Will the Dalai Lama return to China?

The opinion piece below was sent to dorjeshugden.com for publication. We accept submissions from the public, please send in your articles to [email protected].

 


 

By: Shashi Kei

In April this year, there was a sudden flurry of news reports and comments made by the Tibetan leadership, of the Dalai Lama wanting to fulfil his wish to return to Tibet.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA; Tibetan leadership based in Dharamsala) in particular, stunned Sino-Indian observers by voicing that the time had arrived to fulfil the Dalai Lama’s dream of returning to Tibet to reunite with Tibetans and to live in the Potala, the traditional residence of the Dalai Lamas.

Vijay Kranti, a senior journalist, Tibetologist, and Chairman of the Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies & Engagement (CHASE), has made great efforts to analyze the very important and pertinent question of “Will the Dalai Lama return to China?” His astute conclusions, published in the Tibetan Review on 16th April 2018, have serious implications for the Tibetan diaspora and India.

 

WILL DALAI LAMA RETURN TO CHINA?

A question which is currently confronting most of Tibet-China watchers and Tibet supporters is, “is Dalai Lama seriously planning to visit or return to Tibet or China?” Three years ago the same question had created ripples when the idea of him visiting China’s famous holy Buddhist shrine of Wutai Shan was discussed loudly both in Beijing as well as in Dharamsala. On Sunday (1st April) again, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the elected ‘Sikyong’ (the ‘President’ of Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala) stunned Tibet and China observers by announcing that time had arrived to fulfill Dalai Lama’s dream of returning to Tibet to ‘reunite with Tibetans’ and to live in Potala, the traditional palace residence of Dalai Lamas in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

Dr. Sangay was speaking in Dharamshala at the opening function of ‘Thank You India’, the year-long celebrations organized by CTA to commemorate the 60th year of Dalai Lama’s arrival in India and to express Tibetans’ gratitude toward the people and government of India. It was on 3rd April, 1959 when Dalai Lama, the exiled ruler and supreme Buddhist leader of Tibet, arrived in India at the end of a 17-day long daring and grueling escape on foot through snow and mountains to save himself from arrest or killing by the occupying Chinese army in Tibet.

Interestingly these celebrations had already become focus of world attention following New Delhi government’s instructions to its senior bureaucrats and leaders to keep off public events involving Dalai Lama’s personal presence. This sudden toughening of New Delhi’s stand forced the CTA to cancel the main mega event of Dalai Lama in capital’s spacious Thyagraja Stadium. But it is not first time that New Delhi rulers have taken a stand of this kind which appears to be aimed at pleasing Beijing in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to China. In October 2007 too, the erstwhile UPA government had issued an identical diktat to its senior leaders and bureaucrats when Dalai Lama was given a civic reception at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre for being honoured by the US Parliament with America’s highest civic honour — the Congressional Gold Medal (equivalent to Bharat Ratna of India).

According to Dr. Sangay the first dream of Dalai Lama was about seeing blood which, according to Dr. Sangay, turned true when Tibetans faced widespread killings of Tibetan protesters during uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959 and also in later years. The International Commission of Jurists, an affiliate body of erstwhile UNO, claimed that Chinese army killed more than 80 thousand Tibetans to crush the uprising in 1959. As per Dharamsala claims this number of unnatural deaths of Tibetans in Chinese occupied Tibet has crossed 12 lakhs (1.2 million) over past seven decades.

The second dream refers to Dalai Lama meeting ‘people in white’ which, Sangay says, again turned out to be true when Dalai Lama fled Tibet and met Indian leaders like Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and President Dr. Rajendra Prasad who were known for wearing dazzling white Khadi.

Comment: It was 32 years ago in Bodhgaya, India that the State Oracle of Tibet, Nechung, took trance and made a startling prediction: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans in-exile would be back in Tibet within five years. Because of their strong belief, this prophecy was repeated over and over again by the leaders, writers and some civil servants of the Tibetan diaspora.

Because it was the State Oracle who issued the prophecy, and because it was their leaders propagating the news, Tibetans in-exile truly believed in it. However the prophecy, which foretold that they should have been back in Tibet by 1990, never came true.

Once you disagree with the Dalai Lama’s views, you will automatically be labelled as ‘anti-Dalai Lama’ and will be instantly shunned and segregated by the community.

