Sunday, August 9, 2009

face to face with Chinese !!!

"Sooner or later the Chinese will need the Tibetans to rescue their spirits. It is happening right now. See, my grandmother was a Buddhist, my mom is a communist, and I am a Buddhist again. The Chinese and the Tibetans will get along, when the Chinese reached the similar spiritual level as the Tibetans", this is what I was told when I personally made an effort to engage and befriend with a Chinese intellectual. But what popped up in my mind immediately is, if the Chinese need Tibetan to rescue their spirit, then Tibetan surely needs Chinese help to secure their freedom.
After all, this seemly spiritual vacuum for a materialist developed China may be the beginning of an end of a Chinese Tibetan conflict. But I cant help my mind from diverting to the old adage that ‘The down fall of Tibetan is hope and the downfall of Chinese is suspicion". One can only hope that the Chinese interest in Tibetan Buddhism is not an infatuation but endurable, and this spiritual guru and student relationship will expand and last to enable a solution to the Tibet issue.
A much acclaimed August 6-8Th Chinese Tibetan conference "Finding a Common Ground" was held in Geneva. Over hundred of Chinese democracy activists , writers and intellectual, including participants from main land China , met with Tibetan exile leaders in the neutral city of Gevena, in Switzerland. His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke in his inauguration address that he would expect no miracle but hope the conference would strengthen Chinese Tibetan relationship. Exile Tibetan Prime Minister briefed the participants on exile government's approach and policy. He fielded questions from the Chinese intellectuals very impressively which earned him the name of “a man of wisdom” from conference attendees.
At the 3 day conference delegates took turn in addressing the Tibet issues and ways of resolving it. The meeting culminated with a four part common points of agreement .
This declaration summed up the gist of the three day deliberation and also recommendations to exile Tibetan government for future action plan to further strength Tibetan Chinese ties.

Apparently Chinese government was unhappy on this high profile Sino Tibetan conference. Bejing labeled the conference as a plot to over throw the Communist party and even commented that the merge of Chinese democracy activists and Tibetan exiles solidified the strength of their movement. But August 5th article in Xinhua under the name of Yedor, attacked the conference:
" the "marriage" between the Dalai Group and "pro-democracy activists", based on political and economic interests, is obviously a self-deceiving scheme" The article goes on to say:
" their intention was to overthrow the leadership of the communist party of china and to split the People's Republic of China. Such tactics were doomed to failure, "
The conference was very transparent in its agenda. The whole three days was open to international media for scrutiny and even the Chinese official news agency were invited to observe and report on the conference. If this summit of the two people were posing any kind of threat, then Bejing coulld surely sensed it.

`No matter what the Chinese government harangue about this unique meeting of the two people. For exile Tibetan it was a step in the right direction.
It appears that the Dalai lama's address inspired the conference participants to strengthen the Chinese Tibetan people's relationship, and Samdup Rinpoche's encounter and interaction with the Chinese attendees paved the way for clean slate of discussions. It is encouraging that the participants were so interested in Samdup Rinpoche's address, which showed that the Chinese people's long for a democratically elected leader.

This conference was organized by International Reconciliation fellowship and Swiss Tibetan friend is indeed a smart move. There is no doubt that Tibetan peoples’ struggle need Chinese people's support. For example when India was struggling for independence, their British friends' help proved to be invaluable. During Chinese invasion of Tibet, a people's liberation solider surrendered to Tibetan army and fought against the Chinese and he was fondly remembered among Tibetan as Gyal Lobsang Tashi. It is realistic to think that a time will come for Chinese and Tibetan people to stand up hand in hand and together fighting for their basic human rights and democracy.

It is little too early to predicate any major breakthrough from this conference. But such a conference is in the right direction, in dispelling misunderstandings and forging stronger community relationships. So the Chinese government will not be in such position to influence their citizens unreasonably if Bejing Olympics and 3/14 revisited.

