Switzerland insists Tibetans are Chinese

By: Ashok Rao

It is high time that the Tibetan leadership stop advertising how bad they think China is. They drone on about how China steps on human rights, how unfair they are, and how China does not give its citizens the religious freedom they deserve.

Whether any of this is true or false is no longer the point. What should be their main concern is how the six million people in Tibet can continue their unique cultural identity, and also somehow connect with and repatriate themselves with the Tibetans around the world, creating a unified culture and people. This is the only logical way that all things ‘Tibetan’ will continue to exist amidst the turbulent seas of the modern world.

More than ever, such efforts are important for the Tibetan leaders, given that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is now in his 80s. Rather than antagonise China, they should be doing their utmost to negotiate and make friends, before they no longer have the worldwide prestige of the Dalai Lama to rely upon. It is clearly obvious in the world of politics that the Tibetan leadership’s legitimacy derives strictly from the very same prestige and fame, and if they had any sense of forethought and care for their people, they would be making full use of it while they have the time.

The 400-year-old institution of the Dalai Lama, god king of Tibet, has always been based on reincarnated succession. So with the current 14th Dalai Lama in his 80s, it is imperative for the Tibetan leadership to make friends with China, lest the worst occurs before the god king returns in his next holy form.

However, one does not become friends with someone by hitting them on the head, or spitting on them at the turn of every corner. If the Tibetan leadership keeps running around, telling people, “Hey, Tibetans are not being treated well in Tibet,” while at the same time screaming for autonomy, does that make sense? Why would you want to be autonomous in a place where you are not treated well? To advocate autonomy yet on the same breath protest being mistreated in Tibet, does not make an ounce of sense.

So, for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his ‘ministers’ to ask for autonomy, which necessarily involves being a part of China, but at the same time gang bashing China at every turn, at every meeting, at every political gathering with every leader of the free world, and in the media, it does not make logical sense.

However, if you are seeking complete independence, it is a different kettle of fish, a completely different story. The reason you would seek independence is because your people are not being treated correctly and you do not foresee them being treated correctly in the future. But then, why does His Holiness advocate meaningful autonomy?

This article therefore, part of a trend, portrays that a county famed for their neutrality when it comes to international politics, war, banks and political views, are now shifting towards the One China policy and enforcing it. A nation such as Switzerland which is considered wealthy, sovereign and developed is now in alignment with China’s new world order.

A simple question to ask would be: what benefit does Switzerland or any other country receive to side with the Tibetans besides a moral feel-good factor, kind of like an instant adrenaline rush? Besides that, there is absolutely no political, financial and economic benefit to side with the Tibetan diaspora. But it would make perfect sense to side with China, from whom they would receive such benefit. So, this is more bad news for the Tibetan government in exile, headquartered in Dharamsala (affectionately called Dhasa).

Switzerland is now enforcing all Tibetans residing in their country to identify themselves as Chinese or originating from China. Previously they were allowed to be identify themselves as citizens of ‘Tibet’ or ‘Stateless’. This is a huge blow to Tibetans who are always declaring that they are the people from a sovereign Tibetan nation. Switzerland’s ‘simple’ act of enforcing Tibetans to identify with originating from China says it all. Clearly the Swiss government does not or will not recognize that Tibet is sovereign but always has been and continues to be a part of China. This should rankle many Tibetan supporters and freedom fighting ‘rangzen’ advocates.

It is a huge blow to the ‘Tibetan government in exile’ or more commonly known as the CTA. This should bring them backwards considerable after years of advocating their stance against China. We can see more and more nations siding with China and not with Tibet’s claim of sovereignty. Switzerland, which houses the largest settlement of Tibetan refugees in Europe is inadvertently setting a trend for the rest of the countries that house Tibetans as well as for the rest of the world. It is very important Tibetan leaders stop antagonizing China, not from a lack of free speech but for practical reasons. Tibetan leaders must stop irritating China and become friends. It is their only hope. They should be humble and reach out before it is too late.