1990 passed and the Tibetan leadership kept quiet and never gave further explanations. Meanwhile, in the hallways of monasteries, monks quietly whispered among themselves that the Tibetan leadership and Nechung are always like that, giving sweeping prophecies that never come true and keeping their people waiting, especially for the moment of their return to their hoemland.

The failure of the prophecy to manifest simply added to a multitude of factors contributing to the ongoing erosion of confidence in the Tibetan leadership and Nechung, and open declarations of a definite return to Tibet were henceforth relegated to low-key murmurs.

Therefore, the question Mr Kranti asked, “Is Dalai Lama seriously planning to visit or return to Tibet or China”, is a question which all Tibet-China watchers and Tibet supporters are currently confronted with, and is indeed a very important and pertinent question today.

 

EXPLOITING RELIGIOUS SENTIMENTS?

Citing these two ‘dreams’ of Dalai Lama turning out to be true, Dr. Sangay enthusiastically claimed about a third dream of Dalai Lama which gives an extraordinary political dimension to this statement, especially for coming out of the mouth of the Tibetan leader whom the Dalai Lama has transferred all his political powers through a constitutional amendment. Quoting Dr. Sangay Jyoti Malhotra of the Indian Express reported, “The Dalai Lama’s third dream, Lobsang Sangay said, was of him returning to the Potala palace filled with light and ‘reunited with Tibetan people’… This third dream will also come true by karmic design. We must all make efforts for His Holiness’ dream to return to the Potala palace come true, Sangay added.”

Referring to dreams of an individual may not hold much meaning for outsider observers and analysts. But in a deeply religious society like Tibet where no rule is above the words of Dalai Lama, Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s attempt to present Dalai Lama’s return to Chinese ruled Tibet as the religious leader’s “last unfulfilled dream” and his call to Tibetan people for making this ‘dream’ of Dalai Lama a reality, deserves a closer scrutiny by the Tibetan society, supporters of the Tibetan cause and, above all, the Indian government who have stakes in future of Tibet and its relations with China. This statement becomes extremely meaningful in the light of the fact that it is first time in past six decades that a senior(most) official of Tibetan government in exile has publicly endorsed Beijing’s agenda which is seriously focused at bringing back Dalai Lama to Chinese ruled Tibet before he is dead and the search for his next (15th) reincarnation starts.

Comment: These paragraphs clearly highlight that the Tibetan leadership have failed their people in every respect. First of all, is the Tibetan leadership a real democracy or one that runs off dreams and premonitions? No other democracy in the world has leaders who talk about the dreams of their spiritual leaders. In fact, in other democracies, the leaders make a consciousb effort to distance themselves from their personal faiths in the hopes that their political decisions are seen as objective and secular. However, in the Tibetan leadership, a so-called democracy, the leader has no qualms about quoting the Dalai Lama and citing karma.

But that is not the only failure. The more significant, but slightly less obvious failure is the fact Lobsang Sangay has never previously made it clear that he endorses Beijing’s plan to bring the Dalai Lama back to Tibet. It is not farfetched to assume that the Dalai Lama has always wanted to return to Tibet by whatever means possible so what type of leader is Lobsang Sangay to not have prioritized this before? He should have made it clear a long time ago that one of the key objectives of the Tibetan leadership is to ensure that His Holiness returns to Tibet. In a deeply religious society like that of the Tibetans, no one overrules the Dalai Lama. So to have ignored this wish of His Holiness, and failed to align it with Beijing’s plans, and to have not highlighted and pursued it means that the CTA president has not been doing his job well.

Lobsang Sangay’s loud and open proclamation about the Dalai Lama’s dream may sound good but underneath it all, it is nothing more than emotional blackmail and the creation of a preemptive scapegoat. By pointing out that it is the Dalai Lama who wants to return to Tibet, any failure to make it happen will be everyone else’s fault for failing His Holiness i.e. Lobsang Sangay is blameless because he has made it clear what the Dalai Lama’s wishes are, and it is up to everyone else to make it come true.

 

PUSHING CHINESE AGENDA

It is noteworthy that in two major contacts between Dharamsala and Beijing, first held during late 1970s and early 1980s and second between 2002-2010 period, Tibetan side branded these meetings as ‘Tibet-China talks’ and ‘dialogue’ but Chinese side made it known public more than once that the visits of Tibetan delegations were ‘private’ in nature and the only subject of discussion was how to pave way for return of Dalai Lama to the ‘great motherland’. If followed in letter or spirit, Dr. Sangay’s plans about Dalai Lama’s return to ‘China’s Tibet’ is simple implementation of Chinese agenda which would mean a permanent closure of the dispute between Tibet and its colonial masters in Beijing.

