Why the Dalai Lama Matters
By Robert Thurman
Published by Beyond Words Publishing (2011)
ANSWERING a question from a Côte d’Ivoire journalist who asked why there was no Marshall Plan for Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “The challenge of Africa is completely different, it is much deeper.
It is civilisation today.
Failing states, complex democratic transitions, the demographic transition.”
Macron’s sentiments sparked debate.
One wonders if it is sheer ignorance that Macron does not know the root of Africa’s challenges or, as usual, he was playing politics — he was just being Western.
It is no secret that for long, Europe has manipulated data and African governments to create situations that result in the continent’s resources flowing into its coffers.
Africa is left on the receiving end.
Evidence shows France is not ready to move away from the colonial system which puts about 500 billion Francs from its former colonies in Africa into its treasury every year, despite the EU denouncing the system.
And yet France downplays challenges in Africa!
It is this self-ordained ‘big brother’ role by Europe that has caused it to interfere in other nations’ internal affairs.
The West wants to dictate the pace the world takes, in the process creating problems for other states.
In the book Why the Dalai Lama Matters, American writer Robert Thurman seeks to proffer solutions to the impasse between China and Tibet.
Once again, we find an American meddling in issues foreign as well as sovereign and issuing what he terms ‘ideal’ solutions to stop China from meddling in Tibet’s affairs.
Perhaps before jumping to scrutinise the ‘speck in China’s eye’, Thurman should deal with the ‘log in Europe’s eye’.
Europe is meddling in Africa’s affairs.
Thurman justifies his concerns on Tibet and why he raises them.
“This is why we should care; it isn’t just about something happening half a world away, but what it means to be human, truly part of the global community,” he writes.
“What is happening in Tibet represents much more than a simple political, environmental, or religious conflict.
“It matters deeply that we stand up for what is right and act now to achieve this peaceful future that directly affects each and every one of us, Tibetan or not.”
Indeed, the issues affecting ordinary people in Tibet should be addressed.
The same applies to issues affecting people in Africa.
Thurman suggests Tibet is a ‘part of the global community’, and so is Africa, and with minimal interference from other countries they too can move forward and develop.
In typical American thinking, that it is them who have the answer to the world’s problems, Thurman calls for the intervention of First World countries in the ‘China-Tibet crisis’.
But is this the way forward?
Will Europe not take advantage of the situation just as it has done in Africa?
“It’s time for a global revolution,” writes Thurman.
“Not just a different regime here and there, an election of different leaders, a war won or lost (always lost by all sides nowadays) — these will not suffice at this critical moment in our interwoven human lives.
“The pace of positive change has to match the pace of the clearly apparent devastation.
“It has to be revolutionary, and it must involve us all.”
The writer, however, acknowledges the need for ‘peaceful intervention’ so as not to disadvantage ordinary people of Tibet.
His ‘concerns’ seem genuine, but are they the same as those of the world leaders’ he is calling to intervene?
History has proved the US and her allies never ‘assist’ a country without any strings attached.
“World leaders, no matter how misguided they have been, caught in the grip of the attitudes and habits of military industrial savagery, must join the humblest people in advancing this revolution,” writes Thurman.
Perhaps before Thurman sees himself as the ‘solution’ to Tibet’s problems, together with his kith and kin, should learn to mind their own business.
After all, half, if not all of the world’s problems have their roots in Europe and the US.
Former French colonies in Africa continue to suffer at the hands of their former coloniser.
Thurman should not be a hypocrite and preach to China, instead, he should school his kind and type on the need not to meddle in other countries’ affairs.