Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Independence for Tibet - Independence for Wales

I salute all those protesters who've stood up for Tibet in London and Paris - and hopefully in the USA when the Olympic flame visits there soon.

If you believe the Olympics should be 'apolitical' or 'shouldn't be used for political purposes' then, hey, time to get out of bed. What - and you think the Chinese aren't using the Olympics and spending billions of pounds of it without a political agenda - c'mon, smell the coffee!

OK - I'll leave aside my genuine mistrust of trendy Brit lefties highlighting the plight of a small nation and language (Tibet) in danger of being swamped by a larger one but failing to see similar correlations in Wales. For once we're as one. Tibet's fight is Wales' fight. And lets hope Plaid Cymru don't just talk of political rights and rights of expression. This isn't a protest about rights of expression or human rights - this is a fight about NATIONAL rights.

The Han Chinese people have precious few rights - it's right to campaign for their 'rights of expression' or 'human rights'. But the Tibetan Intifada is about National Rights. The Han Chinese are educated in their own language (or at least an agreed Mandarin 'Chinese' language). They have their own state, legitimacy of national culture. The Tibetans don't have their own state; don't have full linguistic rights and don't have the right to secession or self-government (though many Labour Brit Nats probably agree with that).

So come on Plaid, tell it like it is, this is an Intifada for National Rights and Tibetan independence, and we support them because without their own independent state the Tibetan language (like Welsh) WILL become a minority language in its own country - a fate the Han Chinese (or English) would never allow to happen to their own language.

It's time the West stood up to China. It's time the Brit Left Wing stopped winging about George Bush (he won't be here in a few months time), stopped attacking America every chance, and looked at the elephant in the room. Do you want a world dominated by China? Independence for Tibet, like the campaign for independence for the Baltic States in the 1980s, is not only morally right, but strategically right too. Baltic independence brought the evil empire of communism down. Support for Tibet will show China that the people in the West are no fools. Tibetan independence will bring democracy to China.

Tibet is Estonia with mountains, Wales with glaciers, Brittany with monks, Sioux Indians with writing, Kurds with communism. We're different but we all know what language death looks like. We all know what living next to a stronger and more numeric culture looks like. And we all know what being called 'separatist/racist/fascist/xenophobe' looks like when we're called that for wanting the same national and linguistic rights as our stronger neighbours would never dream of giving up.

Yes to Chinese independence; yes to Chinese language and culture; yes to Chinese democracy.

But also

Yes to Tibetan independence; yes to the Tibetan language and culture; yes to democracy in Tibet.

I look forward to the 2012 Olympic games where there will be national teams competing from China, Tibet ... and Wales!

Tibet am Byth

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