Independence or autonomy: Tibetan dilemma
By Jaideep Sarin
Nov 21 (IANS) The dilemma amongst the Tibetan leadership in
exile over which way to go - seek independence or genuine
autonomy from China - continues even as they ponder over the
future of Tibet at a special six-day meeting being held in
this Himachal Pradesh town.
the chilly conditions prevailing here, the Nov 17-22 meeting
has generated plenty of heat among the Tibetan exiles, especially
over the issue of independence versus autonomy.
have had hot discussions on the issue with participants putting
up respective views. The discussions have been quite open
and frank and we have exchanged good views. The meeting has
reflected true democratic traditions among the exiled Tibetans,"
Dawa Tsering, member of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile and
supporter of the Dalai Lama's middle-path approach, told IANS.
special meeting, for which over 580 Tibetan leaders from all
over the world have assembled here for the first time, has
been called by the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, called the
Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (ATPD), at the instance
of the Dalai Lama.
1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner has been advocating his peaceful
middle-path approach - seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet
under China - to resolve the Tibetan issue. But the younger
generation of Tibetan leaders and youth are restive, and want
to settle for nothing less than complete independence.
meeting, forced by growing demands from exiled Tibetans to
have a re-look at the middle-path approach, comes just days
after the eighth round of talks between the Dalai Lama's envoys
and China failed.
failure of the talks has brought more support for the pro-independence
group in the ongoing meeting as Tibetan leaders feel that
there is no use in engaging China through talks as China remains
is not sincere about the talks on Tibet. Independence of Tibet
is the only lasting solution of the problem. We have had hectic
discussions during the meeting," ATPD member and pro-independence
supporter Karma Yeshi told IANS.
his personal views on the Tibetan freedom issue in one of
the group meetings here, speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile
Karma Cheophel said: "Rangzen (independence) is the ultimate
goal. We cannot associate with China or live under it. Tibetans
cannot forget the torture of the last 60 years."
discussions over the future of the Tibetan struggle among
the 15 groups of all the participants ended Thursday evening.
The resolutions moved by each of the groups, along with their
suggestions, will be put up before the general house of the
special meeting Friday.
to be held Friday will lead to the final resolution to be
put up by the meeting. This resolution will then be sent to
the Dalai Lama to have a final word.
Dalai Lama and over 100,000 Tibetans have been living in exile
in India since 1959, when the spiritual leader fled from Tibet's