Tibetans comment on lack of US support

Tseten Lungkara expressed pessimism about the Tibetan situation, quietly demonstrating the community’s lack of faith in Lobsang Sangye’s ability to buffer the Tibetans against the Trump administration’s erosion of American support for Tibet

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: Kay Beswick

“Sanguine” can be defined as optimism or positivity and it is true to say that in the current climate, the Tibetans have very little to be optimistic about when it comes to the US continuing their support of the Tibetan leadership. Since taking office, President Trump has steadily eroded American financial support for the Tibetan cause.

  • In the first few months of Trump’s presidency, not only has the US drawn closer ties with China over a common enemy (North Korea), but the new US President has not shown any interest in meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. For the Tibetan leadership, this is worrying because such a meeting is a strong indicator whether the American President is interested in the Tibetan cause, thereby reflecting some type of financial support. However it is already months into the new President’s term and no statements of interest have been issued.
  • Trump has outright said that the US will no longer give money to the Tibetans. America has always been the Tibetan leadership’s biggest supporter. It began in the 1960s when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trained Tibetan guerrilla fighters. As of 2002, the American government and private fundraisers has given the Tibetan leadership over 2.2 billion US dollars in financial assistance.
  • Our question is, where has all of this aid disappeared to? Who was accountable for how it was spent and were accurate records kept? How come despite the huge investment of American taxpayer dollars, the average Tibetan continues to suffer from low levels of literacy, poor access to healthcare and lack of job opportunities? 60 years after first arriving in India, Tibetans are still more likely to become Luddiyana sweater sellers than to become scientists, doctors and engineers. So what happened to the investment that the US government made into the Tibetan community? Clearly it never reached the people because if it had reached the people, Tibetans would not continue to rely on sponsors’ generosity and financial aid to bail them out of disasters (as was the case with the Lal Qilla sweater market fire and the drought that killed thousands of famers’ crops).

As the Tibetan leadership’s strongest advocates, American support for the Tibetan leadership has become the global yardstick for support of the Tibetan community and their political goals. Hence when the American President appears to be determined to drastically reduce his country’s financial support for the Tibetan leadership, it worries the leadership who are concerned about how to keep their personal bank accounts topped up. It also concerns the people who worry about how many other countries will now be similarly emboldened to rescind their support for the Tibetans, and direct it towards the Chinese leadership instead.

So the article below is an interesting one because it reflects a growing sense of despondency amongst the Tibetan community over declining global support. This is probably the first time any Tibetan has expressed in such clear terms that they are worried. The CTA likes to paint the Tibetan community as some sort of Shangri-La society founded and existing under the rosy haze of Buddhism and spirituality. Instead, some Tibetans have bravely revealed that that is not the case and in fact, the people at a grassroots level are very worried about worldly things too. For example, Tseten Lungkara says he knows the Tibetan problem will not be solved under the Trump administration and why would it be, when it was not solved under previous more supportive Presidents? His comments alone also reflect a lack of faith in Sikyong Lobsang Sangye’s ability to buffer the Tibetan community against the Trump administration’s erosion of American support for Tibet.

The question now remains is exactly what Sikyong Lobsang Sangye is going to do about this situation. Recent news suggests that he continues to be more interested in traveling to the US and Europe on the pretext of drumming up support for the Tibetan cause. Yet, results clearly demonstrate that these trips are in vain because a growing list of countries are rejecting the Tibetan leadership. So this writer cannot help but wonder, what is wrong with staying in Dharamsala and focusing on the Tibetan people’s welfare, and pressing for dialogue with China? It has previously been pointed out that during Samdhong Rinpoche’s time, the Tibetan leadership had dialogue with China but under Sikyong, not a single meeting has been arranged in the last six years. What Lobsang Sangye has accomplished in the last six years that is tangible, necessary and appreciated by all Tibetan people is very difficult to count on one hand alone.

It is time the Sikyong ends all of his wasteful traveling and focuses instead on improving the welfare of the Tibetan people. Otherwise, articles like the one below will become more commonplace until one day, the Tibetan leadership will wake up to find that their community has deserted them and finally, they are the leaders of no one.


Tibetans not very sanguine on US support

Click to enlarge. (Source: http://www.indiapost.com/tibetans-not-very-sanguine-on-us-support/)

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  1. After 60 year tibetan still reliance on fund for foreign countries. How could the tibetan exile gorvernment still asking the fund from others.What tibet has give back the world. Beside H.H.Dalai Lama, no others tibetan speech widely about compassion, frighting for the human right for tibet. CTA careless about tibetan warfare, fund has raise use for political expencer. Which brought tibetan refugee suffer a lot without helping from the fund has raise. Is time tibetan take responsibility and not reliance from H.H.Dalai Lama.

  2. CTA is getting too much! 👎 How would your have face to say US or other countries are not being supportive when they have been donating for years and see no positive results from their donations.🕳

    I’ve stop donating to them because this money could helps people who are really in need..hopeless.

  3. The reality is what can you get from support CTA. CTA had no strategic or economic importance to the United States for this moment Moreover 60 years funded was long enough for a country to achieve lots of good things at least a huge improving of the standard living of the peoples but Tibetan in Exile still struggling. In addition, the amount of US$2.2 Billion can bring so much to Tibetan in Exile but CTA already proven that they have no result. Tibetan in Exile still suffering and they are still refugees and stateless. After 60 years, as a Tibetan, do you still have faith to CTA?

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