- Written by Dr. Michael Mickler Dr. Michael Mickler
Tenzin Dorjee, Executive Director, and Tenzin Dolkar, USA Grassroots Director of "Students for a Free Tibet" (SFT) were guest speakers in the Seminary's "World Religions and Global Conflict" class on December 8th. As a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world, SFT works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. At any given time, SFT is involved in two or three major campaigns intended "to make China's occupation of Tibet too costly to maintain."
In their presentation, Dorjee and Dolkar depicted Tibet as a "human rights black hole." They highlighted the plight of monks, artists, intellectuals and students who are subject to lengthy internments for what in many cases are trivial offenses such as possession of a Tibetan flag. They made the case for Tibet's historical sovereignty and updated the class on the current situation, notably the Chinese government's decision to replace Tibetan with Chinese as the language of instruction in Tibetan schools and campaigns in support of Liu Xiaobo, the jailed recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. They also noted a shift in dissent within Tibet from dramatic protest-based activities to a Gandhi-style civil disobedience, non-cooperation-based empowerment movement.
The People's Republic of China (PRC) invaded Tibet in 1950 and considers it to be an inalienable part of the motherland. They characterize the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, as a "splittist" even though, as Dorjee and Dolkar pointed out, he actually favors a "Middle Way" of "meaningful autonomy" between Chinese position that Tibet is part of China and SFT's position that Tibet is an independent nation.
For more information on SFT, see www.studentsforafreetibet.org.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This webpage contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of recent trends in faith and culture for the purpose of promoting interfaith understanding.
We understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.