Dalai Lama Walks Away from “Middle Path”

This is incredible.

Dalai Lama says he has given up on China talks

The Dalai Lama said Saturday he has given up on efforts to convince Beijing to allow greater autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule.


Associated Press

The Dalai Lama said Saturday he has given up on efforts to convince Beijing to allow greater autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said he would now ask the Tibetan people to decide how to take the dialogue forward.

China has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of the country. The Dalai Lama has denied the allegations, saying he is only seeking greater autonomy for the Himalayan region to protect its unique Buddhist culture – a policy he calls the “middle way.”

“I have been sincerely pursuing the middle way approach in dealing with China for a long time now but there hasn’t been any positive response from the Chinese side,” he said in Tibetan at a public function Saturday in Dharmsala, the north Indian town that is home to Tibet’s government-in-exile.

“As far as I’m concerned I have given up,” he said in an unusually blunt statement.

“The issue of Tibet is not the issue of the Dalai Lama alone. It is the issue of 6 million Tibetans. I have asked the Tibetan government-in-exile, as a true democracy in exile, to decide in consultation with the Tibetan people the future course of action,” the Dalai Lama said.

His speech was translated by his spokesman, Tenzin Takhla.

The spiritual leader’s comments come ahead of a new round of talks between his envoys and Chinese government officials at the end of October. Those talks are still on track, according to Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, another spokesman for the Dalai Lama.

In my view this is a good thing. The Dalai Lama and Tibetan Government in Exile have spent over 30 years pursuing the “Middle Path” of autonomy. Not once has the Chinese government shown a desire to end the Tibet question peacefully or in line with the Middle Path.  New voices should be given strength in the TGIE – voices advocating rangzen (independence) that have been somewhat marginalized need to be given a major place in policy moving forward. Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet have never stopped striving for independence. Now is the time for HHDL and the TGIE to make those views central to their stance on Sino-Tibetan relations.

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