Tibet in the Year of the Tiger 

Phuntsog Wangyal in Lhasa, picture from the Second Fact Finding Tibetan Delegation.

By: Phuntsog Wangyal

The story is about a slogan, “America is a Paper Tiger”. We students had to march often in streets waving red flags and shouting slogans like “We support the people of Chaoxian, Imperialist America is a paper tiger, Victory to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)” and so on. At that time, we had no idea what ‘Chaoxian‘ (Korea in Chinese) meant and where America was in the world either. But we knew the tiger, a symbol of power we often see in Tibetan prayer flags. What the Chinese meant was that America is like a Tiger drawn on a piece of paper that looks fearful – but it is just an image that has no real strength.

Looking at the victory of the PLA in the Korean War, America’s defeat in Vietnam and Afghan wars, America’s inability to defend the people of Hong Kong in its recent turbulent history, all of which yet again raises the question,  is America truly as powerful as we like to believe in a situation where the people from the countries listed above lack sufficient confidence and determination to defend their positions. Can anybody, including Tibetans, really rely on America for its support without people standing up with a clear objective and determination? The Year of the Tiger is an ideal time for the West to prove that they are real Tigers that could stand up against the Chinese Dragon or the Russian Bear to defend freedom and democracy, and for the Tibetan people and their leadership to stand up united with a clear objective.

Another question is, do we really realise how the CCP works effectively through its “Magic Weapon”. We should remember how China’s Magic Weapon succeeded in making the Chinese Nationalists join the Communist Party fighting against Japan. That in the end led the Nationalists to lose power to the Communists. How the ‘Magic Weapon’ succeeded in making Americans choose the People’s Republic of China and offering them a seat in the Security Council. This,  in the end, facilitated China to grow in power, posing a great threat to the Western Democracy. How this  Magic Weapon misled the Tibetan Administration to decide not to fight for independence, which in the end consolidated the Chinese claim over Tibet as a part of China, thus making any matter related to Tibet an internal issue.

Similarly, no matter how hard Tibetans protest both individually and personally, even by sacrificing their lives, the Magic Weapon still continues to create confusion in their minds as to what to focus on while fighting their adversary.

As evident in “The Sun Behind the Clouds,” until the Tibetans and their leaders are able to unite and resolutely fight for the objective,  they are just playing into the hands of the CCP who are waiting for the Tibetan Sun to set, and that doubt and confusion will cloud Tibet’s  Light of the Truth.

The author is a former Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a former member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Dharamsala. 

The views expressed in this article are that of the author’s and should not be attributed to Tibet Express.

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