedes whatever history argument. Even if it would mean that T1bet will become a satellite state of the American or Indian imperialists like Mongolia had become of the USSR, it is their choice
2) PRC has legitimate claim to Tibet (just as legitime as UK over North Ireland, Canada over Montreal, France over New Calendonia and other Pacific islands, USA over the various Indian Reserves and every single other inch of land it owns, and more legitimate than Israel over Gaza and West Bank), however, refer to (1) above.
3) Western media, people and governments apply double standard toward PRC vs the other cases above
4) There might have been brutal crackdown in 1987-1989. But what happened in March 2008 is really no different from Los Angeles in 1992
- One of the arguments is what the West was not able to see all of Lhasa during that week (Mar 10-17). Bloggers and reporters like James Miles disclaim that they can only talk about what they saw. And "PRC is to be blamed because they do not know about what happened in areas that they were not allowed to see"
- Well, after my Lhasa trip, I was quite certain that there is nothing Mr James Miles and blogger Kadfly/etc had not seen. Because, if you look at the maps in my previous post, we have seen photos and witness accounts on almost all of Lhasa where there was demonstration and riot, except a few alleys. There was actually not much that the PRC government had been able to hide (just examine the map)
- Furthermore, so far no picture or video had been provided to prove any brutality of PAP during that week in Lhasa. On the contrary, we had seen pictures of wounded PAP and violence from the demonstrator. and stones thrown at PAP shield formations, plus shield phalanx being broken through with PAP heads bleeding
- While there had been claims of 80-100 dead in Lhasa from pro-Tibetan organizations/individuals, they had not been able to provide a single name or picture! (not to say picture or PAP beating up demonstrators -- I am sure some demonstrator had the handphone to take such picture. It is surreal no western reporter or commentator has asked such question (had they done so they may risk being lynched by the Richard Gere's of this world)
- In Kadfly's pictures, we can see clearly that the PAP has been very restrained, and let the demonstrators stoned through the alley
- All the above, is not to say that Freedom of Speech should be violated. I am just saying the PAP approach was not "brutal", which seems to be the word every western media had chosen to use automatically
6) What the western media, and the Richard Gere's have done now, by ignoring or distorting the improved and restrained efforts by the PRC, is to deny its effort to adopt a relatively restrained approach to the demonstration and demonise it
7) Now try to put yourself into the shoes of the PAP commanders. You have two options.
- stay back and act like a civilize western anti-riot police, use tear gas and your bare hands, perhaps suffering some casualties
- use force, bats, or even gun -- the most convenient way to gain control
What would you do if the result is the same anyway. i.e. you would be condemned as people shooters in either case, whether you are black or white (most likely you are light gray) you will still be painted black. Is there still such need to "pretend"?
When I was in Lhasa, just when I became fairly convinced that the PAP had been restrained (listening to words from both Hans and Tibetans). My Blackberry showed a news article from Apple Daily that a few were killed in Sichuan (Chamdo area). At first I doubted the credibility. But I saw victim names were quoted for the first time. Then the reasoning above (#7) came to my mind. I am starting to worry about these Tibetan people.
I doubt if TYL cares about the death of a few fellow Tibetans. After all, "Revolution is not taking your guests to a dinner" (Mao Zedong quote). But I suppose such an outcome (PAP choosing the convenient approach) is certainly not what Dalai Lama wants. If this is not what Dalai Lama wants to see, I suppose this should not be what the Richard Gere's want to happen.
Now I don't give a damn about the Olympic torch relay in Paris or San Francisco. Such shows are rather silly and I do not think the disruption means much to the majority of the Chinese people who do not even see it on their TV, perhaps the government would care but I do not care what it cares. What such silly ascts achieve is to feed fodder for quarrels (For the TYL/Geres it could mean gaining support over from Dalai Lama). But I care about the aftermath to the Tibetan people, they are our cousins. So I urge the western media and the Richard Gere's, to give some credit to what PRC has done between March 10-17. Tell them the 2 approaches are different, with your action.
I met an old man while touring Potala. He has some difficulty walking up and down the steps. I offered to hold his hand down the stairs and we were together for rest of the tour. We talked little as his Han is not very fluent but we were able to communicate in simple sentences. I know he is from Chamdo and lived in Lhasa for about 20 years. At the end of the trip he mumbled next to my ears something like "Dalai Lama Ho--". I do not know what exactly he meant but I could guess. Another lady who have been walking with him then showed me a faded picture of his 2 sons (in mid-teen) and said they are in India. I asked "Daramsala?" and they nodded and smiled at me.
I know they would do whatever Dalia Lama tell them to do. They had perhaps burned their fur a few years ago.
But this is what they think and believe in. And all I know is they are nice and kind people not unlike our aunts and uncles. I do not want them to sacrifice and suffer for the gain of some politicians, Han or Tibetan politician, or European/American pseudo-politicians. It is easy to talk about freedom and democracy when you live in mansions on Hollywood hill. But it is a crime to sacrifice the lives of the people you claim to love and save, even indirectly and unintentionally.
P.S. Reading what I have written again, I realize this is just one way to reason for a non-violent, less-confrontative approach. But I do believe such approach is the more productive (and perahps the only) option available to the Tibetan -- because of the imbalance of power, and demography, the confrontational approach will get you nowhere.