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PacNet #9 – ‘Middle-Way’ or Muddled Way: The Dalai Lama at 50 Years in Exile

Fifty years after a perilous escape over the Himalayas, the third instance of flight by a Dalai Lama in the 20th century from his seat in Lhasa, His Holiness appears no closer to returning – or being allowed to return – to his homeland. Thirty years after resuming contact with the Chinese Communist Party and unveiling his “Middle-Way Approach” to resolve the Tibetan question, the gap between the Dalai Lama and Beijing remains as wide as ever. A rewarding expression of support recently for Tibetans’ unique identity and human rights by President Obama notwithstanding, His Holiness’ strategy of bringing to bear the full rhetorical weight of the Western world to wring political concessions from Beijing continues to show little results. As Tibet reverts to a more settled phase following a series of sensitive anniversary dates or events, a more persuasive approach by the Dalai Lama is imperative.