The image of the revolution was an ordinary citizen standing in front of the Chinese military tanks protesting to leave the people alone. A great degree of care has been taken by the Chinese government to omit large details of the uprising, for example the number of people killed. The Tiananmen Square disaster has been completely removed from any form of Chinese history.
Speaking with Tenzin Tsundue one of the main organizers of the event and the President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, who mentioned the significance of the disaster with relation to the movement for a free Tibet. He said that it was a barometer for public opinion of China.
A very articulate and well read man, he asserted that the international media needs to be made aware of the existent Chinese oppression. He says that it isn't only restricted to Tibet, but areas such as Mongolia and Manchuria have been subject to the autocratic rule of the Communist regime.
He went on to say, "We Tibetans are not the sole sufferers of Chinese rule, and need to see the bigger picture as well." A man committed to Tibetan cause, he seemed to show not only grit, but also a great amount of composure and understanding.
After the screening of the film, a discussion was held on the topic, "Change in China, Opportunity in Tibet?" and questions were put to both Tenzin Tsundue and Lhadon Tethong, the director of The Tibet Action Institute.
They explained that the Tiananmen Square protests had failed because there was no key planning. It was a spontaneous movement with different set of goals and they had lacked unity, discipline and planning. The Xinai Revolution of 1911 and the Communist Revolution of 1949 had been nursed and planned for a few years whereas the protest at Tiananmen Square grew and multiplied without a real seed. But the fact that it happened itself represents a success.
They pointed out how for the past few years, there has been an inheritance of power. There has been no new thinking or change in leadership. Meanwhile, there is a growing restlessness amongst the people of China and even the Tibetan people are becoming more aware and unified.
The Bo Xilai incident has proved that there are fractures and divisions both at the highest and lowest levels of the CCP and it confirms that the corruption in the government is endemic and beyond all control.
Speaking about the self immolations in Tibet which have now reached a total number of 38, Tsundue talked about how Chinese people were finally seeing that people protesting and their level of conviction. The Chinese Government is paranoid that the protests may spread or inspire others to do the same.
The last question referred to the resignation of the His Holiness' special Envoys and the message it sends to the next generation of Chinese leaders. Lhadon Tsethong pointed out that negotiations are not the goal and the goal is for Tibetans to live in freedom peace.. Tibetans have undermined and questioned the Chinese power and the key is not to see it as a failure. Our negotiations and talks will happen at the right time with the right people because right now, we are clearly not dealing with the right people.
Tenzin Tsundue pointed out how His Holiness the Dalai Lama had said that the Middle Way has failed, primarily because the Chinese Government is unreasonable and does not accept the reality of the situation. But, if we are all united in seeking independence, we can work with the people from Mongolia, East Turkistan (who also have their own grievances) and even Western Corporations to get independence.