Thanks for posting about the Elliot Sperling-Lobsang Sangay dissension, Jigme. I had actually intended to do a post on the Sperling article when it first came out, but, unfortunately, I got a bit wrapped up in non-blogging responsibilities. I found Lobsang Sangay’s response quite disappointing, both because I have a favorable impression of him (I lack any qualifications to assess his merits as a potential Kalön Thripa, but I like his bearing) and because I think there is a valid critique to be made of Sperling’s conclusions. And yet, Lobsang Sangay seems to respond only with invective. I don’t think it’s a fair criticism to simply accuse him of orientalism. His arguments make sense — it is very difficult to see how a free Tibet can be achieved through China’s legal system. The problem is that, when you lack any good options, simply demonstrating the faults of Option A doesn’t prove that Option B is going to work well. So, the question must be: if genuine autonomy is a very difficult goal, how is independence going to be achieved instead? Personally, I agree with Lobsang Sangay that there is a better chance of making gains by supporting the Middle Way plan (or going further, even, and simply asking that Tibet be given exactly the same status as Hong Kong), but, unfortunately, I don’t think that this particular contribution to the debate actually helps make that case.
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