Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Han colonisation of Tibet

Tibet was autonomous until October1950 when he Chinese invaded and occupied the country

It was a poor country by material standards

With a feudal system of government

Isolated to the extent that few really understood or knew it's reality

A Buddhist country with the Dalai Lama as one of it's leaders

The Dalai Lama was forced into exile in India along with 100,000 other Tibetans

There has been an increasing influx of Chinese settlers into Tibet in recent years as transport has improved, but the exact figures are a matter of dispute.

According to an official census in 2000, there were 2.4 million Tibetans in the region and 159,000 Han Chinese.

The government in exile says there are many more Chinese if migrant workers and soldiers are counted.

The Dalai Lama has said there is a Han majority in Lhasa, the regional capital.

China has denied carrying out any deliberate settlement policy aimed at the dilution of Tibetan culture and points instead to the benefits brought to the region by economic development and investment.

The Dalai Lama claimed over-settlement and over-exploitation of Tibet was threatening the quality and flow of rivers flowing out of the Tibetan highlands, including the Yangtze, the Yellow River, the Indus, the Mekong and the Ganges.

Due to carelessness these waters have been polluted and also reduced, and I think billions of people's lives depend on these rivers the Dalai Lama said.
There has been mining without proper care, deforestation, irrigation without proper planning. In some valleys, new diseases have developed which some specialists believe is the result of water pollution

While outsiders are unable to verify many things it is clear that increased Han immigration is a reality

It is also clear that control of the region and economy is in Han Chinese hands and that indigenous Tibetans have little if any say in the future of their country

Can Tibetans protect their land?

Hard to see how when the Dalai Lama is unable to engage the Chinese in meaningful dialog and local Tibetans have been marginalized

The outside world is powerless and unable or unwilling to influence Chinese behavior and strategy

Has it ever been thus

Poor world over and over politicians choose to ignore or avoid challenging abuse by bullying countries prefering to say nothing

Throughout history the bully has been allowed to behave badly

The world then has to pay when the bully goes too far

Will we ever learn?

We will see but the precedents are not encouraging

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