Dalai Lama: Keep hope and learn Tibetan history

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The Dalai Lama has voiced aspirations for peaceful democratisation in Hong Kong as the Tibetan spiritual leader shared his insights with a prominent Umbrella Movement supporter in Brussels.


Hongkongers may not have much sympathy for Tibetan independence, but a few local aspirants have cautioned that Tibet’s past can be Hong Kong’s future.

Edward Chin Chi-kin (錢志健), Convenor of 2047 HK Monitor and a hedge fund manager, is among those standing up for Tibetans in Hong Kong. Earlier this month, he attended the seventh Tibet Support Groups in Brussels, where he had one-on-one meetings with the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (equivalent to Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, under the arrangement of the Office of Tibet in Taipei.

“The key message by His Holiness to Hong Kong people, drawing upon his own experience, is that we should keep our hope alive and fight for democracy through nonviolent means,” Chin recalls.

“My understanding from my education and life abroad is that Tibet is a separate country. When I look at the Seventeen-Point treaty of 1951 which affirmed Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and the Joint Declaration which Hong Kong people had no say, there is a lot of similarities,” Chin puts. “Hong Kong people should be more acutely aware of whether the CCP can keep their promise and abide by what is prescribed in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.”

“With the booksellers case which people can be easily abducted to appear on TV and confess, we see that even though the time is 60 years apart, the nature of the CCP remains something of concern.”

Chin also cites the Dalai Lama saying that the Chinese government needs ‘mercy’ education. The Government-in-Exile alleges that some 1.2 million Tibetans were killed and 98% of monasteries destroyed under Chinese rule. It is also suggested that the Chinese government wants at least 20 million Han people to immigrate into and integrate Tibet by 2020.

An autograph of the Dalai Lama. Chin also received a khata, a traditional ceremonial scarf, from His Holiness as a gift.
An autograph of the Dalai Lama. Chin also received a khata, a traditional ceremonial scarf, from His Holiness as a gift.

The predecessor of 2047 HK Monitor was formed during the Umbrella Movement and comprises mostly of professionals from the financial sector. In June this year the group hosted a seminar at the The Foreign Correspondents’ Club connecting Tibet’s situation and the way forward for Hong Kong. Later today (30 September), it will organise a sharing session for a visiting Thai producer Naphawan Sittisak on a documentary about how local civilians helped protect the Dalai Lama to escape out of China in 1959. Chin’s conversations with the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay, as well as the fourth episode of the hugely popular dystopian film Ten Years, the Self-immolator, will also be featured. This will be followed by a National Day ‘celebration’ at an art gallery exhibition titled ‘I don’t like my Grandpa [meaning the Chinese government]’ in Mong Kok.

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“It’s only through vivid remembrance of what happened before we can make a good personal judgement of what’s right and wrong,” he asserts. “I think we should all be concerned about what is going on in Tibet to learn about its true history. It’s important not to let Hong Kong fall into that route.”