Tibet, famously called the roof of the world; a state in the Himalayas neighbored by India and China has for long been in a state of tussle with Beijing. China lays the claim over entire Tibet and calls it its own territory; however, Tibet has always strived for an independent existence.
This is among the many conflicts currently brewing in south Asia, probably the worse as far as the power imbalance is concerned. The water tower of Asia has for long witnessed the cold and dark nights under the communist regime of China. The process of democratization is merely a ghost only if that ghost exists.
This makes it imperative for the powers across the globe to play their role in fostering a dialogue between Beijing and Tibet, and only recently we have seen some improvement on that front and some progress will hopefully be on its way.
Tibetan people have struggled under the Chinese rule and have been demanding a separate homeland. The division of Tibet into smaller units and segregating them from the mainland Tibet is a typical example of engineering.
Tibet as known today is only a fraction of the historical mainland of Tibet. The autonomous region of Tibet now is what is left of Tibet after its repeated geographical divisions, an autonomy nonexistent in practice.
People in Tibet demand the unification of all the parts, which were historically part of Tibet, and post that want complete political, economic and religious freedom.
The inspiration to the people of Tibet comes mainly is from outer Mongolia and Bhutan, both countries are doing quite well in managing their affairs and their foreign policy. The other countries in region enjoy the power over their own destiny while in case of Tibet, the destiny of people is being meddled with and historically the Han Chinese have never been sympathetic to the people of Tibet.
There have been and continues to be gross human violations in Tibet, including the abduction of young people from the tribal regions of Tibet, according to sources.
The fear of losing identity is among the worst fears any community can encounter. The cultural identity and the religious identity of the people of Tibet is among the worst hit. Tibet and China are culturally diverse and have very little to nothing in common.
The world needs to come together to solve the Tibetans’ plight. The US, UK and India have been actively involved in resolving the long pending issue of Tibetans. The US and allied parties have actively participated in resolving the issues around the globe and the same needs to be done in case of Tibet. The democratic powers across the globe should come forth to rescue Tibet from this situation. The bills must be passed in their respective parliaments to put pressure on Chinese government to secure rights for Tibetan people. Tibetans are peace and progress loving people, however that has to come along with the meaningful freedom.
The Tibetan Support and Policy Act of 2020 passed by the US Congress this year is a landmark victory for the People of Tibet and their struggle. This bill acknowledges the struggle of people of Tibet. Washington has always fought the non-democratic forces and stands firm hand in hand with the Tibetan brothers and sisters and their freedom struggle.
This is also the recognition of the legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his earnest efforts towards the justice for Tibetan brothers. This will be a major boost to the Tibetan freedom struggle, and is thus of historic importance.
We took to lobbying for enacting the bill as a law for recognizing the govt in exile for Tibet and giving Tibetans the right for their own representation in the world; all the Tibetan associations in America including the Tibetan Youth Congress, SFT and so on are involved in getting the justice for Tibet.
We the Tibetan diaspora want to be the representatives of Tibet which has been largely ignored on world stage until recently.
The Tibet Policy Act Bill 2002 and Tibet Support and Policy Bill of 2020 are actually one. The later one is actually the improvement, amendment, and addition to the previous bill. The 2002 bill addresses the situation inside Tibet as occupied Tibet, human rights violations, and the appointment of a special coordinator to help in pursuing dialogue between the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese representatives.
The bill also calls for opening of US office in Lhasa that will help in providing funds, scholarships and other things, this will help the Tibetans to develop an understanding and get a formal education in developing fields of science which would further strengthen the existence and survival of independent Tibet.
In addition to it, the Tibet Support and Policy Bill of 2020 strongly calls for the religious freedom of the Tibetan people i.e. securing the religious freedom for the people of Tibet.
On the environmental matters, Tibet being a “water tower of Asia” and anyone who invests in Tibet must follow the US guidelines on development, etc. The bill specifically says that the US consulate should be allowed to open in Lhasa (Capital City of Autonomous Region of Tibet). If the Chinese government doesn’t allow that, they cannot open any consulate in America. So, this is a very strong condition. And one great legacy of His Holiness is the democratic system or democratization of the exile Tibetans. It also acknowledges that Tibetan people participating in elections in 30 plus countries to elect a member of parliament in Sikyong and it also clearly says that the CTA reflects and represents the aspirations of the Tibetans in the diaspora and Sikyong is the President of CTA.
For the first time, CTA is legally acknowledged by the US Congress and now through this law, by the US government. I am glad that the Tibetan Policy and Support Act is a major political statement for Tibet.
I am very grateful to Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has been a rock-solid supporter of Tibet and a good friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am thankful of all others who contributed immensely towards the enactment.
The writer is a Tibetan-American politician who is the Sikyong (President) of the Tibetan-government-in-exile, officially known as Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
The views expressed here are solely that of the author and does not reflect that of Weekly-Echo’s