The Tibetan Autonomous Region’s future, the Dalai Lama visiting his homeland again, and the preservation of the Tibetan culture and religion will be factored in by the behavior of the waning reputation of the Tibetan government in exile. If governments can be compared to the cycle of the moon, it is clear, given the current state of affairs, that the Tibetan government in exile is a moon which will never wax again.

Click on image to read the full report. Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/switzerland-revised-tibet-policy-to-boost-tieschinese-media/1/886711.html

 

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8 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The reason for this is because the Switzerland government totally lost confidence in the Tibetan leadership of Dharamsala. They have lost their respect for Tibetan leadership (CTA) otherwise why would they do this after 60 years of campaigning to the world Tibetans are NOT Chinese? Yet Switzerland is insisting Tibetans are Chinese and they make the Tibetans in Switzerland legally declare this. CTA is going downhill and their time is numbered. Their corruption and bad governance is catching up. Too bad.

  2. Our leaders will never think that they have any responsibility for our present predicament. Yes, Swiss is to be blamed for bending to the will of China and only time will tell what kind of friend China will be. In the immediate future though, China now knows they own them. But what made it more attractive for Swiss to give up Tibet in favour of China?

    Our Dalai Lama has been our precious constant for decades, amidst an ever-changing political environment. Swiss, who are clean and neutral and famed for anti-corruption, like him but they will not find it attractive to deal with the current ilk of leaders we have who are more interested in photo ops and mortgage payments than real work.

  3. If CTA is passionate about securing autonomy for Tibet it does not jell with throwing bad eggs on the Great Wall. What can CTA gain from such illogical act? If CTA is wise CTA should befriend China and begin talks before the time fades.

    It is not surprisingly for Tibetans in Switzerland to be called Chinese. This is inevitable as Switzerland wants to be aligned with China for economic reasons. And this is the same for the rest of the world. For this reasons Tibetans will eventually be integrated to Chinese whether they like it or not.

  4. Switzerland’s immigration policy of asking the Tibetan refugees to change their nationality to Chinese does not in any way change the benefits which the Tibetans will receive from the Swiss government. In fact, it’s a wise move for everyone. Being Chinese or even Swiss has more material benefits. It will help to propel the status of the Tibetans in the world. It will also be more secure for the Tibetans, especially if the Dalai Lama is not around anymore. Spiritually, Tibetans can continue to share the Buddha’s teachings to everyone. In essence Tibetans will always be Tibetans if they so wish to be and if they work hard to keep all the culture and traditions; stating a different nationality is just another label. When an Indian takes up the British nationality, they will always be an Indian, a British Indian.
    So “Chinese Tibetan” sounds perfectly legitimate in my humble opinion.
    There are more battles in life to fight then this obviously losing battle set up by the CTA – the battle of EGO !!

  5. By siding with the Dalai Lama and Tibetans, what does anyone get? Of course Switzerland will not side with Tibetans any more. Switzerland gave over 4,000 Tibetan refugees a home in Switzerland and that is more than enough. What does Tibetans give Switzerland? Switzerland owes Tibetans nothing. Better to side with China.

  6. Tibetans always make trouble wherever they live. They will not live quietly and appreciate the bigger economic goals of their host country. Many countries have a economic need to be friends with China as the cold war with China is thawing out. But Tibetans will never understand this. The needs of the 6 million Tibetans to them outweigh the needs of the rest of the 7 billion persons on this planet.

    I think Switzerland just got tired of the Tibetans but they are stuck with them.

  7. absolutely spot on. these tibetans create problems where ever they are. they r extremely manupulstives by nature and hv converted buddism into a big big business…

  8. The mentality of a leadership is very important for organizing in an association. Good qualification of leaderships including understanding, reassessment, cooperative, supportive and motivate others. But it’s too bad there aren’t any of these qualities seen in CTA. How could Tibet be autonomous with such great potential of humiliation?

    It is beneficial too for Tibetan refugees in Switzerland to change their citizenship to obtain a better and more secure life. Therefore they may have their religious freedom and live in peace and harmonious life. After all, it’s all about FREEDOM.

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