A group of exiled Tibetan leaders are partway through a week-long meeting in northern India that may chart a new course in Tibet’s struggle against decades of Chinese rule.
Years of failed attempts at conciliatory relations with China and recent statements by the Dalai Lama have left some Tibetans in search of a new, more aggressive strategy — including a possible declaration of independence that many youth support.
But this week’s meeting has highlighted a generational gap between Tibetans. The older generation prefers a more moderate approach.
A blogger at “Tibet.org” examines calls for new thinking on Tibet in the context of China’s changed motivations since the struggle began. The blogger argues that leaders must focus on Tibet’s economic assets rather than religious freedom or human rights.
Another blogger reposts analysis by a Tibetan Chinese person who expresses sadness at Tibetan riots and trumpets Chinese communism and its economic rewards.
Blogger “Mathieu Vernerey” writes extensively about differences and similarities between the “middle way” approach and those who call for Tibet’s complete independence, suggesting that both approaches can be reviewed and adapted.
The “Potala Times” Web site posts a letter from a Tibetan who believes the meeting in India will not see a full agreement, but who hopes Tibetans can retain their culture with or without autonomy and on a local level.
Watch events of the meeting in India here.
China has even taken the battle online, where the country has used Google ads to spread its own version of the conflict.
Tibet was essentially an independent country prior to invasion and occupation by China’s People’s Liberation Army in the 1950s.