Dharamsala, India – Jigshe Tsering spends nearly every day inside a wire enclosure outside the Dalai Lama’s residence. Like most of his fellow student hunger-strikers, who have vowed to remain inside their mock cages until China eases its crackdown, he fled Tibet hoping to find a better life close to the man who has long stood as the bulwark of Tibetan identity.
But grim reports of China’s hard line against antigovernment protests that began there in March – illustrated by the poster-sized images of those allegedly killed or maimed by state forces that decorate town walls – have eroded his support for the spiritual leader’s nonviolent strategy.
“We are always waiting and nothing has changed in Tibet,” he says. “I want peace, but when you are pushed so much, you finally strike back.”
It’s a pretty amazing difference that leadership and culture make. In Tibet and Palestine you have two native populations oppressed by superpowers with multi-generational lengths. (Israel being a U.S. front and China being one in the making).
How they have responded so far is indicative of that leadership. We’ll see how much longer they can hold out in Tibet before going medieval on some asses (my guess is until the Dalai Lama rests eternally).