Thubten Samphel, is a spokesperson for the exiled Tibetan Government, who broadcast a fact less betrayal of the nature of the Tibetan struggle, its causal factors and political aspirations. Speaking earlier this month to the Voice of Tibet in response to China’s latest accusations, that the Dalai Lama’s actions are the root of unrest in occupied Tibet, Samphel dismissed such criticism as groundless by citing the politically motivated and questionable findings of the Beijing based Gongmeng Law Research Centre. Samphel was quoted as saying: “The upsurge of Tibetan nationalism was largely triggered by conditions in Tibet, including the pervasive corruption that spawns a ‘new aristocracy,’ which feeds on Beijing’s largess but immediately blames the “separatists” for their own total incompetence and mis-rule.” (Emphasis added)
So let’s reach for the magnifying lens and look a little closer at what Samphel is saying, the most immediate concern is the complete absence of any reference to political objectives and Tibetan nationhood, both of which were at the very heart of the 2008 Uprisings. If we are to accept his assertion then Tibetans, who displayed their banned national flag across Tibet and demanded independence, were protesting against economic apartheid and corruption, with the corollary that should they be addressed Tibetans would happily submit to Chinese occupation! Clearly Thubten Samphel is experiencing a form of denial that refuses to concede the reality that his very own people rose-up to resist Chinese rule and demonstrated for national identity and territorial freedom, not simply to express frustration local economic conditions.
The degree of trust and respect which has been invested by the Exiled Tibetan Government into the findings of Chinese reports into the 2008 Tibetan Uprisings is rather troubling, particularly since any truly independent assessment is impossible under the suffocating conditions imposed by the communist Chinese regime. Yet Samdhup, like his Governmental colleagues, has chosen to swallow, as factual and unbiased, the laughingly claimed independent report (that could never have even made an appearance without the knowledge and covert sanction of the communist Chinese authorities) into the 2008 uprisings in occupied Tibet. Conducted and published by the deliberately named ‘Open [sic] Constitution Initiative’, a supposedly non-governmental organisation “run by prominent lawyers and intellectuals in Beijing”. Does Mr Samphel and his Governmental colleagues not realize that no genuinely independent non-governmental organizations exist within communist China, that every facet of research, education, journalism, law and all other social and civil institutions and agencies, function only with the authority and supervision of the state. No dissent from the official line is tolerated and such bodies serve whatever propaganda purpose tasked to them by their overlords.
The report, which Thubten Samphel called upon to peddle the untruth about the nature of the Tibetan Uprisings of 2008, is a clever piece of artifice that seeks to claim that the demonstrations across Tibet were born, not from a heartfelt desire for nationhood, but as a reaction to governmental corruption and economic disparity between Han Chinese and Tibetans. It asserts that the Uprisings, which it judiciously describes as riots, (a favoured term used by the communist Regime, so much for an independent perspective then) were a result of decades of inefficient and corrupted economic and development policies. It was careful not to make the communist Chinese regime accountable for such a situation, by claiming that Tibetans were marginalised and resentful, of what it is claimed as the emergence and corrupt practices of a supposedly “new aristocracy”. Now here’s the sting, who are these seemingly venal officials? Why they’re Tibetans of course, a new version of those nasty aristocrats that communist China swept away following its illegal invasion in 1950. In a further application of official gloss it refers to what it suggests are “rivers-of-money” invested in Tibet with the aim of securing stability. A failed policy, apparently due to the corrupt nature of the local political elite, who the report incredibly claims misrepresented, what we are told was simply ‘community discontent’ (what an application of generalising anaesthetic that is) as being “separatism”.
“They use every opportunity to play the separatism card…And they will try hard to apportion responsibility on ‘overseas hostile forces’ because this is the way to consolidate their interests and status and eventually bring them more power and resources.” (Phun Tshogs Dbang Rjyal-quoted in the report).
While there are indeed a range of severe economic disadvantages endured by Tibetans, which would naturally generate resentment and frustration, these are the direct result of policies, economic, legal, and social, formulated, approved and ordered by the national communist government of China. Though local corruption may well contribute towards the various deprivations suffered by Tibetans, there can be no mistake that the tragedy of Tibet was authored by China’s blood-stained communist leadership. The slave labor, unfair trials, systematic torture, forced settlement of nomads, and campaigns of mass-sterilisations are engineered and endorsed by the State. For Thubten Samphel to disguise the causal reasons why Tibetans rose-up in defiance of Chinese occupation, as being based upon a sense of economic grievance is a vicious perversion of the facts.
The demonstrations which burned across Tibet throughout 2008 and into 2009 featured a common demand, Tibetan independence. In association with supportive calls for the Dalai Lama, the protests essentially spoke with one voice, freedom for Tibet. No flag championing greater employment opportunities, no slogans shouting for less corruption in local government, no banners were raised calling for an increase in economic parity between Han colonizers and Tibetans. Yet the report, which has attracted the respect of the Exiled Tibetan Government , with its cosmetic nod towards objective and independent analysis, would have the world believe such frustrations were the heartbeat of the unrest. With imperialistic arrogance its findings (and the phrase is applied loosely) imply that the otherwise obedient ‘natives’ will be satisfied with an improved economic condition. Such strategy has an ancient pedigree. It was Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu who counselled that the best way to keep a people simple and rustic was to “fill their bellies and empty their minds”. We wonder just how mentally alert is Thubten Samphel to so willingly repeat such falsehoods and propaganda?
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