News / Asia

Exiled Tibetans Launch Middle Way Awareness Campaign

Tibetans in Exile Reach Out to Chinese Citizens in Renewed Push for Autonomyi
X
Anjana Pasricha
August 08, 2014 4:20 PM
A renewed push for autonomy by the Tibetan government in exile aims to reach out to Chinese scholars and civil society in the hope that they can influence the Chinese government to restart talks. Anjana Pasricha visited Dharamsala and has a report.
VIDEO: A renewed push for autonomy by the Tibetan government in exile aims to reach out to Chinese scholars and civil society in the hope that they can influence the Chinese government to restart talks. Anjana Pasricha visited Dharamsala and has a report.
Anjana Pasricha

A renewed push for autonomy by the Tibetan government in exile aims to reach out to Chinese scholars and civil society in the hope that they can influence the Chinese government to restart talks.  
 
Whenever the political head of the Tibetan exile government Lobsang Sangay, leaves his headquarters in the Indian town Dharamsala for trips abroad, he says he often finds misunderstanding about what the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is seeking for his homeland.  
 
Many people incorrectly think he wants Tibetan independence from China.
 
“We concluded that the misinformation was fed mainly by the Chinese government officials and those who are sympathetic to the Chinese government," said Sangay.
 
The Dalai Lama has long pursued autonomy for his Tibetan homeland, a path he calls the “Middle Way.”

Now the exile government is trying to correct misperceptions with a Middle Way awareness initiative — a campaign they are calling their most concerted push for Tibet’s autonomy.

Countering anti-Chinese stereotype

The head of the Tibet Policy Institute, Thubten Samphel, says the exile administration wants to educate Chinese people that the Tibetan political struggle is not anti-Chinese.

“They feel that it is the best possible way to resolve a very protracted issue," said Samphel. "It does not undermine the territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China. So what we want is what people in Hong Kong want: free press, within a single administration, the ability to enjoy free speech."
 
In a tough response to the autonomy campaign, Chinese government spokesman Hong Lei denounced Tibetan leader Lobsang Sangay as a “100 percent separatist” and his exile government as illegitimate.
 
"It is a separatist organization which has its own agenda and guiding principles and is trying to separate Tibet from China," said Lei.
 
Beijing rejects talks with the exile government, but authorities in Dharamsala say informal channels of dialogue remain open through the steady stream of Chinese scholars and Buddhists who visit this scenic Himalayan town.
 
Tibetan exile Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay calls it a “bottom up” approach.  
 
“So we hope that at a people’s level they have a better understanding of the issue of Tibet and through that impact the Chinese leaders to review their current policies, the heartland policies which is not working and then introduce more liberal policies towards Tibetan people," he said.
   
This approach could take a long time to have an impact. But Tibetans like Samphel say they are patient.
 
“We can wait, we Tibetans tend to reincarnate," said Samphel.

For a Tibetan political struggle now more than 50 years old, such spiritually-based patience has earned it many admirers abroad, but little influence on policies inside China.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William li from: Canada
August 10, 2014 11:21 PM
Sorry VOA, I am not fed by the communist to know the so call exile Tibetans want to separate from China! I read all news and comments inciting this separation.
The so called middle way fools nobody!
As an oversea Chinese, I see clearly what they are trying to do. I am glad the communist has never been fooled.
What China needs to do is to copy the American way treating aboriginals! Yes, keep them in reservations! There should be no Tibet province, the name should change to Xizang!

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 10, 2014 8:22 PM
The paradox is that the more China is seen to be oppressive to Tibetans, the more Tibetans overseas feel that they should consolidate their power and exert their influence. China should have reduce any pressure on Tibetans and let them feel better even in Tibet.

by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 08, 2014 6:52 PM
May be the Tibetans have to learn from the Jews in exile. How do you maintain your urge to go home or serve Tibet while living away from home. Especially the younger generation who have not set foot in Tibet. Would they ever maintain their Tibetan identity.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs