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Opinion: It's high time to stop hijacking Tibetans

For the 14th Dalai Lama and his followers, the most unwise and inhumane attempt to coerce the Chinese government into compromise is to hijack their fellow Tibetans.
The conspiracy was declared on Wednesday by a representative of the Dalai Lama, after months of apathy toward a spate of self-immolations that has killed or injured dozens of Tibetans over the past two years.
As Lobsang Nyandak, the Dalai Lama's representative to the Americas, put it, self-immolations were aimed at coercing the Chinese leaders to engage "His Holiness's representatives in a very positive manner."
He did not clarify what the "positive manner" should be, or what results were expected.
His speech, delivered to "Tibet independence" advocates in Washington on Wednesday, was full of cliches and jargon, blaming the Chinese government for "repression" in Tibet and calling for international attention to be lavished on the Tibet issue, just as the Dalai Lama has done on every possible occasion.
As if to instigate more suicides, Lobsang Nyandak said the "overwhelming majority of the Tibetan people both inside and outside Tibet have so much great admiration, respect for those self-immolators."
We cannot tell how a man outside China and Tibet was able to judge the Tibetans' attitude with such certainty, but his words provide yet more evidence that the self-immolators were hijacked by an allegedly "great undertaking," and fairytale promises about an "independent land" of their own.
Our sympathy goes to those innocent Tibetans who were used as cats' paws and died in extreme agony, completely ignorant of the dirty deals and cruel fight for power that set them alight.
The Dalai Lama and his follower who allegedly sought "freedom and happiness" inside Tibet have never dropped their "independence" claim and have made every attempt to separate the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan communities from China.
With such motives in mind, they have never hesitated to sacrifice their fellow Tibetans' interest and even their lives.
More than 100 Tibetans have been incited to set themselves on fire since 2009.
But the Dalai Lama and his followers have turned a cold shoulder to the deaths and injuries.
On one occasion last year, the Dalai Lama gave an abrupt "No answer" to a journalist's question on whether Tibetan monks should stop self-immolations.
Instead of denouncing and calling for an end to the suicidal acts that deviate from the tenets of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly praised the "courage" of the self-immolators.
His acts are not surprising. Under the Dalai Lama's rule in old Tibet, the lives of ordinary Tibetans were considered to be of little or no value.
The monk has allegedly been fighting for the rights and interests of Tibetans since he fled China in 1959. Such claims, however, are merely meant to appease devout Tibetan Buddhists who still have faith in him, and to persuade his Western patrons to continue to support his "Tibet independence" movement, which aims to eventually separate Tibet from China.
The monk and his followers in exile, mainly former aristocrats, are still dreaming of restoring old Tibet's social and political system, a dark Medieval society characterized by theocracy.
Old Tibet was a paradise for the ruling class, but a hell for ordinary Tibetans. Their separatist claims are apparently against the trend of history and against the Tibetan people's will.
Thursday marks the 54th anniversary of the emancipation of Tibetan serfs. It is also the fifth "Serfs Emancipation Day," an occasion celebrated across the plateau region.
March 28 was designated in 2009 as the day to commemorate the 1959 democratic reform in Tibet, which ended feudalism and freed about 1 million Tibetan serfs, accounting for more than 90 percent of the region's population.
Many of the former serfs are still alive today.
Nyima is one of them. At 73, she is in decent health except for constant pain in her legs. The problem, she says, is a result of rheumatism inflicted when she was forced to work long hours for the serf owners in bitter cold and without adequate food.
For many ordinary Tibetans like Nyima, nightmares of their childhood still cling to them today.
It's high time for the Dalai Lama and his followers to stop hijacking the Tibetans, as their separatist claims are against the wishes of these people.

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