This week Project Syndicate published a sober analysis and assessment of the increasing religious and political problems in Tibet. All too disquietingly, some 37 immolations of Tibetans have occurred since March 2011. Such acts are borne out of a sense of frustration and deep desperation at what are perceived to be increasingly heavy controls that China’s government in Beijing has imposed on Buddhist religious practices. Have we reached a stalemate and an impasse over the Tibetan-Chinese relations?
Given the Shared Societies Project’s commitment to fostering more and more inter-community development, news of this latest swelling unrest over Tibet leads this blog to call for and advocate a global re-assessment of our approach to reducing tension and hostilities between Tibetans and Chinese and building a greater consensus upon how best we can go about promoting respect, understanding and appreciation of diversity.
This last week, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton addressed the European Parliament:
“The EU calls upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that the human rights of the Tibetan people are respected, including their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as well as to enjoy their own culture to practise their own religion and to use their own language.”
So far, Brussels has tentatively sought to address the plight of Tibet in discussions with Beijing. The below listed op-ed, ‘The Fire in the Monastery’, highlights how crucially the international community must commence a frank new round of dialogue with China, urging it to guarantee freedom of religion to all of its citizens in accordance with its international obligations – and its own laws. Do read on below…