The Dalai Lama has recently stated that it is up to the Tibetan people to decide the future strategy for Tibet, Tibetans are left to decide whether or not the twenty year struggle for genuine autonomy should be be continued or if it should be scrapped for a new policy.
Will Tibetans continue to sue for genuine autonomy or change policy and seek complete independence from the People’s Republic of China?
The idea of a referendum among the Tibetan people on the issue of independence or autonomy was mentioned by the Dalai Lama in June 1994, in talks with Belgian officials in Brussels, the Dalai Lama stated that he intended to organize a referendum on the future of “the Himalayan region.” Along with this statement the Dalai Lama proposed three questions that he would ask the Tibetan people in the event of this referendum:
- Would you favor the non-violent path supported by th Dalai Lama for a dialouge on obtaining autonomy and peaceful cohabitation with China?
- Would you favor any action, violent or not, to achieve total independence?
- Would you favor another type of solution?
Although this new statement by the Dalai Lama has not necessarily been this aforementioned referendum (since no actual democratic vote process is being used to decide the future policy with the PRC), the TGIE and Tibetan community are to hold a meeting November 17th to 22nd in Dharamsala to “review the current strategy of engagement with the Chinese government.”. Hopefully this leads to a democratic vote on the final decision taken.
These three questions proposed by the Dalai Lama in 1994 will be of course central to the discussions in this meeting, and other meetings in other Tibetan communities, and should be answered by every Tibetan.