The Dalai Lama is out of the hospital and recovering. But what will happen when he eventually dies? asks Benjamin Kang Lim. Kevin Deluca in the Salt Lake City Tribune urges Western journalists to cut the pro-Tibet bias and can the free Tibet talk:
Amid cries of “free Tibet” and calls for religious freedom, the question is what does freedom have to do with Tibet? Under the Dalai Lama, was there religious freedom? Was there any freedom? Actually, no. We would recognize the Dalai Lama’s Tibet as a medieval religious theocracy with a small elite class served by a large and oppressed serf population. The Dalai Lama ruled a region with no religious freedom, no political freedom, indeed, no human rights of any kind. The rulers were ruthless. Torture and mutilation were widespread. Poverty and starvation were rampant. It was Shangri-La only in the West’s imagination. Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and other Hollywood devotees may be surprised at their idol’s current positions. The Dalai Lama condemns abortion and homosexuality while accepting prostitution. For decades the Dalai Lama secured millions of dollars from the CIA and runs his government in exile like a monarch. Despite its shortcomings, Chinese rule has provided the Tibetan region with infrastructure and public schooling and provides Tibetans with widespread opportunities and a degree of personal freedom unheard of under the feudal theocracy of the dalai lamas. China is far from perfect and deserves honest scrutiny and criticism. To expect China not to act like a large and powerful country, however, and to throw stones from our glass house, proves nothing but our own ignorance.
This is the pendulum swinging too far the other way. The position espoused here is Beijing’s.