Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dalai Lama, Tibet and China

I just came back from Asia where eyewitnesses gave a different view of the matter than that of the West. First of all, the violence was initiated by the thugs in Lhasa. Secondly, the violence got out of hand because the riot police did not respond right away but melted away for the first 24 to 48 hours. Thirdly, since Dalai Lama is publicly opposed to violence, this suggests that he is not in control of his younger followers. From Beijing's point of view, having a dialogue with Dalai Lama may not contribute to a peaceful resolution because of their perception that he lacks sway over his followers.

This summary was what I gathered from the reports written in Chinese and found in Hong Kong such as the weekly, Yazhou Zhoukan, and in part confirmed by the International Herald Tribune.

I personally believe a dialogue between Dalai Lama and Beijing would be useful but feared such a dialogue will fall far short of expectations of the West. America's view of the world, particularly of Asia, fits the derisive Chinese proverb of the frog in the bottom of well, i.e., very limited vision of the real world.

What the thugs did in Lhasa would not have been tolerated had the actions taken place in Los Angelese, Detroit or New York. But because it took place in Tibet, the American sense of right and wrong has once again been turned on its head.

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