Knowledgeable sources in MEA as well as India’s intelligence agencies who are keenly watching Dharamsala-Beijing contacts, believe that this announcement of Dr. Sangay has further strained the relations between New Delhi and Dharamshala. These relations have been already undergoing stress caused by a series of developments related to Dharamshala’s secret hobnobbing with Chinese government in recent past. A couple of years ago MEA had a serious brush with CTA, including the private office of the Dalai Lama when it was discovered that a meeting between Dalai Lama and a Chinese leader, holding rank of a minister, was secretly organized in Dharamsala without taking into confidence the MEA or security agencies that are responsible for Dalai Lama’s personal security. Similarly, recent China visit of Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the former ‘Prime Minister’ of CTA also did not go down well with MEA.

Comment: Notwithstanding Lobsang Sangay’s ulterior motives for conveying the Dalai Lama’s dreams to his audience, one thing was made clear – a return to Tibet is at the forefront of the Dalai Lama’s mind. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact Samdhong Rinpoche took the risk of recently visiting China for talks. This was no low-level visit – Samdhong Rinpoche is the former Prime Minister of the Tibetan people, and one of the Dalai Lama’s two personal envoys and representatives.

Samdhong Rinpoche’s visit to China took place in spite of a serious brush he had with India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) a couple of years ago when it was “discovered that a meeting between the Dalai Lama and a Chinese leader, holding rank of a minister, was secretly organized in Dharamsala without taking into confidence the MEA or security agencies responsible for the Dalai Lama’s personal security”.

The fact Samdhong Rinpoche was willing to further upset India by visiting China means that the Dalai Lama is most serious about engaging with the Chinese about a return to Tibet, and he is very keen for this return to happen soon. This conclusion becomes especially believable when viewed in the context of Dr. Sangay’s stunning statement about the Dalai Lama’s dream of returning to Tibet which was issued not long after Professor Samdhong’s visit.

The Dalai Lama and his personal envoy Samdhong Rinpoche

By looking at the chain of events, the Dalai Lama is in fact accelerating his return to China, even rushing it. And when he says that enough times, either himself or through his top representatives, it is almost like he is “begging” to return.

The current situation is bleak for the Dalai Lama and therefore the Tibetan diaspora. The list of world leaders who do not want to meet His Holiness or cannot be seen doing so is growing ever longer and in fact many countries in the world from South Africa to Mongolia to Taiwan have officially barred him from visiting. At home in Dharamsala, India too has begun snubbing the Dalai Lama.

In February this year, a day before India’s new foreign secretary Mr Vijay Gokhale made his first standalone visit to Beijing, he sent a note to the India Cabinet secretary, requesting him to issue a “classified circular advisory advising all Ministries/Departments of the Government of India as well as State Governments not to accept any invitation or to participate in the events being organized by the ‘Dalai Lama set-up’ to commemorate the start of the 60 years of exile of the Dalai Lama in India.”

As a result of this, the “Thank You India” event in Delhi was cancelled under advisement from Delhi, the CTA were forced to relocate it to tiny Dharamsala where it was eventually held on a very small scale at the Dalai Lama’s temple complex, the Tsuglhagkhang. From a planned Delhi extravaganza, it was in effect downgraded to a provincial event held at the CTA’s usual venues for all of their events.

Given this backdrop, could His Holiness the Dalai Lama be manifesting desperation to return to China, to the extent of straining the relationship between Delhi and Dharamsala?

All this could be worthwhile if, as Mr Kranti says, it led to the “simple implementation of Chinese agenda which would mean a permanent closure of the dispute between Tibet and its colonial masters in Beijing.” If the dispute between the Tibetans and Beijing can see closure, then the current reset in relations between India and China will also move up more quickly as there will no longer be the question of the Dalai Lama in India to hamper Sino-Indian ties.

 

BOTH SIDES RESPONSIBLE

But it will be too naïve and unkind to Dharamsala if all the blame for such developments is heaped exclusively on CTA or Dalai Lama. It is no secret that over past six decades of Dalai Lama’s presence in India, the MEA has been perpetually as a loss and confused in evolving or adopting a well-defined policy on Tibet — not even about the status of Dalai Lama, his activities and the scope of cooperation between him and the Indian government.

