Ship Of Fools Charting The Surrender Of Tibet’s Nationhood

Image:tibetsun

Yay! The circus has come to town! Well, not yours but Brussels in Belgium, but we are not talking acrobats, jugglers or tight-rope walkers. Not even clowns. Although there will be an ironic element of slapstick present in the gathering otherwise known as the International Conference of Tibet Support Groups, the seventh of which convened on September 8th to discuss various strategies and issues relating to Tibet. It’s a serious business, yet its colorful assemblage of individuals, comprised virtually exclusively of supporters of the Tibetan Administration’s surrender/autonomy ‘policy’, play the fool with a rare talent!
As the tone of this post ably demonstrates  we are not fan of these events, why so? Well as an entirely volunteer network of individuals who are passionate in their support of Tibet we oppose any betrayal of the struggle for Tibet’s independence inside occupied. Make no mistake this conference. like its predecessors, seeks a very different objective to that so courageously struggled for by Tibetans living under the tyranny of Chinese rule. The very mention of ‘independence’ is off-the-menu, instead the focus is seeking compromise with the Chinese regime to secure rights for Tibetans under its meaningless laws on local and regional autonomy. Sure you may hear talk of Tibetan freedom around the dining tables but such comments mask an agenda of surrender, described of course as ‘political realism’!

Image:archivenet

That such treacherous capitulation, for that is what it is when contrasted with the common political aspirations of Tibetans who dream of regaining their national freedom, is applauded and endorsed by those who describe themselves as supporters of Tibet is deeply disappointing. It also begs the question as to what in truth they are actually ‘supporting’. Is their allegiance instead towards Buddhism and His Holiness the Dalai Lama? Would that explain their willingness to advocate the exiled Tibetan Administration’s political suicide note (otherwise known as the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy For Tibetans) the core document  that appeases the communist Chinese regime.

So embedded is the conformity on parade at such meetings that few have the political or ethical integrity to express any dissent against the surrender being proposed, hardly a surprise when looking at the unfinished business of previous International Tibet Support Group Conferences, which permit little room for optimism. Determined action in solidarity with the Tibetan people’s struggle is certainly not on the agenda, instead delegates will be distracted by the opportunity to network and harmonize on such key issues as, how to promote autonomy and friendship with China. No doubt Tibetans inside Tibet will be crying with unrestrained appreciation for those efforts!

Image via @tibettruth

The cynicism and critique which International Tibet Support Group conferences attract is authored and justified by its troubling and hypocritical record on some central issues, namely Tibetan independence, but also its virtual silence on the subject of coercive birth-control inside Tibet. Let’s take a peek at one of its statements on the former issue. 16 years ago the International Tibet Support Groups  conference in Berlin agreed through democratic process that:

“We endorse the proposal made by some members of the Parliament to urge His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile to seriously consider demanding full independence for Tibet, or the holding of an internationally supervised referendum on the issue if no progress has been made in negotiations with the government of the PRC on proposals for genuine autonomy for Tibet in the next three years. In that event we should fully support such a stand and should launch a major campaign for international recognition of Tibet’s claims” (Berlin Statement An Action Plan Third ITSG Conference Berlin May 14, 2000)

The years that followed witnessed a complete lack of progress on negotiations for so-called genuine autonomy, including most recently Beijing’s forceful rejection of the exiled Tibetan Administration’s ‘Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for Tibet’. Has anyone noticed the International Tibet Support Groups honoring the agreed determination of its delegates, as formulated in that final conference statement? Where was the forceful  international campaign by those groups to press the exiled Tibetan Administration to change its stance to support Tibetan independence? The predictable inaction which followed exposed the hollow words of such meetings and showed International Tibet Support Groups conferences, for all their pretensions to being seen as dynamic and organized, as little more than a talking-shop. Whose main function is to endorse whatever instruction received from the exiled Tibetan Administration.

