Representative Lobsang Nyandak with Chinese scholars and students during an open exchange in New York on March 16,2013.
DHARAMSHALA, March 19: In an open exchange of ideas between Tibetan and Chinese on the current crisis inside Tibet, more than a dozen Chinese scholars and students met with Tibetans in New York at a gathering organised by the Office of Tibet on March 16.
Lobsang Nyandak, Representative of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Americas, took part in the discussions, explaining the Central Tibetan Administration’s Middle Way Policy.
He reiterated that the Central Tibet Administration’s Middle Way Policy is a win-win solution for both the Tibetan and the Chinese government in exile and called for democratic reforms in China.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama always said that the democracy is like a medicine that would cure all of China’s social ills,” Nyandak said.
Responding to questions on the wave of Tibetan self-immolations, Nyandak explained the exile Tibetan administration’s stance that it “does not encourage any drastic measures, including self-immolation” and stressed that Dharamsala has no role in inciting the self-immolations as often claimed by the Chinese government.
Zhang Boshu, a visiting scholar at the Institute of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York, who was sacked from his position as assistant researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2008 after he published an article on Tibet was among the attendees.
Zhang noted that there is “absolutely no inherent animosity” between the Tibetans and the Chinese peoples and that the problem lies in the institution of the Communist Party.
Also in attendance was Chinese Internet activist Wen Yunchao, better known by his online alias “Beifeng,” who is currently a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Human Rights Institute. Wen has 80,000 followers on Twitter.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted for nearly five hours, Chinese participants said that the meeting was “extremely helpful in gaining a better understanding of the Tibetan issue.”
According to the organises, the attendants concurred that the root of the problem lie in the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party and that the only way forward for both China and Tibet is to work towards gradual democratic reforms in China.