India abstained from and refused to support the first two resolutions in 1959 and 1961 in the UNO which condemned China for serious abrogation of human rights in Tibet. Rather, India stopped the rest of world from raising the issue of Tibet in the UNO. But following India-China war of 1962 India voted in favour of the same resolution when it was pressed third time in 1965. Indian representative Rafiq Zakaria’s strong statement against Chinese conduct inside occupied Tibet came as a pleasant surprise to the anti-China lobbies across the world. In later years also there have been many occasions when New Delhi allowed, rather facilitated, Dalai Lama’s visits to Arunachal Pradesh despite strong threats and reactions from China.

Comment: India has been put in an increasingly difficult position as its hosting of Tibetans for almost 60 years has had mixed results which have changed over time.

In the beginning and right up to about a decade or more ago, India benefited both tangibly and intangibly by positioning itself as a huge democratic nation which supported democratic causes. Hosting the Dalai Lama and his people added greatly to this projection. Being the generous host of the Dalai Lama and his exiled people, India was welcomed by all Western and democratic nations in the world. They were after all on the same side.

A comic taken from the Internet that depicts the truth behind Tibetan ‘democracy’.

Indeed, after at first abstaining from and refusing to support resolutions in the United Nations which condemned China for human rights violations as Mr Kranti details above, India then began using the Tibetan issue more outwardly. It became more apparent that India were using the Dalai Lama’s presence in their country as a political card; that is, the Dalai Lama is there to remind China that India as a sovereign nation will make her own decisions and host whomever she likes, and there is nothing China can do about it.

In more recent years, the Dalai Lama has taken on more of an agent provocateur role, allowing India to use him in a more hawkish manner, for example, when they facilitated the “Dalai Lama’s visits to Arunachal Pradesh despite strong threats and reactions from China”. With the Dalai Lama willing to be party to such a hostile and antagonistic approach in Sino-Indian relations, as a result there was no chance that the Tibetan issue could have been resolved because the Dalai Lama showed his willingness to fulfil the “splittist” role that the Chinese leadership view him in.

 

INDIRA GANDHI’S INITIATIVE

In the aftermath of 1962 war the Indian government went to the extent of raising an exclusive ‘Special Frontier Force’ (SFF) in the Indian Army which worked directly under the Cabinet Secretariat and has been popularly known as ‘Establishment-22’. In the Bangladesh liberation war during 1970-71 period a sizeable contingent of Tibetan ‘22’ guerrilla soldiers was secretly assigned the job of liberating the Tripura-Chittagong sector. Interestingly, the field operations of this secret contingent were personally supervised by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself.

On the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath in Rashrapati Bhawan in the presence of all heads of state from South Asia except China, the presence of Tibetan Sikyong Dr. Sangay in the VVIP enclosure gave indication that a brand new and different Tibet policy was in the offing. But later developments, especially the latest instructions of the NDA government to ignore ‘Thank You India’ have only confused the observers, and Dalai Lama too.

This sudden announcement by Dr. Sangay calling for Dalai Lama’s return to Chinese controlled Tibet has surprised many observers and institutions who have been keenly watching the Tibet-China-India triangle over past few decades. The uncommon attention that these remarks of the Sekyong has received, has prompted some other seniors in Dharamsala to suggest that it is nothing more than an off the cuff retort to New Delhi’s latest humiliating decision. Responding to my pointed question about Dalai Lama’s personal position on this issue, two prominent Tibetans who sit on two extreme ends of the ongoing political debate among the community disagreed with Dr. Sangay’s agenda.

Comment: China has over the last two decades become an economic superpower, standing practically shoulder to shoulder with the United States in terms of material production and consumption. Its economic and bilateral relations with many countries has upped and expanded.

Mr Vijay Kranti

This has destabilized Europe and America from their axis/hegemony. A new world order has emerged where relations with China can no longer be ignored or put on the backburner by labelling the country an insignificant market. In fact, China has become THE market for any business or country serious about expansion.

Within India, as Mr Kranti astutely observes, this adjustment process is currently underway. But for the Tibetans, the most significant part of Mr Kranti’s observations is that it paints the Indian approach towards the Tibetan question as erratic and inconsistent. One moment, Indian leaders are welcoming Dr Sangay as an equal and in the next moment, he is persona non grata, discarded in favor of a bilateral relationship with China.

