Highlighting Geopolitical Importance of Tibet:
Although the human rights situation in Tibet is tragic, it is not the main problem; rather, it is the symptom of a bigger problem affecting Tibet and the Tibetan people. As the international community helps the Tibetan people to regain their fundamental human rights, there is a need to understand that the Tibetan issue is basically political. Only a political solution can bring about a lasting solution to the problem in Tibet. To encourage such a political solution, there is need to understand the geopolitical importance of Tibet. Tibet's survival as a distinct entity is not only for the benefit of the Tibetan people, but also for the international community. Tibet lies in the centre of Asia and occupies a strategic location. A quick look at the map of Asia reveals the geopolitical importance of Tibet, in terms of peace and stability in Asia and in the region. The issue of Tibet needs to be raised from the human rights issue to a new level.
Need for a Multilateral Strategy:
The Dalai Lama has said that the Tibetan struggle is a litmus term on the ability of humanity to solve international conflicts through non-violence means. A successful solution of the Tibetan problem would have great implications to the world.
So far countries of the world have been taking independent steps to mitigate the plight of the Tibetan people. While China has been forcing other countries to delink human rights considerations from trade in their bilateral relationship, China itself has no qualms in using its market clout to make other countries within its framework.
The need has come, therefore, for a multilateral approach to the Tibetan problem. The common effort by different countries at the UN Commission on Human Rights to take China to task for its human rights record is a step in this direction. But the efforts, while making progress, needs to be redoubled with a clear strategy. The III World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet discussed the issue and came out with a series of suggestions for the governments.
Encouraging Democratic Forces:
A democratic China is not only in the interest of the world, but of the Chinese people, too. As the Tibetan experience showed, with increasing awareness of the real situation, Chinese citizens are beginning to ask questions of their government. This is a positive development. The Washington convention analysed the situation in China in the post-Deng era and came out with recommendations to the democratic countries in the world to provide all possible encouragement to democratic forces with the Chinese leadership.
Negotiations for Peace:
With a multilateral approach and by encouraging democratic forces, international parliamentarians can take the ultimate step of issuing a strong call for unconditional negotiations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese leadership. Ultimately, it is only through direct negotiations between the Dalai Lama or his representatives and the Chinese leadership that a lasting solution to the Tibetan issue can be found.