Free Tibet...later

By Antonio C. Abaya
Blog: On The Other Hand

While it is admitted here that the people of Tibet have a history that goes back 3,000 years and the Chinese did not officially claim sovereignty over the Tibetan Plateau until around 1900, the realities of the 21st Century make the liberation of Tibet from Chinese rule an impossible dream.

Obviously there is no hope of turning Tibet into a battleground for national liberation, as Vietnam spectacularly was in the 1960s. The total Tibetan population, including women and children, adds up to less than the total Vietnamese killed, combatants and civilians, during their struggles against the French and later the Americans. There are no jungles in which guerillas can hide. There is no supply route to sympathetic sources of munitions anywhere.

The on-going agitation in the name of a Free Tibet, timed specifically to coincide with the run-up to the 29th Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, is clearly meant merely to embarrass the Chinese, by spoiling their coming-out party in August 2008.

This brouhaha has all the makings of an orchestrated demolition exercise, obviously manipulated and coordinated by some high-powered public relations outfit in New York or London or Paris, and given a glossy veneer by enlisting the public support of Hollywood icons like Richard Gere and Mia Farrow.

The idea is to make sure that CNN and the BBC and the rest of international media give the Free Tibet movement the attention that the publicists are being paid to promote.

I say this because contiguous to Tibet to the east is the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, home to ethnic Uyghurs, who have been agitating for independence from China for decades – exploding bombs occasionally to remind the world that they are still fighting for a homeland – but no one pays any attention to them.

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