A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The PM should meet the Dalai Lama

I'm not usually a great signer of petitions, but this one from the Free Tibet campaign is important:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make an official announcement that he will meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits the UK in May 2008.

As President George Bush and the United States Congress honour His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we, British citizens and residents, begin this petition requesting that Prime Minister Gordon Brown make a formal statement that he will meet officially with the Dalai Lama when he visits the United Kingdom in May 2008. We further request that the Prime Minister state on record that his meeting with the Dalai Lama will include a discussion of how the United Kingdom can help Tibetans find a solution to the Chinese occupation which began in 1950.

You can sign it on the Downing Street website here: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/DalaiLama/


Anonymous Michael said...

Nice sentiments... but here in reality China is never...ever going to surrender Tibet up to 'inependence'. Already mass chinese immigration is swelling the ranks of those who are not only apathetic after so prolonged a period of occupation, but providing a backbone of labour and urban population with direct economic and ideological ties to China and thus utterly disinclined from nationalist movements.

If the Lama can,however, run a public service for his own enormous profit,oppose trade union freedom bills, or become boss of the CBI he will no doubt be meeting comrade brown in an instant.

5:39 pm, October 18, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm. The Dalai Lama was a dictator too. How about a democratic Tibet?

11:29 am, October 19, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

He's in favour of a democratic Tibet, not a return to personal rule.

12:11 pm, October 19, 2007

Blogger Ewan Watt said...

"We further request that the Prime Minister state on record that his meeting with the Dalai Lama will include a discussion of how the United Kingdom can help Tibetans find a solution to the Chinese occupation which began in 1950."

They might ask for Taiwan in exchange. After all, we acknowledge that Taiwan is Chinese. I wouldn't count on China surrendering territory to us just because we ask nicely.

Bearing in mind our business relationship with the Chinese, I'd also be somewhat surprised if Brown called on China to return Tibet.

12:19 pm, October 19, 2007

Anonymous Linda Smith said...

The Tibetan Government in Exile is Democratic with popular and electoral college elections. The Cabinet and Assembly are elected every 5 years. The Dalai Lama has made it clear that he has no wish for Tibet to return to theocratic rule.

Chinese rule in Tibet is not just an administrative issue. I visited China and Tibet in 2004. Tibet is a beautiful place with it's own incredibly rich culture, it has nothing in common with China, it is clear to any visitor coming from China that Tibet is its own place, with its own strong identity.

I witnessed Chinese officials forcing businesses to display red flags for Chinese National Day, there was a strong military presence around the most sacred parts of Lhasa, it is impossible to buy books about tibetan history and culture or tibetan language dictionaries in Tibet - although they are plentiful in Nepal, The Chinese were building the railway which is now bringing thousands of Han chinese settlers into Tibet to populate the ugly chinese style concrete and glass buildings which traditional tibetan buildings are being bulldozed to make room for.

Each Winter people die trying to escape Tibet over the Himalayas into Nepal and India,(they wait until Winter as it is thought safer as the Chinese border guards sometimes abondon their posts in extreme conditions).

The chinese are trying to extinguish all aspects of Tibetan culture in their pursuit of a "harmonious society", all they want left is a compliant disneyfied representation of Tibet's past to amuse mainland tourists and high spending foreign visitors and to show Tibetans how much better things have got since the "liberation".

Like the Dalai Lama, I would urge people to visit Tibet. It's a beautiful country that is being destroyed fast, which makes it's wonderfulness even more poignant for the visitor. The Chinese try to put off tourists who are not part of expensive organised and chaperoned tour groups but it is straightforward to get into Tibet from Chengdu.

Go soon.

5:31 pm, October 19, 2007

Anonymous Pip Smythe-Featherstonehaugh said...

Well said, old chap. But I don't think we should boycott the Olympics like what how some of these liberal-livered wind-farm loving tree-huggers are suggesting, do you?

Let us instead follow the example set by our glorious forefathers, set in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Let's go to the Beijing Olympics, then bomb the b*st*rds afterwards!

9:07 am, October 20, 2007

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2:04 am, August 07, 2008


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