January 28, 2014 -- André Lacroix is a Belgian Tibetologist and the translator of the French version of the book Tibet is my home by Tibetan scholar Tashi Tsering published by French Golias in 2010, source from Guangming Daily on Jan. 23, 2014.
Lacroix shares the same experience with Maxime Vivas, author of the book Dalai Lama Pas si Zen for they have both been to Tibet as journalists, and were touched by a very different Tibet from what has been described by the western media. After their trips, they both began to rebut the lies made by the West from an objective perspective.
On Dec.28, 2013, 19 of the 40-member "Tibet Group" in Assemblée nationale, the French National Assembly jointly signed a so-called "Tibet issue motion", condemning China for "damaging Tibet’s language, culture, religion, heritage and environment", and requiring "Tibet autonomy" and appealing for placing a 'Tibet issue coordinate commissioner'".
In response to this, Lacroix published "An open letter to the 19 members of the Assembly" on the website Tibetdoc.eu, arguing against the three unreasonable demands. It read as follows:
"I was shocked to learn that you raised such a motion for resolving the 'Tibet issue'. Apart from the ‘Free Tibet’, what other sources do you have? As assembly members of a republic advocating atheism, don’t you feel disgraceful when you speak for the theocracy? You have been misled by the prejudice against China and are distorting the facts.
First, is language threatened? Compared with the illiteracy rate of 90 percent in the old Tibetan social system, Tibetan language is the compulsory course in primary schools, and is widely used in middle schools, too. There are many Tibetan journals in Tibet today. Although the Tibetan-speaking people only accounts for 0.4 percent of the total Chinese population, their language has been well-protected, much better than that of the many ethnic minorities in Europe and many places in the world.
Is culture damaged? Anyone who comes to Tibet would feel the vitality of the Tibetan culture. Artists show their culture in a modern way, the Tibetan medicine is on display on the museum and will be preserved in a database.
In China’s inland areas, many researchers in Tibetology work in research institutes. That so-called Sea of Wisdom’s cliché of 'extinction of Tibetan culture' is only an outdated legend and a laughing stock of scholars in independent academic institutions.
Is religion banned? Anyone who stepped onto the land of Tibet will find monasteries, monks and pilgrims everywhere. The religious freedom has been protected. Aside from Tibetan Buddhism monasteries, there are also two mosques in Lhasa. China is no longer in the era of the "Cultural Revolution" which was against the religious freedom, but it opposes taking religion as a political tool.
As for self-immolations and who should take the responsibilities, please check my articles on the www.tibetdoc.eu.
Is environment damaged? In order to address the challenge of population growth and climate change, the authority of the Tibet Autonomous Region has made an ambitious plan to rebuild up the forests in the triangular area between Lhasa, Shigatze and Gyantse, and conduct the wind power, hydropower and solar power generation especially in big greenhouses.
Second, do Tibetans want "real autonomy"?
But Tibet had it long time ago. The ethnic minority autonomous regions enjoy many freedoms such as implementing the national law in accordance with their own culture, society and environment as well as tax revenues, like what happens with the 28 member states of the European Union in face of the polices made by Brussels.
Asking for "real autonomy" or "the Middle Way approach" are, in fact fantasies of the "Tibet independence". (Please check pp. 63-78 of Dalai Lama Pas si Zen by Maxime Vivas published by Max Milo in 2011.
Third, is "Tibet issue coordinate commissioner" needed?
Don’t make a fuss. Why not ask China to set up a commissioner for the Corsica issue, the Cotes Catalanes issue, the Basque issue or the Scotland issue?”
André Lacroix has met with the 84-year-old Tashi Tsering twice in Lhasa in August 2009 and December 2012 respectively.
Maxime Vivas is indignant at the prejudice on the issues related to Tibet held by the Western politicians and media. In the recent years, he published man articles on the website Tibetdoc to present a real Tibet to the world.
Tashi Tsering was born into a farmer’s family in southwest Tibet’s Shigatze Prefecture. He studied in India and the United States starting from 1956. He came back to China in 1964 and works as an English teacher in Tibet Nationality College and the Tibet University. After he retired in 1989, he funded poor counties to set up 66 schools and a vocational school in Tibet.