Tibetan independence was lost 49 years ago when the Dalai Lama escaped into exile. His goal, and that of those who want to help the Tibetan people, should be to negotiate realistically with the Chinese state. The present protests, supported from overseas, will bring only more suffering. China is not a democracy, and it will not budge.-- from He May Be a God, but He’s No Politician by Patrick French. Could French be right?
Pankaj Mishra (At war with the utopia of modernity) says the rage is directed at the consequences of capitalism, not communism:
Tibetans...seem to have sensed that they confront a capitalist modernity more destructive of tradition, and more ruthlessly exploitative of the sacred land they walk on, than any adversary they have known in their tormented history.But the Chinese invasion in the 50s was not a picnic.
P.S. 25 March Parag Khanna writes that
China's near absolute sense of security over [Tibet and Xinjiang] is the greatest hope for a Chinese glasnost: China no longer faces any meaningful resistance to its rule and so some day may lighten up.