Young Tibetans Reject Dalai Lama’s Nonviolent Stance

April 02, 2008 11:40 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A generational divide is growing in Tibet, as young activists express impatience with their elders’ focus on peaceful dialogue with the Chinese government.

30-Second Summary

In the wake of Chinese crackdowns on Tibetan protesters, young people are growing impatient with the Dalai Lama’s peaceful “Middle Way” of dealing with the Chinese government.

“The middle way has been in existence for 20 years and nothing has come out of it,” said Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which formed in the 1970s with the Dalai Lama’s blessing but now espouses radical tactics over dialogue.

Nepali police on Tuesday arrested 86 exiled Tibetans protesting China’s crackdown on demonstrators in Kathmandu over the past two weeks.

Also on Tuesday, the Chinese government accused Tibetan exiles of planning suicide attacks, saying it found guns, dynamite, hand grenades and knives during searches of monasteries. The Associated Press reported that the Chinese government did not provide any details or evidence.

The Tibetan government-in-exile insists that it remains dedicated to nonviolence. “Tibetan exiles are 100 percent committed to nonviolence. There is no question of suicide attacks,” said Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetan prime minister-in-exile. “But we fear that Chinese might masquerade as Tibetans and plan such attacks to give bad publicity to Tibetans.”

Some analysts say China’s best hope for allaying tensions in Tibet is to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama now, before his influence wanes.

“No successor will command such veneration,” an Economist editorial warns. “And so none will be as persuasive an advocate of nonviolence and of a ‘middle way’ for Tibet, short of the full independence many Tibetans believe is their birthright.”

Headline link: ‘Young Tibetans Question Path of Nonviolence’

Related Topics: Nepali police arrest protesters, China accuses monks of abetting terrorism

Background: Tibetans split on resisting Chinese rule, China accused of faking evidence

Opinion & Analysis: Strategies for Tibet’s independence spark debate


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines