The Tibetan cause is at a crucial moment for the future of Tibet. It is nearly 60 years since the People's Republic of China invaded Tibet, and after countless and terrible violations of human rights, a genocide having entrained a huge demographic deficit of the Tibet people, and the destruction of an ancient culture, the Olympic Games will signal the entry of China into the concert of nations. Nevertheless, the Olympic hymn risks sounding false, and migtht even signal the start of a boycott, if the situation of human rights in China and Tibet does not improve.
It cannot be ignored that the Cinese government is the object of a complaint in the Spanish courts of genocide against the Tibetan people. It cannot be forgotten that relegious liberty is made ridiculous in Tibet, as for example the imprisonment of great Tibetan masters such as Bangri Rinpotché and Tenzin Delek Rinpotché. Neither can we forget the disappearance of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, the young Panchen Lama, kidnapped in 1995 after being recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is nearly 73 and has suggested that his successor should be elected by Tibetans in exile and in Tibet. The official Chinese oppostion to this process suggests a hidden agenda on the part of the Chinese government. One can suppose that the replacement of the Panchen Lama aims at the nomination by China of a Dalai Lama, after the death of the 14th in line.
In this context, is ist conceivable for democratic nations to celebrate the Olympic spirit without the start of negotiations between the Tibetan government in exile and the Chinese government? Can the nations that have so far neglected to help resolve the question of Tibet continue to ignore the fate of six million Tibetans and risk of the disappearance of a unique culture, so rich in humanity?
How can these negotiations come about? One way would be to follow the movement that started in 2007, with a series of official reception being held to receive the Dalai Lama at the highest level. The Austrian Chancellor received the Dalai Lama as did the Austrian President, and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who courageously persisted in face of Chinese pressure. Not only did the President of the United States receive the Dalai Lama, but the US Congress also presented him with a gold medal. Since the French President Nicolas Sarkozy has received Mouammar Khadafi, could he not also receive the Dalai Lama when he comes to France in August 2008?
The Dalai Lama has called for the transformation ot Tibet into a peace zone between China and India, which is of course in the interest of the world and its inter-dependant economy. It is in this spirit, for peace and reconciliation, that we can wish that 2008 will be an excellent year for Tibet and the world.
Chronique de France-Tibet, Bouddhisme Actualtés, January 2008