It is with such an extraordinary courage and will of the HH the Dalai Lama, an considerable number of Chinese people opened up their mind and at least listen to the Tibetan people's grievances. Lately it has been a usual practices of HH the Dalai Lama at all his foreign tour to meet with Chinese students, citizens and activists. HH Dalai Lama unlocked any barrier for a face to face dialogue with interested Chinese. Even at times, when Chinese students from mainland China were unable to shun the Communist government brainwash and propaganda, refused to listen to HH the Dalai Lama. Such hostile encounter convinced the Dalai Lama more strongly to reach out to the Chinese people by opening the door for people’s dialogue. There are instances of Chinese citizen after meeting with the Dalai lama abroad, upon return to China, was expelled from their institution.

Dalai Lama’s initiative. When HH declared after the failed dialogue, his hope for the Chinese present leadership is getting thinner and thinner; his hope for the Chinese people still remains strong. He acted upon his words and therefore garnered all these tremendous effort to reach out the Chinese people, and i believe it has been reciprocated. On His Holiness the Dalai lama's latest birthday, a host of Chinese people attended the function in Dharamsala for the first time in a formal official ceremony.Yangjang chi, in his address at the conference, confessed that that he did not realize the power of religion, while in China, and now he does, alluding to the Dalai lama's worldwide influence.

Obstacle on the relationship:
some conference attendees mentioned that
the challanges of Tibet issue laid in the intricate network of organs in government, army and buaurcracy. If the Tibet issue is resolved then half million job will go up in smoke. If that is true, then it is a serious issue, as leave along the Chinese's vested interest. Even for Tibetan when something comes in their way for success and ascent to higher ladder, would act the same way. I doubt how many Tibetans were out there who would give up personal interest for national interest.

They would not flinch. However this vested personal is not new,
The veteran communist cadre Bapa Phuntsok Wangyal, has written long time ago to Communist leader Hu Jintao, calling those who thrives under the garb of anti-separatist sentiment as vultures .
Yanja Qinqin's address to the conference:
Acknowledgement of the Dalai lama as the sole legitimate representative of the Tibetans in and out. The Dalai Lama's return to home, to be first solved, before touching on the Tibet issue, Chinese democracy goes hand in hand with the Tibet issue. And the Chinese government was wrong in saying that the Tibet has been a insparable parts of China, for centuries. I think the Chinese participants have shown much maganaminty and heart in agreeing to things, the Chinese government would find incoceiveable.

The Chinese people’s good will and support for Tibet issues is not viewed positively by all as a sign of true support. Even though it was an isolated incident, recently few Tibetan writers protested Wangli xion, who is regarded as a staunch Tibetan support.
Potential outcome of the conference. It needs be clear and thate the Conference, participants of Chinese intellectuals, all of them attended at their own individual capacity. Except Tibetan exiles participants were more representative of the exile government and organizations. But the Chinese attendees are more individual intellectuals and bigwigs. Whose influence could only been felt, through their writing.
Most of the Chinese participants and activists has significant influence among the Chinese people. Most of the attendees would continue to write and explain the Tibetan issues to a larger Chinese audience. A famous Chinese surgeon turned writer, who said that he could only cure the physical well being of a person, as a surgeon, as a writer he could cure the mental well being a person. So the present Chinese intellectual and scholar and writers present at the meetings have the might of their pen to influence Chinese peoples' thoughts and correct their world view and cure the mental illness inflicted by the Chinese government propaganda.
As for exile Tibetan government, it should take seriously the recommendation of the meeting and try to further the steps toward more united approach.
It is an irony, that in such a time of extreme crisis in Tibetan history, the Chinese needs the Tibetan to rescue their spirit. If that is indeed the case, then first the Chinese may help the Tibetan to help them. If the Chinese indeed realize the need for this spiritual salvation from the Tibetan spiritual guru as something enlightening and set aside their Han Chavenist attitude on Tibetan as a barbaric and backward, then maybe it is the time the tide is turning around and no sooner the two people will be one or am I too naïve to think in this line?.