WOODSIDE, NY, US, 11 October 2019
When the Trump-led United States abruptly pulled out of Syria and betrayed the Kurdish fighters who were fighting alongside the US forces to wipe out the last strongholds of the ISIS caliphate, it reminded me of how the CIA abruptly ended their support of the Tibetan guerrilla fighters fighting the CCP armies in the fifties and sixties. It’s a different paradigm and different geopolitical dynamics, but the ultimate quest for self-interest is the one overarching common denominator here and everywhere these days. This myopic quest of self-interest over principles and values is playing across all political and economic spectrums, and the hardest hit is the melting and the receding-glacier-like support for the Tibetan cause.
The extradition bill that catapulted the vehement and inspirational Hong Kong protest which still to this hour after many months is on full fiery rage. This protest, far from its actual outcry, has become more than the bill that was already dead on arrival. The people of Hong Kong are fighting for liberty, justice, and freedom. Some are even fighting for outright independence! At times when some Tibetans these days are ready to hoist the Chinese flag, these impassioned Hong Kongers are burning the Chinese flag and bulldozing any or all edifices that stands as a symbol of the Communist Party of China. I salute these brave souls, these true Pawos.
But a similar extradition bill will be signed by the government of Nepal with China without any hiccups or protests. Not to speak about how Nepal has changed over the decade for their economic self-interest and how the little morality they had left got sold at the ounce of dirt.
At the lethal brunt of all this, the canister of ill fate kicked on the streets of Nepal would be the Tibetan community and any Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese-occupied Tibet through the borders of Nepal onto their ultimate journey to India, home to the Dalai Lama.
A similar case of refugees, seven in all, fleeing Chinese persecution across the Nepalese border last month, in the most dire and grave violation of international human rights were deported back to China, and that’s well before any extradition bill between China and Nepal were signed. Imagine what could be in store for the dark future. Nepal’s deal with the devil is self-explanatory. Fear, gluttonous greed, promise of gifts, favors and development, loans and steel rails to the landlocked country are all too hard to resist , especially when you are one of the poorest countries, bottom of the ladder of the third world yet one of the richest in spiritual history. If Buddha would have resurrected, he would have truly regretted to have been born in such a place.
The Communist Party of China just celebrated their 70th anniversary with a display of their military might, glaring pomp and flair. Despite killing half a billion people in those seventy years, its leader Xi-Jinping, in every sense a Mao Zedong incarnate, if the atheist insist on believing and meddling on the reincarnation issue, be it so, is bent on piling millions more dead bodies onto the mountain of carnage, as the CCP is on the reset mode again of razing the Uyghurs and the Tibetan civilization as a whole to dust.
As this article is just focused on the degrading attitudes of the world, of that of selfishness and greed, I just wanted to show you this sad ironic perspective. When mosques were being razed to the ground in East Turkestan, when one million Uyghur Muslims were and are still incarcerated inside concentration camps and forced to eat pork in defiance of their faith, why are the Muslim and the oil-rich Arab world not enraged. The simple answer is that their self-interest with booming gas-guzzler China, the biggest market in the world is at stake.
On the other hand, when Rohingya Muslims were ethnically cleansed by the Burmese regime, the outcry and rage from the Muslim world were reverberating. The simple reason being that there was minimal to no self-interest at stake, since the perpetrator of the crime against humanity is Burma, a small inconsequential player on the world stage.
While news of a prominent Tibetan activist and others along getting arrested in Bangalore ahead of the Xi-Modi summit spread like wildfire in the diaspora world, already unprecedented levels of intelligence and surveillance was gathered to choke off any presence of Tibetan protest to please the Chinese dictator, their guest. One of the activists, a poet himself, is now confined within the four walls of an Indian prison. Even if he was free, all he could have done was to pull a “Free Tibet” banner from one of the nearest sites to poke the Chinese leader for the attention from his blindside. Now all he is reduced to do is to write elegies and poems on freedom on the prison wall with fingers of blood.
Modi, a revamped leader, a Hindu nationalist, an infamously famous populist like Trump, won the world’s biggest democratically-fought re-election with a landslide. His mantra “Make in India” has revitalized India’s economy and established India at the forefront of global players.
His pursuit of the country’s economic and political self-interests over others is often worrisome. A case in point is his recent handling of Kashmir. In his sixth year as the prime minister of India, in equally those number of years, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Nobel laureate, the global citizen of the world, chased by the world leaders for a meet and greet, wound down his traveling schedule around the world because of age-related frailty and who is now grounded in Dharamshala, India, an hour and half flight from New Delhi, the political seat of India. PM Narendra Modi for reasons known and unknown, never made an initiative to meet His Holiness, nor did he gather enough courage to invite His Holiness to Delhi.
The now all-too-common snubbing of Tibet-related events and the ever-changing India policy on the Tibetan cause is alarming. Far from a wishful out-of-the-box effort by Modi to somehow allow Xi Jinping and the Dalai Lama to meet during this trip, Modi for his own self-interest and the forbearing interest of India, will never allow such a meet, but he would also in all honesty darken every light even for the shadow of His Holiness to fall upon the summit of the two Asian Giants and their two leaders who swear to put nothing ahead of their self-interest. I can understand. I get it!
While in Dharamshala, our government in exile, running until now under the charity and candy aid of the Western world, chiefly the United States, the reality of the existing status of the struggle to our cause is demoralizing to say the least. They are busy running futile big-banner seminars, and as of late, a seminar to establish the already well-established authority of the Dalai Lama on the reincarnation process and the measurement of already unbreakable faith, allegiance and loyalty to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the Tibetan people.
Tibetans both inside and outside of Tibet outrightly rejected the fake Panchen Lama, the second-highest Lama next to the Dalai Lama. There can be no doubt that the Tibetan people will always follow the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama upon whosoever abode he decides to continue his souls in. Just like we laughed at the fake Panchen Lama, Tibetans will also laugh and poke joke at the Chinese-appointed fake Dalai Lama too.
What is at stake right now is not so much of how we can fight with the Chinese, but as to how soon with all urgency, when the world is still woke, we can force China to the table. We have compromised enough. We have compromised sixty years of Tibet’s pillage and rape with the hope that with dialogue, a middle ground could be found. I don’t know if it’s true, but rumor has it that Xi Jinping actually sent assassins to kill the Dalai Lama while he was in Japan. There is no actual proof to the report but I still give the benefit of the doubt to the whistleblower. I am not surprised here at all. No one knows to this day what would have happened to the young Dalai lama had he not escaped Tibet in 1959. Upon such grave scheme of things, Will China ever speak to the Dalai Lama. I seriously doubt!
On top of this, with countless self-immolations inside of Tibet, I feel like there is a huge disconnect between the aspiration of Tibetans inside Tibet and the CTA. Leaving that debate for another day, with the back-stabbing and the epic political betrayal playing all around the world for Greed and Self-Interest and intertwined amidst the degradation, I deeply worry about the Tibetan people, I deeply worry about our strategy without stratagem, worry about my people stuck in this once-friendly neighbor, a safe haven, now turned into maze of traps, a good neighbor now reduced to capricious blood suckers.
About the author
Ugyen Gyalpo lives in Woodside, New York, and works as an insurance agent for United Health Group, New York.
More articles by Ugyen Gyalpo on Tibet Sun.