 

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Tibetan Nun Hangs Herself In Protest of Chinese Demolition Of Buddhist Center

 

Tibetan Nun Hung Herself In Protest Against Chinese Destruction Of Tibetan Buddhist Center

         Tibetan Nun Hung Herself In Protest Against Chinese Destruction Of Tibetan Buddhist Center

Image: via Tibetan Journal

It’s difficult to grasp the degree of terror, suffering and oppression which Tibetans have endured since China invaded Tibet in 1950. The instances of torture, loss and personal tragedy are of a magnitude that can be found in descriptions of genocide or prolonged war. there have been countless examples of Tibetans who when faced with China’s vicious tyranny have bravely resisted, sacrificed their lives to demand Tibet’s national freedom and to protest against the persecution and erosion of Tibetan Buddhism. All such accounts are deeply moving, demand answers of governments and the United Nations who have offered self-serving platitudes while appeasing the Chinese regime.

A report just released today, via Radio Free Asia, documents another such case, this time a Tibetan nun, named as Rinzin Dolma, who lived at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, in Serthar County, Kham region of eastern Tibet who hung herself in protest at the forced demolition of Tibet’s largest Buddhist center by the Chinese regime

“Rinzin Dolma, a nun of Larung gar Buddhist center hanged herself to death when Chinese began demolition at the center on July 20, 2016.” according to RFA’s  Facebook page.

The global religious and political community has remained virtually silent as this major seat of Buddhist learning is bulldozed into oblivion by the Chinese paramilitary, a silence that speaks volumes of their merciless in difference to the plight of Tibet and its culture!

 

Chinese Activist Sheng Xue Dedicates Poem In Honor Of Tibetans Who Self-Immolated

Sheng Xue, Prominent Activist For A Free ChinaImage: SFT Canada/Edited @tibettruth

Sheng Xue a respected and renowned activist for human rights and freedom presented recently a poem she composed titled ‘Light Me Up’ dedicated to those brave Tibetans who sacrifice their lives to demand national freedom for Tibet.

I opened my eyes in the morning
The room is dark.
I opened the window to welcome the gentle wind
The sky is dark.
I opened the door to greet the wild wood
The mountain is dark.
My heart opens to embrace freedom,
in a world dark and hard.

I didn’t want much,
to hope the yak in the mountains can freely run.
That the eagle can crown the turqoise sky,
to hear the monks chanting in the temple.
I just want to see His Holiness at least once in my life time.
I keep them as dreams in my heart, I don’t dare to ask.

But there is no light,
the darkness expands.
Filling all the space
and tearing at the sun’s rays.
Suffocating each and every breath,
it builds up and strives to quell my hopeful heart.

I want to run, run, and run.
but the temple demolished, broken, shattered.
The debris like the bodies of history piled upon a bloody hill
Each step along the road to Lhasa under the shadow of the gun,
streets full of tanks and check-points.

Where can I hide
What should I try
Who will listen to my cry
And how can I die

I can no longer remember,
what does light look like?
I can no longer remember,
the healing touch of sunshine.
I can no longer remember
the feeling of a sweet night,
nor recall the five noble colors of prayer flags.
I saw a dim light in a death cup
I should light myself up

Light me up
Light me up
Light me up

I’d rather die for my ideals
If I cannot live with my beliefs
light it up with a style,
light it up for a life more real.

The light grows more intense,
blinding brightness the flames
reach to the sky.
The Himalaya became a prayer
and forever I left the fear.
Light me up,
the sounds of flames singing with the wind.
Light me up,
the excited fire dancing like the sea’s wave.

The burning ocean consumes,
kiss me, touch me.
Hold me like a baby
once, once and once again.
I must return
I have to come back with the light
Light for freedom, religion, dignity, culture, language and human rights.

Light me up
Light the mountain up
Light the river up
Light the sky up
Let the flame burned up the darkness

Light the sun up
Let it shine
Let it blaze for all lives
Let it’s luminous rays dispel the shadows in Tibet
Shining Tibet shining bright!

Agence France Presse Repeating China’s Lies On Tibet As Objective Reportage

Image:commons/wikimedia

For too long has Agence France Presse, in its coverage of Tibet, been a willing accomplice to the distortions and propaganda vomited by China’s regime.

