china’s phony evidence against the dalai lama

Posted on March 31, 2008

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After harping on relentlessly about the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, being behind the recent unrest in Tibet, the Chinese government has finally presented some evidence in an attempt to back its words.

But it has only reinforced the world’s opinion of the brutality and Leninist tactics of the Chinese regime. Nor would it not help China regain credibility or quell the calls for it to settle the Tibet question peacefully.

The Chinese claim to have a written confession by a Tibetan Buddhist monk which described the role he played in the recent riots, as directed by the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders in exile.

“For the sake of protecting myself, (the Dalai Lama clique) asked me not to participate in the demonstrations in person, just in charge of stirring people up,” according to the monk’s confession.

The Chinese did not name the confessing monk. Nor did it describe how it obtained the so-called confession. Which only serves to increase the skepticism of its authenticity and raise more questions about China’s intention.

At this point, it does not look like China cares about world opinion, despite its hopes of using the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games this summer to showcase its progress and stability. Even as European heads of government such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Czech Republic’s president Vaclav Klaus indicate their boycott of the Olympics by their no-show in August, China is refusing to soften its line. It continues to heap unfounded accusations on the Dalai Lama, blaming the Nobel Peace Prize winner for using the Olympics as a political tool to undermine Beijing.

These actions by the Chinese government are instead playing to its local population, attempting to jack up Chinese nationalism by presenting a China under fire by the ungrateful Tibetans, whom China has done so much for in terms of economic and social development, and the international media for its bias against the Chinese.

What China’s population do not know — since they face limited access to information due to censorship and internet restrictions, while being fed the government’s official line — is the repression of the Tibetan identity and religion and the forced “re-education” of ordinary Tibetans. The Chinese people have unwittingly been manipulated into being the government’s tool, as they react passionately and angrily to both the perceived “ingrate” Tibetans and the “unfair” foreign media which had been highlighting China’s brutal suppression of the unrest.

Its woes are clear indications of the Chinese failure to understand the Tibetan psyche, that the comforts of materialism do not motivate them to recognize the legitimacy of Chinese rule, which was imposed on them in the 1950s. So while China has poured billions into infrastructure projects in the Tibetan region, building roads, trains and provided services to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, the Tibetans remained unmoved and continued to harbor grievances against Chinese rule.

photo from the Dalai Lama’s website

Some analysts had hypothesized that the Chinese foot-dragging in entering into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama is calculated. The move is viewed as the Chinese government biding its time, waiting for the 72-year old Dalai Lama to pass on so that they could install a malleable replacement.

But on this, the Chinese are likely to have again miscalculated. Many experts believe that the reverence with which the Dalai Lama is held by the Tibetan people is the only reason why violence on a larger scale, or of the guerrilla variety, had not erupted. The Dalai Lama’s call for a non-violent, peaceful way in dealing with Beijing had kept younger and more impatient Tibetans from attempting more radical measures. His death, far from solving problems as China had hoped, might be the release that could result in a surge in violence against the Chinese regime.

It would be wiser for Beijing to open honest dialogue with the Dalai Lama and work out a more satisfactory solution to the issue. But the Chinese government, having painted itself into a corner with its condemnation of the Dalai Lama and its stirring up of the nationalist fervor of its people, seem incapable of pulling back from the brink and working out a solution to this unfortunate state of affairs.

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