Colonial Tibets Syndrome

By Alden C. Mayfield

Mass population transfers inevitably favor the ruling ethnic majority. Why did relatively weak Tibetan Monks violently trash predominately Chinese owned businesses in the fabled city of Llasha. Colonial population transfers are relatively simple: transfer mass ethnic majority population into the target location in order to monopolize and marginalize the minority ethnic group. If the majority controls the lives and lands of the minority, the marginalized ethnic group will either fade away into relative obscurity on “Indian Reservations” or resist unto death or political freedom and self determination. Tibetans, rightly, seek political independence–not marginalized reservation existence.

While it is good to see such nations as Australia, Britain, Canada, EU, USA, New Zealand and others urging China to show self restraint on Tibetan protestors, it is very interesting to see that these nations neither condemned nor threatened an Olympic boycott, economic sanctions or military action on China. Why is it that these former (some present) Colonial powers are reluctant to publicly condemn China? Perhaps it is the billions tied up in contracts with China Inc.? Or maybe China is such a rising military superpower that other nations are afraid to confront her? Or perhaps the USA is up to its wahoo in Iraq? What are the reasons for these muted calls for restraint when these nations know full well that China has sent truck loads of troops to brutally quell this latest Tibetan headache? A plausible scenario could be that these kowtowing Western nations are suffering from the historical disease known as CTS: Colonial Tibets Syndrome. If these former and present colonial powers condemn China, they would not only undermine their colonial policies towards their own indigenous peoples, but they would also embolden and legitimize such Indigenous groups’ struggles for political freedom.

For the past hundred or so years, the land down under, Australia, a former British Colony, has been oppressing the Aborigines. For the longest time, Aborigines were not even considered humans let alone worthy of recognition. Indeed, a whole generation of mixed Aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their Aboriginal homes. All their lands were forcibly taken from them without any compensation or hope for the future. Despite its “historic” apology to the Aborigines, their basic lives haven’t changed under “white” Australian rule. If the Aborigines violently protested for the complete return of their lands, they would be brutally beaten just like the Tibetans. No doubt about it. With its close proximity, New Zealand followed the same historical and racist path as Australia and brutally suppressed the Maori Indigenous groups. I’m sure the Kiwis would show great restraint if the Indigenous groups violently demanded their lands back.

During the height of her imperial greatness, Great Britain controlled much of the globe and fomented much of present troubles. It treated the indigenous population much like China is treating the Tibetan population. For example, Britain brutally controlled India and crushed any protests from the inferior savage Indian race. Much of the dark colonial legacy of brutally controlling the local savage population was pioneered by Britain in parts of Africa, India, Asia, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. There are scores of tales about how Britain laid down the imperial law in Africa and Asia. So, if Britain gives Tibet the two-thumbs up, it will literally shoot itself in the foot and look like a hypocrite. Let’s not forget the Apartheid regime in South Africa that was whole-heartedly supported by many European nations, including Israel, which is at present illegally occupying Palestinian lands. Oh, remember the Falkland Islands?

“Oh Canada, Our Home and Native Land,” sings the Canadian National Anthem. Interesting to note that Canada for the most part is not historically a “white” race’s home and native land as they’ve illegally confiscated these lands from the savage Indians on the innovate premise of “Terra Nulius;” the ingenious colonial justification for stealing other peoples lands without compensation or apology. Despite the signing of many treaties, this nation has simply and effectively placed natives on marginalized reservations with third-world living standards waiting for monthly hand-outs. Now, if any Indian reservation violently protested for the complete return of their lands like the Tibetans, I promise you they would be brutally silenced like the Tibetans. There wouldn’t be any nice talk of showing self-restraint and remaining calm. As such Australia, Canada, like China, are still illegally occupying native-Indians lands. Now, you are beginning to see the rationale behind these nations’ muted criticism.

Again, the EU, much like the rest of European colonial history, is complicit in the very successful and brutal colonial project of many parts of the globe. For many years, France had colonies in Africa, Asia, Canada and elsewhere and like its Canadian, Australian, and American brothers and sisters basically followed a less than nice micro-control policy on the local natives. France and others still claim islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. It has no reason to condemn China since it has a history of savagely suppressing revolt in Algeria. More could be said of Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Holland and other colonial nation policies in Africa and Asia. In fact, if it were not for the restless natives in Indonesia and Vietnam, Holland, France and Portugal would still be there. If it were not for the restless African ‘savages’, most of Africa would still be in the hands of Europeans. Therefore, Tibet and other indigenous populations seeking political self-determination, you still have hope for freedom and national sovereignty.

Finally, the USA has a bloody history of suppressing Native Indian revolts. It took the British and the USA colonial powers hundreds of years to finally suppress Indian revolts and their legitimate claims for land reclamation and political self-determination. Instead the USA transferred mass native-Indian populations (thousands died in the process the trail of tears, more than World Trade Center, 9/11) in order to control them and their lands. One only needs to look at the historic Wounded Knee massacre to see that China is walking in the very same path as the USA. Hundreds of Indian children, women, pregnant women, elderly, infants, and others were brutally murdered by the US Army. Many of these American soldiers were treated as heroes, and were even given the Congressional Medal of Honor; those some soldiers who suppressed the crazy savage Indians. Therefore, the USA has no political interest in sparking the flame of freedom in the hearts of Indians who are quietly living on reservations. If the USA condemns China for suppressing Tibetan aspirations for political freedom and self-determination, it is basically acknowledging that its Indian policy is wrong.

Despite the historical fact that Tibet has never been part of proper China, it must use force in implementing its colonial rule. And despite the historical fact that Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, and other nations do not historically own the lands they are at present illegally occupying, it is no wonder that these nations’ criticism has been muted in the kowtowing words of calm self-restraint. Even if these self-proclaimed harbingers of justice and freedom condemn China, they have no moral authority as China isn’t ignorant of their dark colonial history in dealing with Indigenous populations. Isn’t it any wonder China scoffs at the US government’s annual Human Rights Report.

-Alden C. Mayfield is a resident of Seoul, and has contributed this article to

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