The Next Tibetan Uprising?

Chinese intellectual posted an essay on his wife Woeser’s blog in which he predicts that an uprising in Tibet following the ’s death will be even larger in scale than the protests in Lhasa this March. He suggests that a resolution of the Tibet issue before the Dalai Lama dies may be the only way to prevent such violence. John Pomfret provides a translation on his Washington Post blog:

All those who understand Tibet know that the Dalai Lama’s fate is like a wound in every Tibetan’s heart. As Tibetan Buddhism’s spiritual leader, this bodhisattva has made tremendous sacrifices. He has relinquished the demand for independence, and just desires a high degree of autonomy to preserve Tibet’s unique culture and religion. But to these modest conditions the Chinese government has responded with unceasing humiliation. They have not permitted the Dalai Lama to return to his birthplace, not permitted him to meet his people who have waited a whole lifetime to see him. In this way they will be parted forever by death. This kind of pain is incomparable. While the Dalai Lama is still alive, no matter how many obstacles are encountered, Tibetans harbor hope. But once the Dalai Lama dies, this hope will be replaced by despair, anger will outweigh fear, grief will give rise to frenzy. For these reasons the next uprising will be extremely fierce. The scope will be broader, the affected area
greater, and the number of participants larger than those of spring 2008. And it will not be possible to pacify it in a short period of time.

The essay responds to an article in May by Tibet scholar Robert Barnett in the New York Review of Books.


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