Tibet riots

Without a doubt the most depressing news that I encountered upon leaving the Melanesian islands this week was to do with the recent riots in Tibet. I do not want to burden this blog by adding a long personal opinion to the huge number of comments and analyses that have been cropping up for the past week in respect of this issue. Suffice it to say that, on the whole, I concur with Patrick French regarding the overall negative effect that pro-Tibetan groups have had on the relationship of the CCP with Tibetans living in Tibet (and it is worthwhile remembering that the overwhelming majority of existing Tibetans happen to live within the current political boundaries of the PRC).While I would not go so far as folks such as Brendan O’Neill, who stretches the China-bashing argument just a bit much, I am afraid that I take a rather less than optimistic view of the possible outcome of the current crisis. Certainly I am as surprised as some very well-informed analysts about the organizational skills demonstrated by Lhasa-based monks at the outset, as well as the eventual fearlessness that many Tibetans demonstrated in making public their frustration with the regime.But in the end I hold to the same conclusion that I came to when I came to at the end of my first 9 months’ in the TAR; namely that China is not a democracy and will not react to the sort of pressure that Western activists and governments are used to, that there is currently no realistic way of leveraging any demand for Tibetan independence and that, ultimately, it would take a non-Tibet related nation-wide collapse of the very system of governance of the PRC in order for the Tibetan nation to seriously contemplate the possibility of total independence.All this, however, is a moot point when one considers another frequently overlooked but critical fact, which is that we rarely ever look beyond the revindications of the diaspora in order to listen to and understand just what it is that ordinary Tibetans in Tibet have to say about their livelihoods and their aspirations.

One Response to “Tibet riots”

  1. […] specialists since last Thursday, and which I myself have signed, despite the fact that my previously stated opinion is less than optimistic. Much remains to be said regarding both the ongoing developments and the […]

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