(TibetanReview.net, Apr14’22) – In what may be seen as a reaffirmation of his position on the middle way approach, the Dalai Lama said on Apr 7 that seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule was not just a matter of political expediency. Rather, he emphasized, it was so much more about preserving the unique religious and cultural heritage of Tibet.
The occasion was the 25th Shoton, or Yoghurt Feast, festival of Tibetan operatic performances when the Dalai Lama spoke at the Tsuglakhang to the opera groups from exile Tibetan settlements and communities participating in the event. The festival venue this time was the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. The Tibetan spiritual leader said the festival was the happiest occasion for him in independent Tibet.
The Dalai Lama’s position on Tibetan independence is well known: Tibetans have a historical right to it, but the situation today is such that it is both politically expedient in terms of being mutually beneficial to Tibet and China, and the fact that it is impractical to carry out an independence campaign against Beijing in today’s world order.
The Dalai Lama reiterated that success in finding a middle way solution will enable Tibet to preserve its religious and cultural identity.
During the recent exile Tibetan political crisis, the ostensible issue was the legitimacy of the justice commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, and of its Chief Justice Commissioner to administer oath to the newly elected Sikyong and the elected candidates to the 17th Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE).
But the reality was that it pitted the middle way supporters among the elected candidates to the TPiE, who accepted the legitimacy of the justice commissioners, against the independence supporters who vehemently opposed them for allegedly occupying the positions from which they had been removed, even if grossly illegally in the view of many.
Had the Dalai Lama, on being approached, not advised that the TPiE members take their oath under the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, the Central Tibetan Administration may still be without a TPiE and a budget to run it after last month.