Indian Express

‘Restive Tibetans To Stage Another Vigil’
by Express News Service
(Indian Express. December 9, 2001)

On Monday, Tibetans living in Mumbai will mark the 12th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the Dalai Lama by staging a candle light vigil at the Azad Maidan. The day is also traditionally observed as Human Rights Day. But among the many who will voice their political dissent on Monday, there is also disillusionment and despar.

Karma Yeshi (35) has never been to his native place, Tibet. He was born in India to Tibetan refugees who fled Chinese persercution more than 40 years ago. Yeshi despairs at the stalemate over the future of Tibet with China refusing to recognise the Tibet issue as a political dispute and believes that Tibetan exiles must perhaps consider the option of violence. Yeshi is a part of the growing number of Tibetan exiles who feel that non-violent resistance has proved ineffective in making China enter into negotiations.

'We have been speading awareness about the plight of Tibetans by conducting seminars, sit-in protests, hunger strikes and other non-violent measures. But it has had no impact on China. There is an increasing number of Tibetans in India and back home frustrated with the current situation and want an armed struggle to make China sit up and take a look at the problem,' he adds. But not all his friends share his views. Many are wary of armed option, particularly with growing international disapproval of violent means to pursue political agenda. 'We want an independent Tibet free of Chinese hegemony where we can practice our religion and respect our culture.

We have been peaceful, with the restive youth growing up seeing their culture being buried, they are increasingly demanding violent struggle. His Holiness the Dalai Lama disapproves of violence, he may find these emotions difficult to contain,' says Tenzin Tsundue, general secretary of Friends of Tibet (INDIA), an NGO.