Exile Politics and the “Third Spread”

When future historians look back, they may find that it is the dharma's universalism, rather than Tibet's victimisation, that explains the extraordinary worldwide public support for the Tibetan cause.

In the play Fantastics, it is asked —"What in the world happened to X?" — of a character who left his village to escape its suffocating enclosure. Someone answers: "The world."

What happened to the Tibetans in exile was precisely the world.

Starting three decades ago as labourers breaking boulders on road-building sites in Nepal and India, Tibetans in exile today enjoy a decent, even enviable, standard of living, compared to any group in South Asia. In Nepal, they own a sizable share of the carpet manufacturing business, one of the country's two highest sources of foreign exchange earning.

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Himal Southasian