For the Tibetan leadership, this must surely impose a feeling of instability and unreliability. Mr Kranti’s analysis simply highlights the precariousness and lack of control over their situation and future.

 

FAITH IN DALAI LAMA’S WISDOM

Tenzin Tsundue (43) is the most visible and vocal signature of Tibetan ‘Rangzen’ movement, which stands for complete independence for Tibet as opposed to Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Path’ for ‘genuine autonomy’. He says, “HH (Dalai Lama) is still the boss, not Sikyong. Lobsang Sangay’s showing the face in the media, on stage, being the head of CTA is still nominal and has little meaning. HH calls the shots.” Emphasizing his faith Dalai Lama’s wisdom he says, “please don’t underestimate HH’s political wisdom.”

Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (81) a senior monk statesman out rightly rejected the idea of any plans to send back Dalai Lama to China or Tibet. Both of them remind that during his countless world tours the Dalai Lama has been always presenting India in a very positive light in his public speeches and one to one discussions with heads of state. Both of them regret that India could have used the international goodwill of Dalai Lama in enhancing its own interests in the world politics. The Dalai Lama has recently nominated Prof. Rinpoche and Dr. Sangay as his personal envoys to take ahead Dharamsala-Beijing ‘dialogue’.

 

DELHI OR DHARAMSALA — NEITHER CAN AFFORD IT

Whatever be the reality behind the prevailing confusion but one thing is clear. Neither Dalai Lama nor India can afford his slipping into Chinese lap at this delicate moment of Tibetan history. A dramatic decision like this will leave Dalai Lama, Tibet and Tibetan people completely at the mercy of Chinese whose previous record on their promises to Tibet is only too well known. By returning either permanently or even as a ‘pilgrim guest’ of a country (China) whose atrocities made him flee to exile, Dalai Lama will lose his legal and moral qualification as a ‘refugee’.

Comment: Herein lies one of the most significant statements in Mr Kranti’s analysis – it records a Tibetan stating very clearly that the Dalai Lama is in control, and that Lobsang Sangay is just a figurehead.

This statement is extremely significant because first of all, it is being made by a prominent activist who is known to have insider knowledge into the workings of the Tibetan leadership. It is also significant because it is being made by someone who does not have any known links to China and therefore cannot be accused of such i.e. his assessment of Lobsang Sangay’s role and the Dalai Lama’s ongoing control is unbiased and he cannot be accused of trying to undermine Lobsang Sangay to further China’s interests.

Tenzin Tsundue’s statement echoes those which have been made all along by many other parties who were more easily dismissed than Tsundue himself. That is, Lobsang Sangay is not truly in power, the Tibetan leadership have not moved on towards a democracy, and the Dalai Lama is still the one in control. In essence, Tsundue’s comment debunks everything the Dalai Lama has been promoting to his Western audiences about the Tibetan leadership and their movement towards democracy.

Tenzin Tsundue, a passionate and strong advocate of Tibetan independence (rangzen).

This means that whatever Lobsang Sangay says is controlled, approved and perhaps even dictated by the Dalai Lama. If Lobsang Sangay says the Dalai Lama had dreams, it is because the Dalai Lama told him to do so; if Lobsang Sangay says the Dalai Lama is willing to negotiate with China to return to Tibet, it is because he was told to do so. Lobsang Sangay, for all of his posturing and travels, is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the real leader in charge of the Tibetan leadership.

Therefore, where is the democracy or segregation of power if the Dalai Lama alone is still the one in power? The situation is pretty much akin to the time of the last Empress of China. It was still the Empress who ruled behind the suspended curtain, pulling the strings of the puppet on the throne.

All of this may answer why the Dalai Lama appears to be in such a hurry to return to Tibet. Clearly if Lobsang Sangay has no real power or control now, then after the Dalai Lama’s passing, Lobsang Sangay will not be capable of leading the Tibetans or of making progress in the CTA’s political goals. Having projected into the future and seen this inevitability, the Dalai Lama may now be trying to push for some kind of resolution with the Chinese because once he is no longer around, he knows Lobsang Sangay will not be able to accomplish much.

So desperate is the Dalai Lama to negotiate with the Chinese that he not only nominates personal envoys “to take ahead Dharamsala-Beijing ‘dialogue’” but the Dalai Lama is also willing to “lose his legal and moral qualification as a ‘refugee’” if he returns to China. The question is, why is the wise Dalai Lama doing so? Why not before but now?

