By Jigme Duntak
I was discussing a few issues concerning the Dalai Lama on a China related discussion board when one of the posters made an remark about the notion of the Dalai Lama escorting the Olympic flame.
I thought this was a very interesting and notion, and the more I thought about it the better and more beneficial it sounded for both peoples. The Dalai Lama has already repeatedly said that he supports the Olympics in China and that he believes China deserves to host it. However many Chinese are still not bought by this rhetoric. By putting action behind his words the Dalai Lama can show to the world, and in particular the Chinese nationals, that he is sincere in his support for the Beijing Olympics. In doing this the Dalai Lama can obtain a greater goal which is to win Chinese support which in turn will make him more trustworthy in the eyes of the Chinese people and therefore making his advocacy for only true autonomy in Tibet more sincere.
This seems to be the perfect opportunity for the Dalai Lama to show his sincere willingness to create an autonomous Tibet within China. The Olympics are a culmination of Chinese national pride, by actively supporting this event I really believe the Dalai Lama would make huge strides in extinguishing the bitterness many Chinese have towards the Dalai Lama especially with the recent portrayal by the Chinese media of the “Dalai Clique” having masterminded the violence in Tibet last month.
If the Chinese government refuses the Dalai Lamas offering to escort or carry the torch then I truly think the world, especially the Chinese people, will see with certainty that it is the Chinese government who is not allowing for anything productive to develop between the Tibetans and Han Chinese peoples. Therefore even if a genuine offering to escort or carry the torch by the Dalai Lama is turned down by the Chinese government the message will still resonate with the Chinese people that the extended arm of the Dalai Lama on the Chinese peoples’ own accord was rejected by their own government.
What an excellent feat that could be achieved by using the Olympics politically for its true meaning in creating unity and peace between people rather then the divisiveness and animosity we’ve seen projected by the Tibetan and Chinese people towards each other in the last month! What better image could be imagined and what better bridge could be built between the Tibetan and Han Chinese peoples then the thought of the Dalai Lama carrying the torch into Tibet?