His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent statement where he said that Tibet does not seek independence drew a mixed reactions from the public. This is the first time the Tibetan leader has so lucidly explained what he wants from China.
A column carried out by Times of India tracks the thought of Tibetan activists and freedom fighters in exile. The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) said that they respected everyone’s opinion but Tibet was an independent country and it is their right to struggle for freedom.
“We are not opposing anything and respect everyone’s opinion. But our struggle is for freedom of Tibet and it will go on,” TOI quoted TYC president Tenzin Jigme as saying.
The Students for Free Tibet (SFT) who have long been vocal about complete freedom for Tibet stated that there were many things that can be done for Tibet cause. “In any movement for independence there are different methods and ideologies to reach a goal. We respect the Dalai Lama’s vision – this is one thing, but there are so many things that can be done for Tibet cause. The SFT believes that Tibet is an independent country and we are working towards that,” national executive director of the SFT, Tselha, said.
Supporting the Dalai Lama’s stance was the Tibetan Women Association (TWA) who maintained that Dalai Lama had never said Tibet is not an independent country. “We are seeking genuine autonomy. The Dalai Lama has never said that Tibet is not an independent country,” TWA president Dolma Yangchen said.
Tibetan writer and poet Tenzin Tsundue, when asked about the statement, said, “The Dalai Lama’s statement cannot be taken as not wanting independence and supporting China. Given a chance, who would not want freedom? The Dalai Lama is a Buddha, he can envision living with enemy but the demand of the Tibetans is only human, and they want freedom.”
The Dalai Lama was speaking at an interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce where he said that Tibetans weren’t seeking independence. “We are not seeking independence… We want to stay with China. We want more development,” he said.