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April 3, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright April 3, 2009. Used by permission.


Tibet has been much in the news the past few weeks, as China attempted to divert attention from the anniversary of last year’s riots and protests and reports leaked out of arrests and crackdowns in Tibet. Here are a few of the pieces from this week that we recommend.

In the current issue of The New York Review of Books, Pico Iyer writes about the Dalai Lama’s sinking faith in the Chinese leadership’s desire to resolve the situation in Tibet. Iyer points to the current situation in Tibet as the reason why—the title of his piece is “A Hell on Earth”:

“The situation inside Tibet is almost like a military occupation,” I heard the Dalai Lama tell an interviewer last November, when I spent a week traveling with him across Japan. “Everywhere. Everywhere, fear, terror. I cannot remain indifferent.” Just moments before, with equal directness and urgency, he had said, “I have to accept failure. In terms of the Chinese government becoming more lenient [in Chinese-occupied Tibet], my policy has failed. We have to accept reality.”

Accepting reality—first investigating it clearly, and then seeing what can be done with it—is for him a central principle, and now he was about to convene a meeting of Tibetans in his exile home, in Dharamsala, India, and then another, in Delhi, of foreign supporters of Tibet, to discuss alternative approaches to relieving the ever more brutal fifty-year-long suppression of Tibet by Beijing. “This ancient nation with its own unique cultural heritage is dying,” he said later the same day. “The situation inside Tibet is almost something like a death sentence.”…