 

DALAI LAMA’S LOSS

Tibetan people may be happy to see their ‘Yeshi Norbu’ (meaning Precious-Gem and a common name for Dalai Lama) with their own eyes in their current life time. But this privilege will come at the cost of losing the momentum and courage of standing up against the tyranny for their colonial masters once they see their leader patching up with China. More than 150 Tibetans have committed self immolation inside Tibet against Chinese rule in recent years. The international Tibet support movement which has taken roots across the world over past six decades will die instantly and it cannot be revived in future if China ever goes back on its promises to Dalai Lama. His visit or return will permanently seal the fate of Tibet as an integral part of China and Beijing will get the license of nominating the future Dalai Lamas too.

By segregating the political and religious titles of the institution of Dalai Lama and handing over all his political powers to the elected representatives of Tibetans, the Dalai Lama had already given an endless shelf life to the Tibetan struggle and the institution of Dalai Lama itself. Sadly, his return to China will kill this achievement in its infancy.

Comment: Mr Kranti is clear about what will happen if the Dalai Lama goes back to Tibet – it will mean the end of any campaign to gain independence or meaningful autonomy for the Tibetans, because the Dalai Lama will have given up any political capital he currently possesses. Everything the Tibetans have fought for over the “past six decades will die instantly”, with no hope of a future revival.

The fact Mr Kranti pins the Tibetan future solely on the Dalai Lama, and leaves no room for consideration regarding Lobsang Sangay’s capabilities reflects the commonly-held belief that Lobsang Sangay has not shown much political wisdom or maturity, and the Dalai Lama is still in charge. This is clearly exemplified by Lobsang Sangay’s statements about fulfilling the prophecy that His Holiness will return to Tibet. Despite his insistence that he is the leader of a democratic administration, it is clear Lobsang Sangay is not on equal standing with other democratic leaders because he talks about dreams, thereby demonstrating his failure to grow out of pre-1959 Tibet’s habit of referring to mystical prophecies. After all, what kind of politically mature leader bases their decisions on dreams?

 

INDIA STANDS TO LOSE

For India also, too big things are at stake to sit idle and allow the influential lobbies of Dharamsala to hand over a living Dalai Lama on a platter to China. With the return of Dalai Lama to Tibet or China all chances, whatever remote, of rehabilitating Tibet as a buffer between India and a quarrelsome China would be lost forever. But worst fall out of this Dharamsala-Beijing marriage will be the sudden transformation of the Himalayan states of India from India’s ‘first defence post’ to the Chinese front post of aggression because the local Buddhist populations have deeper religious bonds and relations with the Tibetan Buddhist system and monasteries inside Tibet than with the Indian plains.

 

INDIAN HARAKIRI?

Dr. Sangay’s statement has only further confirmed fears among many observers that an influential section among the Tibetan exile leadership is desperate about cobbling up a deal with China on whatever terms. The very first negotiation point in this deal, as already declared by Dr. Sangay, is bound to be the return of Dalai Lama. Leaving Dalai Lama to the mercy of such lobbies will be a national hara-kiri on the part of Indian government. Rather, it would be much wiser for New Delhi to become pro-active on this front. By taking reasonable interest in the Dharamsala-Beijing dialogue New Delhi will not only strengthen Dalai Lama’s hands, but it will also give India enough elbow room to ensure its own interests in any prospective deal remain safe.

For New Delhi to start with, one not-so difficult move can be to publicly acknowledge Dalai Lama’s personal and institutional contributions to the Indian cultural and philosophic though process and to bestow upon him the ‘Bharat Ratna.’ After all, if India can honour friendly foreigners like Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teressa with this Bharat-Ratna, then Dalai Lama’s name sound equally, if not more befitting. On the diplomatic front too, such a step will not only enhance the shelf life of Tibetan issue and value of Dalai Lama for India, it will be a very Gandhian and befitting response to China’s aggressive postures against India.

Comment: Mr Kranti hits the nail on the head with his final paragraphs. However, it seems foolhardy and risky to Sino-Tibetan relations to bestow upon the Dalai Lama any awards when his ongoing presence in India endangers the country’s welfare in a way that Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa never did. Unlike these great laureates and personalities who contributed to India, the CTA’s comments and actions consistently serve to antagonize China, with no concern or attention paid towards how it will affect India.

