Oversea Chinese Praise Exile Tibetans' Democratic Elections

Dharamshala: - Media sources from inside China have decried Tibet's recent elections as inconsequential and illegitimate. But outside China there are at least two Chinese organizations singing praise about Tibet's new political leader, Dr. Lobsand Sangay.The Chinese-Tibetan Friendship Associations in New Zealand and Australia issued a statement on April 30 offering their "Hearty congratulations to Dr. Lobsang Sangay." The statement also said that Chinese proponents of democracy are happy about the stepping stone this election demonstrates - that Tibetans are taking proactive measures to reform their system of governance from the archaic form practiced over the past several centuries toward a modern democratic one.

They suggested that the only hope for Tibetans to receive respectful treatment in their homeland is by the loosening of China's authoritarian rule.

The group, consisting of Han Chinese - totalling over six hundred thousand in the country - and Tibetans living in Australia, was formed at the request of the Dalai Lama following 2008's riots. Since then, Tibetans and Chinese around the world have reached out to each other to form similar organizations in New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland and other countries. There are around fifty million Han Chinese living outside China, and the Dalai Lama has spoken about the importance of including this population in the Tibet-China peace process.

Over the past couple decades Han Chinese, motivated by governmental migration policies and other incentives, have been flocking to Tibet. Some estimates suggest that the Han population living in Lhasa is double that of Tibetans. This has created much anymosity between the two groups.

But the sprouting of Chinese-Tibetan Friendship groups show that they can be eager to and capable of cooperating under different circumstances.
The Chinese group also acknowledged the intentions behind the recent crackdown at Kirti Monastery, citing that it is part of a strategy to suppress minorities.

The organization promised that it will work harder toward the goal of a democratic China and a harmonious Tibet.

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