Tibetan resolutions tilt towards Dalai Lama’s middle path

November 21st, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Nov 21 (IANS) At a special meeting of nearly 600 top Tibetan leaders here, voices supporting the Dalai Lama’s middle path approach on the struggle for Tibet seem to have overshadowed those demanding outright independence. But the final decision rests with the Buddhist spiritual leader himself.On Friday, the penultimate day of the six-day meeting, the biggest-ever such event held in over five decades, the resolutions moved by all the 15 groups of Tibetan leaders were read out to a general house here.

None of the resolutions from the groups clearly called for the Tibetan struggle to be independence-oriented. The tone of most resolutions, made and read in the Tibetan language, was to authorise the Dalai Lama to take a final call on the future course of action on the Tibetan struggle.

The presidents of all groups at the meeting will Saturday meet to arrive at a final resolution of the meeting which will be sent to the Dalai Lama for further action.

“The resolutions did not outright convey anything about the struggle for independence. The final resolution is likely to ask His Holiness (Dalai Lama) to decide on the future course of action,” Tibetan independence activist Tenzin Tsundue told IANS here after Friday’s meeting.

“Till the Dalai Lama himself says something about the future, the other Tibetan leadership will not seek big changes.”

Though there were enough pro-independence voices in the four days of deliberations of all the 15 groups of Tibetan leaders, each group comprising 35 to 39 members, the issue of having a full-fledged fight for independence itself did not find mention in any of the resolutions.

The meeting was called by the Tibetan parliament-in-exile at the instance of the Dalai Lama, who is the 1989 Nobel Peace prize winner.

“The majority of the members in various groups still supported the middle path approach of the Dalai Lama which accepts genuine autonomy under China as a solution to the Tibet issue,” a sitting MP, requesting anonymity, told IANS after Friday’s deliberations.

“Though the voices for independence was more than before and they were heard, they never mustered a majority and hence the resolutions did not contain their version.”

The necessity for the meeting was felt after the failure of talks of the Dalai Lama’s envoys with the Chinese authorities. The Dalai Lama also felt that the middle path approach, which has been followed since the early 1970s, was reaching nowhere with the Chinese side refusing to budge an inch.

“We are all for independence as our ultimate goal. We will change our strategies in future to achieve that,” Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) president Tsewang Rigzin said.

The growing frustration among exiled Tibetans, especially the youth, who want the struggle to be more aggressive and also violent if need be, also forced the Tibetan leadership to call the meeting.

The Dalai Lama and thousands of his Tibetan supporters had fled Tibet’s capital Lhasa after the Chinese forces took control in 1959. They have been living in India since then. There are over 100,000 Tibetans living in India now.

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