Left to right: Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa

Regardless of whatever awards India wishes to bestow upon the Dalai Lama, ultimately, India must protect her interests and wrest back control of the Tibetan administration. As guests of India, and as foreigners who refuse to become Indian citizens or integrate into Indian society after 60 years, the Tibetans and their pseudo-leader Lobsang Sangay should not be allowed to make comments which will dictate, influence or affect the course of Indian foreign policy. If Lobsang Sangay and the Dalai Lama wish to give up their influence in favor of a return to China, that is their decision but it should not come at the cost of Indian interests. India, after all, has the welfare of 1.3 billion citizens to safeguard and the activities of 100,000 Tibetans should not be allowed to adversely impact this.

 

Conclusion

The rise of China as a world superpower turned the tables on India as the host of Tibetans living in exile, and scuppered the Tibetans’ opportunities to continue hiding behind India as they provoked China.

While in the past, it was beneficial to criticize China regarding the Tibetan issue or to allow the Tibetan leadership in India to do so as this would be very positively received by Western nations who controlled a large amount of trade with India, this is not the case anymore.

Indeed, it has been rather hypocritical for India to side with the West with regards to the Tibetan issue, and to support the West’s opposition to China’s growth, all the while disregarding the fact it was the West who pillaged dozens of nations in the history of the world, India included.

Today, if Tibetans, after almost 60 years of living in India, do anything to jeopardize the future economic development prospects of India by continuing to antagonize the new superpower China, Indians will feel insulted because Tibetans are ungrateful for all that India has provided them. This point needs to be etched into the minds of all Tibetans because President Xi Jinping has said in no uncertain terms that no one will desecrate China again and take a single cent of Chinese money.

It is time that the CTA takes serious stock of their situation, and thoroughly explores the options still open to them. Six decades of living off India and the rest of the world have made them complacent and with China racing fast to the finish line, making friends and money along the way, pretty soon the Tibetans will just be a speck on the horizon, serving as just another inconsequential issue to be relegated to the history books.

 

Tibetan Review: Will Dalai Lama Return to China

Click to enlarge. (Source: http://www.tibetanreview.net/will-dalai-lama-return-to-china/)

 

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  1. Vijay Kranti, a senior journalist, Tibetologist, and Chairman of the Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies & Engagement (CHASE) has really excellent conclusions for the Tibetans and Dalai Lama. The article was powerful, well thought out and extremely cohesive. I find what he concluded believable as the trend is heading that direction. Kranti actually spells doom for the Dalai Lama and Tibetan diaspora. ☹️

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  2. We Indians are happy Dalai Lama goes back to Tibet. It is high time after living free in India for 60 years and bringing us more trouble with China. 😒

  3. Vijay Kranti is an intellecutal and deep thinker. I enjoyed reading his thoughts on the Tibetans here and I agree with most of what he says. I hope to see more of Vijay Kranti’s works here. 👍

  4. I have been reading from this comprehensive, authoritative and very unbiased website for the last 6 years. I usually spend a few hours a week here. There is no other site so comprehensive on the Dorje Shugden, Tibetan, Dalai Lama, Tibetan govt in exile, India and China issues. The writing here is raw, real and uncensored.

    Kudos to the people behind this website. I have made a donation to keep you all going.

    I loved the commentary on Mr. Vijay Kranti’s writing. Both the summary and Mr. Kranti’s writing gave me so much more insight.

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  5. Ex-Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche caught sleeping in a meeting

    The representative of the Dalai Lama and former prime minister of the Tibetan government in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche during an important meeting having a nice sleep. The Tibetan government in-exile are run by people like this who have no control over their body and manners. They only stay awake in the meeting if there is FREE aid money coming their way to line their pockets. Shameful how Samdong Rinpoche is sleeping in the middle of a meeting and he represents the Tibetan government in-exile. This is why after 60 years Tibetan leaders have failed to get Tibet back but blame others for their failures. Shame!

    http://video.dorjeshugden.com/comment-videos/comment-1528941530.mp4


  6. This r share on the WeChat 🙏 lama la chab su chio gyen dun la chab su chio

    35415482_10101818422119904_554592105977085952_n

  7. Yes Gyalwa Rinpoche will be returning to China, once he gets the chance and there isn’t much India can do about it.

    I guess the Dalai Lama has been hearing much analysis and news that India plans to warm up to China for a very long time.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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