Beijing has only a narrow window of opportunity to convince Tibetans they have a stake in China

Published online March 8, 2012 by The Wall Street Journal.
Please read the full article here.

By Thupten Jinpa

This year’s anniversary of the Mar. 10, 1959 uprising in Tibet and the escape into exile of the Dalai Lama takes place at a time of deepening crisis. Since February 2009, at least 27 Tibetans, including many monks, have set fire to themselves in what is an unprecedented development in Tibetan society. The Chinese leadership has failed to appreciate the extent to which the nature of the Tibetan struggle has changed. As a result, China risks losing Tibet.

When I first saw footage of a monk standing ablaze like a column of fire, I experienced a mixture of emotions. On the one hand I could not help but admire the monk’s courage and, as a former monk myself, also feel an instinctive sense of identification and solidarity.

Mr. Jinpa is adjunct professor at McGill University and the principal English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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