US President Barrack Obama hosted the Dalai Lama at the White House on June 15. Even before the meeting, China conveyed it’s displeasure and warned President Obama that his hosting of the Dalai Lama would “damage mutual trust and cooperation” between China and the US.
Since assuming the position of President, Obama had previously hosted the Dalai Lama three times. Each time, China has objected.
Instead of telling China firmly that he would meet the Dalai Lama, President Obama received the Dalai Lama on June 15 into the White House through the back door. President Obama has tried to keep the meeting without undue publicity and held the meeting behind the closed doors. Obama met the Dalai Lama in the Map Room instead of in the Oval office and he took care to ensure that the press would not be invited. Obviously Mr. Obama wanted to keep the news about his meeting the Dalai Lama as secret to the extent possible and to ensure that the photographs of the meeting and the images would not be flashed around the world.
It is surprising that the President of USA, which claims itself to the torch bearer of freedom and pledged supporter for the cause of liberty and human dignity, does not have the courage to stand up to China and tell China in clear terms that the Dalai Lama has been sinned against and has not sinned.
Does President Obama lack courage of conviction?
The above incident highlights the fact that for President Obama, the commercial and business relations with China are more important than the cause of freedom. In other words, it makes one suspect that US would not hesitate to compromise with it’s commitments to the cause of free democracy, when it’s commercial and business interests are involved. Many may think that this is hypocrisy and also suspect that President Obama may lack the courage of conviction.
Is China afraid of the Dalai Lama?
The ground reality is that Chinese forces forcibly entered into Tibet and occupied Tibetan territory and forced the Dalai Lama to flee the country. China has forcibly made Tibet as one of the provinces of China, and Tibet is no more an independent country in the world map. The USA strongly condemned the occupation of Tibet by China, but practically has done nothing beyond this to help Tibetans gain freedom and independence, so that the glory of Tibet can be restored.
Now, thousands of Tibetan refugees are living around the world and new generation of Tibetans living in other countries have not touched Tibetan soil or felt the Tibetan spirit. Obviously, China wants to erase any memory about Tibet everywhere in the world and therefore, when anyone would recognize the importance of the Dalai Lama, China objects and threatens.
Why is China objecting so strongly and vehemently about President Obama receiving the Dalai Lama in the present condition, where Tibet is firmly under the control of China and there is no likelihood of Dalai Lama entering Tibet again?
Today, there are pockets of protest in China, however feeble it may be, by people who are demanding freedom and democracy. The memory of Tiananman Square protest has not vanished. China has a reasonably strong economy and mighty military power, but it is still scared about the clamor for freedom and protests against suppression of individual liberty. Chinese leadership is well aware of the fact that it is sitting on a volcano of demand for freedom and eruptions may happen anytime.
Many Chinese citizens do harbor the internal embers of an explosion that continues to burn beneath conscious awareness about the craving for personal liberty.
The Dalai Lama carries the image around the world that he is a victim of China’s aggression and in the process, he has come to represent a thought that so long as the Dalai Lama would not get his rightful place in Tibet, the concept of liberty in the world would remain unrealized.
The Dalai Lama, who is a peaceful man, may be strengthening the clamor for liberty amongs Chinese citizens by his very presence.
Is Chinese leadership afraid of the Dalai Lama, a man who carries no arms, possesses no army, but has only the moral strength that a victim of violence and force will possess?