The New York Times Letters to the Editor section today has some great ones on Tibet.

To the Editor:

As a Tibetan, I take exception to “He May Be a God, but He’s No Politician,” by Patrick French (Op-Ed, March 22).

Mr. French suggests that if the Dalai Lama renounced parts of Tibet, progress could be achieved. Like the Chinese leadership, Mr. French does not appreciate that the Dalai Lama has already made the greatest compromise by agreeing to give up independence. Why should we now be expected to divide up our historical territory?

Mr. French also implies that the Dalai Lama is harming Tibetans by seeking international support. Yet decades of “back-channel diplomacy” have not yielded results.

The issue is not that the Dalai Lama is a poor politician, but that politicians are unwilling to effectively oppose China’s colonization of Tibet. Not only do these politicians conduct business as usual with China, but they have also rewarded China with the Olympic Games, much as the international community rewarded Hitler’s Nazi Germany with the 1936 Games.

It is irresponsible for politicians to give China the Olympic spotlight without insisting on justice for Tibet.

Dechen Tsering
Berkeley, Calif., March 23, 2008

To the Editor:

This month we have witnessed an outbreak of protest and violence in Tibet and a terrifying crackdown. At this critical time, Patrick French chooses to follow Beijing’s lead in scapegoating the Dalai Lama and the Tibet movement.

The Dalai Lama has been successful in keeping the plight of Tibetans high on the political and international radar. This focus has protected Tibetans from some of the worst excesses endured by Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, garnered vital support among Chinese in China, provided hope to Tibetans in Tibet living under oppression and created a critical political space for debate within China.

Mr. French’s approach misses the key point that we are currently witnessing an escalating crisis that calls into question Beijing’s policies over half a century in Tibet.

Kate Saunders
London, March 25, 2008

The writer is communications director, International Campaign for Tibet.

To the Editor:

There is something we could do to help the Tibetans regain their freedom from the colonialist Chinese: organize a worldwide boycott of trade with China.

That is how great democracies should deal with renegade dictatorships like China.

Timothy Bal
Belle Mead, N.J., March 23, 2008

To the Editor:

The headline “Speak Out on Tibet” (editorial, March 24) captures exactly what Tibetans have been asking governments and the United Nations to do for close to five decades: speak out for Tibet. Sadly, nobody has — at least not with any real conviction.

The coming Olympic Games present an opportunity for the international community to finally take a stand on Tibet. Beijing is so desperate to have the respect of its peers that shunning the Games in a full boycott would send a message that would be impossible for Beijing to ignore.

Beijing’s belief that brutal repression can quell the spirit of the Tibetan people must be opposed. And the 2008 Olympics present a perfect opportunity for the world to voice this opposition.

Pema Tulotsang
Toronto, March 24, 2008

To the Editor:

Re “Sarkozy Hints at Boycott of Olympics’ Opening” (news article, March 26):

Unlike many of his outlandish propositions, the latest suggestion by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is poignant and should be considered by the United States and the rest of the world.

The International Olympic Committee has urged countries and athletes not to boycott the Games, but it has failed to condemn the Chinese government for its use of force to quell the recent unrest in Tibet.

If the I.O.C. isn’t willing to punish the Chinese government in some way for its human rights violations, then participating Olympic nations must take it upon themselves to effect this punishment.

If that means withdrawing from the Olympic Games, so be it.

Becquer Medak-Seguin
Walla Walla, Wash., March 26, 2008

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