Serena Hu sent this email around and it made me realize how much I still don’t know about this issue. Hope it helps you.
As most of you know, I was lucky to have had the chance to visit Tibet during my trip to China last year. Having grown up in Taiwan, I have been taught that the many outlying minority groups residing in China are also considered Chinese. After visiting Tibet however, I realized that this premise is totally unjustified. Tibetans’ (and many other minority groups) comes from a long, and very distinct cultural and political lineage from that of the Chinese. They have their own historical figures, belief systems and practices, language, dress, food, art, etc. To claim that they are Chinese and forcibly keep them under Chinese governance is not only inaccurate but plainly unjust.
Even though I visited Tibet at a much more peaceful time just a little over 6 months ago, there was no doubt in my mind that what I witnessed there was a systematic regime of cultural genocide from the Chinese. The Dalai Lama’s policy of “one country, two systems” have not been fruitful in the last decades, and the Tibetans are growing intolerant of the Chinese as they have stepped in to interfere with Tibetan’s political and religious core by first kidnapping their 11th Panchen Lama (Tibet’s important political and religious leader next to the Dalai Lama) at the age of 6 (world’s youngest political prisoner) and later dictated a Chinese replacement that now resides in Beijing. The CCP also announced just last summer that the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama will not be “allowed” to take place in Tibet.
It saddens me to see that some of the Tibetans have lost faith in their leader – the Dalai Lama, but it angers me to read about the kinds of ridiculous accusations the CCP is making about the Dalai Lama, and further using those accusations as grounds for aggression. But I think what bothers me the most, is that I am afraid the world will simply stand by and watch as all of this makes history.
If you believe in and support human rights, please take a moment and visit the website below. There are a variety of simple ways you can show your support on this issue. Please feel free to forward on to others as well. Also, I will be attending the candle light vigil on 4/8 in SF to show support for the Tibetans as the Olympic torch passes through SF. Please let me know if you would like to join me.
— Serena Hu
New demonstrations continue to happen daily in towns and villages across eastern Tibet. Please visit www.savetibet.org to see a map showing where demonstrations have occurred. You will also find in-depth updates that we are posting daily.