BEIJING, May 4, 2008 -- The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) is a stubborn advocacy group for "Tibet independence" supported by the Tibetan "government-in-exile", which upholds complete violence and has become an armed spearhead of the 14th Dalai Lama group, says a senior Chinese Tibetologist.
The TYC was set up in 1970 under the "direct incitement of the Dalai", said Bi Hua, a senior researcher with the Beijing-based China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC), a research institution established in 1986.
Bi said that in the early 1970s, some Tibetan youths "in exile" became decadent and tired of life, as either independence or returning to China was hopeless years after they fled the country. The group was established against such a backdrop.
The Dalai Lama and major officials of the "government-in-exile" had attended the TYC's inauguration ceremony in 1970 and encouraged Tibetan youths to pursue Tibet independence "with resolution and courage".
Bi said the Dalai Lama intended to break geographical shackles and resolve conflicts among sects via the TYC so as to move Tibetan youths and train his successors.
The TYC constitution's chapter four clearly stated that extensive movement should be organized "even at the cost of blood and life" to achieve the independent goal, said Bi.
The organization affiliated to Dalai Lama supporters, rapidly spread to major Tibetan outposts in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Britain, Canada and the United States in the 1980s and sprouted 81 branches worldwide covering more than 30,000 members, he said.
Eighty percent of the staff of the "government-in-exile" were TYC members. More than 60 key members joined the "government" and assumed major posts since 1980s, he said.
In 1993, six of the seven Kalons (Ministers) in their executive body came from the TYC. Samdom, the current principal Kalon, and Gyarig Lozhoi Gyaincain, were members of the organization when it was newly founded, he alleged.
Bi said the TYC organized many activities to achieve their independence goal. The annual March 10 protest against the Chinese government was typical. It included violent assaults on overseas Chinese embassies and consulates, or means of protest such as sit-ins and hunger strikes.
Bi said the organization also commemorated the Dalai Lama birthday (July 6), the anniversary of the Dalai Lama's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize (Dec. 10) and "Democratic Day" (Sept. 2),Bi said.
Bi alleged that the TYC former president Cedain Norbu told "pro-democracy movement representatives" during an interview in 2002 that they would use various measures, including terrorism, to achieve independence.
Previously, many TYC presidents and secretary-generals had claimed, "armed struggles and violence was the only way to independence" and "terrorism could achieve maximum effect with minimum cost", said Bi.
Bi said the organization exposed its violent nature in many events such as the 1974 incident in Bhutan. In that year, in order to turn Bhutan into a forefront against Tibet, the Dalai Lama group plotted to upset the Bhutan government, but the plan was thwarted and 28 suspects were seized by the Bhutan police when Dalai's people prepared to set a palace on fire and assassinate the King.
Bi said Tibet Autonomous Region had long been considered by the TYC as a major battlefield. The group planned and directly participated in the Lhasa riots in 1987, 1988 and 1989 as well as the March 14 riot.
The day after the March 14 Lhasa riot, the TYC approved a decision to "found a guerrilla movement as soon as possible to secretly enter China and carry out armed struggles" at a meeting of its "central executive committee" in Dharmsala, the location of the Dalai Lama's "government-in-exile" in India, said Bi.
They made detailed plans about personnel, fund and armament purchase, and planned to smuggle into China via the border with Nepal, which they had carefully surveyed, said Bi.
CTRC senior Tibetologist Liu Hongji told Xinhua that the pro-independence group had actively engaged in training its armed forces and reserve troop. They also sought mutual support from international terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaida and East Turkistan groups.
Liu said that this year the TYC had organized training sessions, such as one on "dynamite techniques" and another on how to carry out violent and terrorist activities.
"The TYC has become a terrorist organization as concepts of violence have taken root in the organization," said Liu.
He said that from the late-1980s Lhasa riots to March 14 incident, the TYC was behind the scenes organizing and masterminding these events.
"The group's shadow was evident when the police confiscated a large number of guns and ammunition in some monasteries in China's Tibetan-inhabited regions after the March 14 riot," Liu said.
Lian Xiangmin, a researcher with the CTRC, said the expansion of power of the TYC was closely linked with the Dalai Lama as the group's tenet was to "comply with the guide of the Dalai Lama even at the cost of life".
Lian said the Dalai lama and the TYC shared the same goal and the so-called differences lay only with means or strategies. Picking up the Dalai Lama's hints, the TYC would fight for independence at any cost.
On the one hand, the Dalai Lama and "government-in-exile" advocated "more autonomy" and "peaceful and non-violent" steps, which had won support from members of the Western public and become a card to play with the Chinese central government; on the other, radical youth organizations such as the TYC declared independence and acted violently even at the cost of blood and life, Lian said.
"How come the Dalai Lama says he has 'lost control' (over his radical subordinate)? Actually they support and complement each other well. It's just presented as two approaches between the Dalai Lama and the TYC. They seem to be on two routes, but ultimately reach one goal," he said.
Lian said the TYC would become a "public enemy" if it did not stop violence and terrorism against the Chinese government and the people.
Disruption activities staged by the Dalai clique would become an unstable and unharmonious factor in Asia as well as the world, he added.
Lian said it was important to differentiate between a tiny minority of the TYC backbone members from a majority of the 30,000members who did not uphold violence.
"We hope the 14th Dalai Lama could truly give up 'Tibet independence', stop secessionist activities, stop instigating violence, stop disrupting the Beijing Olympics, effectively prevent TYC's violence and denounce its terrorist acts," he said.