By Lobsang Wangyal
DHARAMSHALA, India, 6 January 2009
The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) rejected the Chinese accusations calling it a terrorist group, releasing a book clarifying its stand.
“The Communist Party of China, being incapable of facing reality, made a scapegoat of TYC to inflict unwarranted damage to TYC’s standing in the international community. It made their secret campaigns against TYC public by terming it a terrorist organisation, without any credible evidence,” said the Vice President of the organisation, Dhondup Dorjee, during the book launch at its headquarters in Dharamshala.
The book, titled Response, clarified TYC’s stand and responded to the numerous unfounded allegations by China.
Chinese foreign missions and academicians have been spreading rumours against the Tibetan Youth Congress for decades. Their drive to brand it a terrorist group intensified after the 14 March 2008 unrest in Tibet.
China blamed the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetans, particularly the Tibetan Youth Congress, for plotting the riots in March, which were suppressed with force. China said 18 innocent civilians were killed in the violence, whereas the Tibetan government-in-exile said 203 Tibetan protesters were killed by Chinese armed forces.
The crackdown triggered anti-China protests around the world and disrupted the global torch relay of the Beijing Olympics.
The Dalai Lama rejected the accusations, offered to talk with China, and appealed to Tibetans against the use of violence. And, although he announced that he supported the Beijing Olympics, he said demonstration is an expression of what one feels and is normal and right.
“The protests are a manifestation of the deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people under the present governance,” Dorjee said.
“The display of the Tibetan people’s deeply-held resentment against the colonial occupation of Tibet posed a direct challenge to the Chinese government’s legitimacy in Tibet.”
The “research response” is the organisation’s attempt to clarify their position and to differentiate the facts and truth from the Chinese fabrications. The book will be presented to foreign missions in India and other groups around the world.
Dorjee also said that Chinese officials can visit the TYC office and check their records. “The accusations were made so that China could use the threat of terrorism to violently suppress the Tibetan protesters.”
Dorjee said that China’s latest attempt to brand TYC a terrorist group was charging Sonam Dakpa for alleged involvement in crimes of “espionage, endangering State security and illegally providing information to outside agents.”
Dakpa was accused of being a member of TYC and providing TYC with intelligence information. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years deprivation of political rights by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court on 7 November 2008.
A conclave of Tibetan exiles held in Dharamshala in November decided to uphold the Dalai Lama’s goal of greater autonomy, not independence, for all the Tibetan-inhabited areas of Tibet, through peaceful dialogue with Beijing. The conclave also resolved to remain non-violent in their struggle to achieve their goal, to which TYC also agreed during the meeting. The Tibetan Youth Congress, on the other hand, is seeking independence for Tibet.
However, China says the Dalai Lama’s goal of real ethnic autonomy is a scheme to cause ethnic segregation, ethnic antagonism and separation.
The Tibetan Youth Congress, headquartered in Dharamshala, India, is the largest non-governmental organisation in the exile Tibetan community. It has about 30,000 members, in 12 different countries, including Taiwan and the US. The organisation was founded in October 1970.