TERRORISM IN TIBET

 

Sir, - The heading given to John Gittings' otherwise generally accurate article (January 2nd) regarding the latest bombing incident in Lhasa - "Terrorism arrives in Tibet - is 47 years too late. The Chinese Government, military and police forces have been waging State terrorism in Tibet since their invasion of 1949-1950.

No one should be surprised at the development of bombing incidents in Tibet, in number and intensity, over the past two years, during which the Chinese have intensified their brutal repression of the Tibetan people, religious persecution, cultural genocide, plantation of Chinese immigrants, plundering of natural resources and environmental devastation. Certainly not the current and previous Irish Governments, who have failed either to honour Irish-sponsored UN General Assembly Resolutions passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, or to give recognition to the fact that, under international law, Tibet is an independent country under colonial occupation.

The current Irish Government, in particular, did nothing whatsoever during its Presidency of the European Union to support the Tibetan Government in Exile's call for negotiations without preconditions with the Chinese Government and for the Tibetans right under international law to self-determination to be respected. (What's right for Northern Ireland, it seems, is not right for Tibet.)

The clear message that the international community, including the Irish Government, the EU and the UN, has been giving the Tibetan people is that while violent movements such as the PLO, ANC and IRA will be listened to, and peace processes urgently sought and painstakingly worked for, the non-violent approach adopted and consistently pursued by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile will be ignored. It is no wonder that more and more of the Tibetans who are suffering the Chinese oppression are taking the message of the international community to heart and acting accordingly.

How violent will the Tibetans'

resistance to colonial oppression have to become before it outweighs the Irish Government's wishes not to upset China's socialist dictatorship in case voices threats about Ireland's contracts for airport management, duty-free shops, aircraft sales, fridges, ducks, cable TV technology, etc.? - Yours, etc.,

Tibet Support Group, 120 Upper Glenageary Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin.