Monday, December 19, 2011

The Middle Way: Tibet Leads by Example

Siddharta Gautama or Buddha, as he is more commonly known, preached on the Doctrine of the Middle Path. Today, his spiritual descendent, the Dalai Lama seeks "to bring about stability and co-existence between the Chinese and Tibetan peoples based on equality and mutual co-operation."

In a diplomatically rare position, the Nobel Peace Prize winner recognizes the needs and interests of three parties in the Chinese-Tibetan conflict: the Tibetan desire for increased autonomy and respect for their culture, the People´s Republic of China's need for national unity and the international community's call for a peaceful region. The Dalai Lama claims that although the 17-Point Agreement was biased in favor of the Chinese, he agreed to comply with the treaty to avoid further conflicts, but the PRC military violently attacked Thasa, the Tibetan capital. While in exile, he declared the the agreement void due to Chinese aggression, but since his return he has expressed willingness to negotiate.

The Middle Way approach is not a choice made solely by the Dalai Lama because it is a democratically supported policy. Among the requests made by the Central Tibetan Administration are being "governed by the popularly-elected legislature... an independent judicial system... (management of) religion and culture, education, economy, health, ecological and environmental protection.On the other hand, the Chinese goverment would be allowed to keep a limited number of troops in the region and control of international relations. Both countries should agree to increase their sincerety, respect for human rights and efforts towards reconciliation.

This non-violent approach is one the greatest political implementations of balance. The Middle Way can be implemented in any international or intranational dispute. If all leaders agreed to promote peaceful coexistence with among all groups, the world would be a safer, more stable and mutually benefitial place.