Tenzin Yewong (Tibet, AC 07-09)
A page from my journal.
April 7th, 2008
A CONFUSED TIBETAN’S THOUGHTS AND BUTS….
This morning in the Guardian and on the BBC website, I again found the issue of Tibet being reported on the front page. When I had first seen those articles in the worldwide media, I used to feel happy knowing that people were at least noticing our struggle; even though it was at the expense of violence and riots in my own land. I felt that somewhere there was still hope. Maybe, our voice was going to be heard. Maybe, the radical youths were going to bring some fruition, now, that the government had already given up on independence. But today, when I looked at the pictures of my fellow country mates and our supporters protesting over the torch relay, I was torn apart in my feelings. After all, I felt ashamed at the protest against innocent people and asked myself why we were boycotting and protesting against the people who were trying to enjoy the spirit of humanity? It’s not the athletes or the people of China that we are against; they deserve to host the Olympics. It’s the communist party we are against.
But just as I started thinking that way, I felt guilty. How can I let go of this opportunity, when at last we could tell the people about the oppression that has been relatively happening in silence for more than four decades? How can I betray the hopes of other Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet? If the athletes and the common people are innocent, then so are Tibetans. What have we done wrong? I should use this chance to campaign for justice and for our rights. But then, is this the right target? Is boycotting the Olympics a just way to find our solution? If not, then what is the right way that can be effective as direct action? If not this time, then when? The youth inside me says with the peace of the Dalai Lama, we are not going any far. Some radical actions are needed. But then I think about the irony of what we are doing. In order to resolve the injustice and violence in Tibet, we are subjecting to violence and committing injustice on other innocent people.
For far too long, I used to feel whether it is Free Tibet or The middle way, who cares? China is becoming a superpower economically. Consequently lots of nations are going to be interdependent on it for financial reasons. Who would give up their economy for Tibetan Independence or Autonomy? And then, the Olympic came and with it, the unprecedented uprisings in Tibet. Now there is awareness and there is attention, but then, why am I still feeling wrong? Maybe, I realized The Dalai Lama was right. Violence is never an answer to peace and justice. He used to tell us, “Ours is a unique struggle. We are peaceful. ” I associate with it as a part of my Tibetan identity. But now, there is a new face of Tibet, a face of violence. When protesting, our intention has never been to be ill willed towards Chinese but our action makes it susceptible to ill considerations. Quoting the Dalai Lama, perhaps Autonomy is our only way to fight for our right in a righteous way. But in a China that has wounded us so much, Can I forgive and trust them? They say, forgiveness is the greatest form of love. But when the forty years of peaceful dialogue has failed, shall I take a risk of compromising or shall I take the risk of fighting for independence?
– United World College Student Magazine –