Tibet: What next?

Tibet: What next?

It is not working.

Efforts to cut an autonomy deal for Tibet with the Chinese government simply haven’t worked.

That is the starting point for the debate on the future of Tibet, starting this week in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibet’s government-in-exile.

But there are few options left and the prognosis is grim. Armed resistance to Chinese rule has been tried in the past, and has failed. Peaceful suasion, too, has not worked.

To top it all, the Dalai Lama is now 73. The chances that Beijing will try to appoint its “own" Dalai Lama after the current one are fairly certain.

In such circumstances, Tibetan culture may die a slow, painful, death under relentless Han Chinese pressure unless the international community puts pressure on the Chinese government. But that, too, has been tried and has not worked. Trade surpluses clearly matter more in this world than a small nation without a clear map.

In this age of respect for human rights and multiculturalism, that would be a shame for the world.