Given their history as a major colonial power in the region, it is significant news that Britain recently expressed its unconditional support for China’s absolute authority over Tibet. But it occurred in the context of a long and complex statement, which has resulted in mixed messages from supporters of the Tibetan cause. While a report in the Telegraph presents this as undermining the Tibetan cause, an International Campaign for Tibet report presents it as a “strong assertion of support for the dialogue between the Chinese Government and envoys of the Dalai Lama,” despite negative comments in the Telegraph story by representatives from both ICT and The Free Tibet Campaign. The Canadian Broadcasting Company public affairs radio program The Current, used the occasion of the British statement (and the recent six-day summit meeting in Dharamsala about Tibetan independence) to interview Lhadon Tethong, the Canadian executive director of Students For A Free Tibet and Professor Robert Barnett, coordinator of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University.
To listen to these interviews, go to CBC Radio’s The Current. The listening bar appears just below the synopsis of the two program segments on Tibet. Don’t be alarmed at how it starts: all Current shows begin with a deep-voiced man making a sarcastic crack about a current event.