NEWS: Tibet’s Continuing Unrest

tenzin_gyatzo_foto_11March heralds another difficult period for Tibetans, not least the beginning of a New Year, but also two highly sensitive anniversaries. Fifty years ago, the Dalai Lama was exiled from Tibet, and last year saw monk’s protest against Chinese rule, and the riots which ensued. Sitting uncomfortably alongside these anniversaries, is the introduction of ‘Serf Emancipation Day’, arguably seen by many activists as a ‘propaganda exercise based on a wilful misrepresentation of history’.

It is perhaps little wonder that the current situation in Tibet appears highly volatile. Last weekend’s riots have been described by Reuters as ‘a spontaneous response to tough Chinese security measures’, furthermore suggesting that 2009 will see recurring civil unrest. In spite of China’s attempts to control the situation, and the Panchen Lama’s assertions that separatism is not a suitable focus for monks and nuns, it would seem unlikely that the protests will simply fade away.

The Dalai Lamas and State Power
By Derek F. Maher
(Vol. 2, January 2007)
Religion Compass

Buddhism, Politics and Nationalism, in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
By Thomas Borchert
(Vol. 2, August 2007)
Religion Compass

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