Le dernier des Tibétains

NEW YORK -- Les Tibétains sont-ils condamnés à suivre la voie des Indiens d'Amérique ? Vont-ils être réduits à n'être plus qu'une attraction pour touristes et à vendre des souvenirs de ce qui a été une grande culture ? Ce triste sort paraît de plus en plus probable, et l'année olympique est déjà écornée par la répression exercée par le gouvernement chinois. 

Les Chinois ont à répondre de beaucoup de choses, mais le sort du Tibet n'est pas seulement affaire d'oppression semi-coloniale. On oublie parfois qu'au milieu du XX° siècle, beaucoup de Tibétains, notamment parmi les gens éduqués dans les grandes villes, étaient tellement désireux de moderniser leur société qu'ils ont accueilli les communistes chinois comme des alliés contre le régime féodal des religieux et des propriétaires terriens. Au début des années 1950, le jeune Dalaï Lama lui-même était impressionné par les réformes chinoises au point d'écrire des poèmes pour célébrer Mao.

Malheureusement, au lieu de réformer la société et la culture tibétaine, les communistes chinois ont fini par les détruire. La religion a été écrasée au nom de l'athéisme marxiste officiel. Les monastères et les temples ont été détruits durant la Révolution culturelle (souvent avec le concours des Gardes rouges tibétains). Les nomades ont été sédentarisés sous la contrainte dans d'horribles bâtiments en béton. L'art tibétain a été réduit à un folklore entretenu par une aide officielle aux "cultures minoritaires". Et le Dalaï Lama et son entourage ont été contraints de s'exiler en Inde.

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