It’s report of a Tibetan horse festival (August 1st, 2016)  a staged and tightly controlled propaganda event to promote the lie that Tibetan culture is thriving and respected under China’s control is a nauseating assemblage of falsehoods and deception. Engineered by China’s Ministry Of Disinformation to mislead an international audience the article, which clearly is a barely re-written statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, is loaded with officially sanctioned terminology.

It states the event took place in so-called “Yushu (China) in the northwestern (sic) Chinese province of Qinghai” this is incorrect, the actual location was near Jyekundo in Kham region of Eastern Tibet!

AFP go on to state that the area is home to many of “China’s eight million strong Tibetan minority, some of whom chafe against Chinese rule“. This sly misrepresentation of the facts chooses to ignore entirely that Tibetans are a distinct people, who under international law have the right to self-determination, and are not a ‘minority’ group within China, but an oppressed people whose land was invaded, occupied and colonized. Notice too how the journalist makes fact free assertion which implies that the majority of Tibetans are content and supportive of Chinese rule?!

While the reporter, Nicolas Asfouri, ends with a superficial mention of Tibetan concerns that their culture is being oppressed and eroded and Tibet’s natural resources exploited to benefit China the dominant impression conveyed by this article is misleading and biased towards the claims of the Chinese regime.

Like the majority of western media agencies within China such as Reuters and Associated PressAgence France Presse is serving as a conduit for the lies and propaganda that China uses to conceal the dark reality of its tyranny against the Tibetan people and the illegal and violent occupation of Tibet. The nature of online and print journalism is such that these agencies are held by global newspapers in the highest of esteem as credible and objective sources of information. This ensures that their reportage on Tibet is republished internationally, usually without any critical assessment or major editing, a credulity much welcomed by China’s government!

President Of The FCI Excuses & Defends China As Host Of 2019 World Dog Show

Image:animalsasia

So what thus far has been the response of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) to international outrage that China, which allows the annual slaughter of dogs at Yulin, is to host the 2019 World Dog Show. What does the FCI say to global citizens who are dismayed and opposed to its agreement to rename traditional Tibetan dog breeds as being ‘Chinese’? Well here’s a statement from Mr Rafael de Santiago the President of the FCI as published by ‘Canine Chronicle’. We advise that these comments should be examined with a healthy degree of critique, especially the content hiding ‘between the lines’, which we have for purposes of clarification, plus it’s just too darn tough to resist,  offered a response to marked in red.

“Always attentive to the opinion of the breeders worldwide, we took note of the uproar concerning the attribution of the 2019 World Dog Show to China and to the decision regarding the country of origin of the following breeds : DO-KHYI (230), TIBETAN TERRIER (209), TIBETAN SPANIEL (231), LHASA APSO (227) and  SHIH TZU (208).

Whilst we understand the concern expressed by the breeders worldwide about both situations, the FCI wishes to inform that the decision to grant the organization of the WDS 2019 to China was taken by a decision of our General Assembly where 68 countries were present or represented and by a large majority of votes, in total transparency and according to the principles of democracy internationally recognised and accepted…..” (Emphasis added)

So on the fallacious pretext of democratic process even the most ethically unsound and morally dubious action is absolved of any principled and moral responsibility by virtue of a consensus? On that basis presumably the Mr de Santiago and the FCI would countenance the mass culling of stray dogs, and defend the decision by claiming a democratic mandate! Of course the FCI is using a straw-man defense here, but let’s return to his statement….

Image:animalsasia

Mr de Santiago continues.….”That decision was made on basis of a very open and complete presentation made by our Chinese member, CKU, during which our Chinese member delegation has clearly mentioned the cultural differences between China and most of the other countries in the world.”  (Emphasis added)

Ah! Now where have we heard this line before? That’s right from the very same Chinese regime that permits the persecution and slaughter of dogs, inflicts a range of harrowing human rights atrocities against its own people, wages a genocidal assault against Tibet and its culture, violently denies free-speech, imposes a blanket of censorship across the media, administers a program of forced sterilizations, and runs a network of forced-labor camps where political and religious prisoners are being butchered for their organs! None of these harrowing realities bother the FCI which in a staggering example of credulity has swallowed the argument used by the Chinese authorities when it is regularly challenged on human rights issues, namely that the world needs to give China special consideration because it’s culture is ‘different’. In other words human rights are according to the torturers of Bejing specific and defined, not by universality, but cultural factors. We’ve been hearing this nauseating excuse for years, meanwhile the violations continue.

