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The World Doesn't Care About Peace

UN Logo. Photo: FileThe spiraling violence in Tibet in the last four decades presents a serious threat to world peace. Religious and peace leaders, particularly the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, legendary African archbishop Tu Tu, 1979 Nobel peace prize winner Williams of Northern Ireland, Arab king Abdullah, have genuinely worked for peace.

They have repeatedly called for urgent resolution of festering conflicts of the world, especially the issues of Tibet, the Middle East, and the current situation in Iraq etc. Yet, the world doesn't care for peace and nonviolence. There is no thought beyond war, business and daily life. How can Tibet trust a world that continues to ignore its repeated pleas for peace?

Why are Arab-World issues and Tibetan issues treated differently?

The proceedings at the 61st general assembly of the UN only show member nations in an unending scramble for power - power to occupy, power for war, power for weapons. Of course, there are talks about religion, nonviolence, good will, environment protection, global warming, etc. So-called peace makers see the same problems in Tibet, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. But there is no voice rising for the humble and occupied Tibetans. All attention gets focused on Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East, only for material gains like oil or increasing terror or political power. Why is there no resolution for the Tibetans?

Peace is but a meaningless word, in a world competing for weapons, economic power and political advantages. The world saw the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, can we count the number of people killed? The war on terror is raging; can we count the people that have become terrorists? In 1959 China occupied Tibet, killing 1.5 million out of 6 millions Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile has estimated at least one million Tibetans have died under Chinese rule and around 80,000 refugees have fled the country. The death toll is comparable to the amount of Jewish deaths from Nazi atrocities. It is a common belief that involving paper heroes such as UN, USA, EU, ARAB world and SAARC will be helpful. But, unfortunately, a Paper Tiger never bites, and will never bite.

For the Tibetans, the dilemma is a clear exclusion from political stake holding, which radicalizes and legitimizes violence of red Chinese. This political pandering is why there is no effort to solve the Tibetan crisis. Isn't that how Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East are different? We must take the first difficult steps on that road to equality; an equality that has so far evaded the snow people since the 1950s. The Chinese are still hunting down Tibetans like rats in the snow. In my opinion, Tibetans can't trust a world that doesn't care about Tibet. Tibetans are losing hope that their issues will be resolved.

A huge banner, with the symbol of a way or road painted on it, hangs above the main hall of the assembly to constantly remind the more than 450 to 550 senior religious and political world leaders attending many conferences, to find ways to fulfill the stated aims of confronting violence and advancing shared security of peace in this world. Tibetans are escaping from their home, without a single weapon, getting killed by heavy arms of Chinese military in Tibet and its neighboring borders. Big eats small, even in animals, the bigger ones become friends and the UN is one of them.  Unfortunately, the smaller become victims, much like the Tibetans.

The UN and EU don't have any old or new proposals for Tibet and its people's sufferings. The Chinese occupation since 1959 sent thousands of Tibetan refugees into India, Nepal and abroad. These political bodies, however, never considered any welfare, security, aid and support for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. Neither was there any effort to call for an active participation of all Asian states. Hardly are there any press conferences addressing Tibet issues, but many leaders have commented that attempts at peace were not successful at creating peace between Tibet and the China for the reasons that Chinese secular efforts were not enough to solve the problems between people of different faiths.

Mediations may be necessary in the Utsang province (Western Tibet), Kham province in Eastern Tibet, and the Amdho province (Eastern Tibet) from western countries. Thousands of Tibetans from occupied Tibet have cried out to the world to help the Holy Land regain freedom and peace for all. There has been too much bloodshed over the Snow land, particularly the recent murder of 7 Tibetans between the Tibet and Nepal border. China has no claims to victory after killing innocent Tibetan women (Nuns) and children.

No official international committee ever invited the spiritual leader of Tibet, The Dalai Lama to a platform of the International Inter-religious and Political Affairs for Tibet. The reason is clear, he is known to the world as a peacemaker. Many current anti-peace men have dwelt on the causes of violence in the name of religion. When our identities are threatened we seek to defend them.   An ancient scholar once explained the reality of the future, "All scholars are thieves; I am the leader of the thieves."

One of my friends, Mr. Dhardho Karma said because religion is so profoundly related to identity, when people are hurt they fall on their religious traditions to give them a sense of purpose and seek self-justification in a way that disregards and stigmatizes the other. This way, he continued, politicians come to the conclusion that for peace building to happen it must be kept away from religion. He said, he would have urged the assembly to acknowledge that terrible things have been done in the name of religion and would refer to the Holy Land as an area where conflict resolution has failed because red politicians did not work together with religious leaders. I know that he is trying to remind me how many holy places were destroyed by the Chinese in Tibet since 1950s.

What happened to the promise of chairman Dang?

Yes, Karma played an instrumental role in bringing together the two political monotheistic faiths for the first Tibet inter-faith group meeting in Dhartsedho (A place in Tibet which shares a  border with China) in 1985, a place that never knew a UN human rights declaration, it was drawn up condemning violence in the name of freedom. At the same time Chinese chairman Dang declared that everything was possible except Tibet freedom.
Many Tibetans said they hoped the United Nations 1980s theme of Dialogue among Cultures, occupation, human rights and Civilizations (which I expected) would yet pave the way for talks to resolve the China and Tibet crisis.

Bapa Phuntsok (First Tibetan communist) used to say that although he respected the roots of Han-Chinese civilization, he hoped its great capacity and resources could be utilized to establish peace and stability for mankind even in Tibet. But this capacity was being squandered by Chinese politicians who are neither serving the interests of Chinese citizens nor the people of the whole 95 minorities of China. Chinese made Tibetans a minority in China, but we are not a minority.  We have our own language, history, tradition, culture, custom, currency, national flag and anthem, which symbolizes Tibet as a completed nation.

If Tibetans act in any direction for their independence, terrorist development had nothing to do with it. As signatory to the UN human rights Treaty, Tibet has the right to develop any action for freedom and struggle for peaceful purposes, but still Tibetans are like a rat without teeth in front of the Chinese. In exile Tibetan communities, some Tibetans used hunger strikes, burn themselves, showing their sufferings, but never an active action has been taken for a free Tibet. One of my friends, Mr. Luzi, a man of Chinese origin from Malaysia, asked me 'why don't you Tibetans take any action for Tibet independence and why are Chinese leaders and militaries so happy in Tibet?' These are very important questions for Tibetans; we never make it difficult for Chinese leaders and their military in Tibet.

Speaking of the Chinese attack on Tibetans recently, even many western people said, such a brutal attack has to be premeditated. Killing Tibetans is not an act of self-defense. The country is fighting to protect its culture, customs and identity. Tibet's potential in helping to solve the China and Tibet crisis should be recognized.

Why are there human skeletons in every corner of the mountains?

Many world leaders, particularly, an UN torture investigator, Mr. Nowak revealed that his investigations for human rights and human torture records in Tibet reported terrible wrong-doings. Every year, more than 3000 Tibetans escaped from Tibet. From 1960s to 1980s, Chinese border military murdered hundreds of Tibetans in the mountains. Many skeletons of those who tried to escape from across the border lie buried in the mountains, even now.

The current peace process or middle way approach of the Dalai Lama with the Chinese consisted mainly to build a corridor for peace and prosperity which would enhance the living standards of the people in both Tibet and China through the creation of an agro-economy park and foreign policy museum in the Tibet. The red Chinese never had a heart for others. Since the 1990s, Tibet and its people lost all their political prosperity, their dignity and their ancient history. Still there is no propaganda for Tibetan issues.  So I ask, why are Tibet and its people's issues so cheap?

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