Within the recent weeks, the international criticism towards China in regards to handling Tibet along with the pro-Chinese demonstrations across the world has been overshadowed by another event. The issue of Tibet-China relations has recently become overshadowed by the recent earthquake that has ravaged China.
Recently, China was devastated by an earthquake by a magnitude of 7.9. There have not been many talks about the criticism towards China in its handling of the demonstrations in Tibet since the earthquake had hit. In an interesting and ironic note, the cause of the earthquake is due to a shift of tectonic plates within the Tibetan plateau.
So far, the reception of foreign aid was well received by China. This contrasts from Burma, which was hit by Cyclone Nargis in early May. The death tolls from the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China is very high. These natural disasters have eclipsed the controversy of Burma’s recently voted referendum to its constitution and China’s treatment and handling of pro-Tibetan independence protesters.
But, the Tibetan exiles in India are not letting their cause be eclipsed by the earthquake that ravaged China. There will be many demonstrations planned through the streets of Beijing for the duration of the 2008 Summer Olympics. China has tried to keep the games and politics separate. However, it looks that keeping both things separate is virtually impossible.
In India, Tibetan exiles have started their own alternative to the Olympics. This is to bring attention back to their cause and the situation in Tibet. This event was launched in Upper Dharamsala, which is the home of Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. The protests back in March marked the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in China. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama was forced into exile as a result.
This event will last for four days. A total of twenty-three Tibetan athletes will compete in such events like archery, track and field, running, and swimming.
“In Tibet we many not have basic human rights, but at least this event has given us a platform to celebrate the spirit of the Olympic Games,” said Dawasango, one of the Tibetan athletes.
They have said that they knew back in 2001 that China was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics. However, they add that China would never allow Tibet to compete in the Olympic Games.
This alternative has one goal: A free Tibet.