Image:animalsasia

The President goes on...”The FCI sees it as an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among  the Chinese  population that the dog, our beloved friend, is a member of our families, a living entity and most of all Man’s best Friend”. (Emphasis added)

Anyone who read our previous post ‘China Is Not Fit To Host The 2019 World Dog Show’ may recall that we mentioned in that article how the FCI, like the International Olympic Committee and Governments worldwide, hides behind what has proved a failed and empty promise of ‘constructive engagement’ with China. This approach would have you believe that in working within China a moderating influence is exerted and the more odious excesses of the Chinese regime, or in the case of animal cruelty, are moderated. This jaded and threadbare justification has proved over and over to be utterly vacuous, the abuses continue, oppression, shootings and torture remain, while the suits of the IOC or the FCI wring their hands and offer platitudes about ‘improvements’ and ‘awareness’.

Image:animalsasia

Mr de Santiago then says…In addition, we find it important to clarify that our Chinese member, CKU, is an FCI full member. As such, CKU has the right to ask to be the country of origin of the breeds indicated above.  It is important to know that any change in a breed standard can be implemented worldwide if and only if the FCI General Committee, following recommendations of the FCI Standards and Scientific Commissions, approves it.”. (Emphasis added)

Now we get down to it, in the above remark Mr de Santiago and the FCI openly acknowledges, and is endorsing that Tibet is; and presumably they would also agree, has been an inalienable part of China. In truth however that is a falsehood. Indeed in terms of international law Tibet remains an independent nation under an illegal occupation. That fact however does not concern the President of the FCI who ‘reasons’ that since these breeds are supposedly from within the ‘country of origin’ China therefore retains a right to rename the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan Terrier as more Chinese sounding titles. This line of thinking is effectively an endorsement of military aggression and colonization, which is precisely how Tibet was annexed by China in 1950. 

The FCI President concludes…Nowadays, the FCI is more than ever committed to the betterment and safeguard of the Dog and to promoting its welfare, love and respect in the four corners of the world.”

Image:animalsasia

Really? What kind of double-think is going on here? So to protect the dogs of China, the most effective course of action is to collaborate with the world’s most heinous and blood-soaked regime and support hosting the World Dog Show in Shanghai? While in the very same country at Yulin and elsewhere countless numbers of dogs are being abused, tortured and killed. It’s rather like imagining the International Red Cross announcing in 1939 that in order to advance the rights of Polish Gypsies and Jews it will be attending a conference hosted, approved and financed by the National Socialist Party!

The full Canine Chronicle article may be read here

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Nepal’s Authorities Arrest Tibetans For Celebrating Dalai Lama’s Birthday

Graphic from @tibettruth

Once again the Nepalese authorities have revealed where their allegiances rest, forgotten now is the solidarity. generosity and compassion shown by exiled Tibetans towards the people of Nepal during the earthquake that devastated that country in 2015. As Tibetans in Kathmandu gathered to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday this week the Nepalese authorities, ever keen to impress their Chinese paymasters, sent in the police to beat and arrest Tibetans, while tearing down images of the Dalai Lama. What short memories the politicians and police force of Nepal has!

Glastonbury Council Being Asked To Twin Their Town With Lhasa, Tibet

Image via landofsnows amended by @Glasto4TIBET

What an awesome idea from @Glasto4TIBET who today launched a petition asking the town hall of Glastonbury, England to consider twinning with Lhasa, Tibet. It’s a cool match as both places share a lot in terms of being historic and sacred sites that have attracted pilgrims for millennia.

The petition is online here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/532/076/915/we-request-glastonbury-town-council-to-accept-lhasa-tibet-as-a-twin-city/

Please add your name, share on your social media accounts, Blog or website. Let’s get behind the call to unite these two very amazing places and in doing so help increase awareness about the plight of Tibet and its people