News Item

Who Planted The Bomb?


Isolated reports from Tibet of buildings targeted for bombing have on occasion attracted the attention of the media, curious perhaps at the very notion of a Buddhist population resorting to a tactic so diametrically opposed to the position asserted by the exiled Tibetan authorities and the Dalai Lama. Such press interest is based partly upon a flawed perception that sees Tibetans as muesli-munching pacifists who, no matter the atrocities inflicted upon them by China’s tyrants, sit in blissful meditation refusing to engage in any action considered violent. Yet the history of Tibet reveals a different picture in which Tibetans have courageously fought to protect their nation’s freedom, including a bloody war of resistance between 1950 and 1970.

Opposition  to the iniquities of China’s presence in Tibet has continued, with a number of uprisings demanding Tibetan independence, including the mass demonstrations that arose across Tibet in 2008. Recent events at Kirti monastery near Ngaba in Eastern Tibet, has again reminded the world that Tibet’s cause, and the desire for national freedom remains undiminished, despite the jack-booted response of China’s paramilitary forces. What’s of note here is that although Tibetans have resorted to a variety of forms of resistance,  from armed resistance, to today’s more non-violent direct action protests; through protest, leaflets, posters, boycotts and sadly self- immolation, the use of explosive devices has been singularly rare. Those cases that have been reported, have raised serious questions in terms of lack of clear evidence and court proceedings. In 2003 twenty eight -year-old, Lobsang Dondrub was charged with a bombing in Chengdu in Sichuan, he had been arrested for being present near the scene of an explosion. Following torture by Chinese security Lobsang ‘confessed’ to other bombings and was put through a show trial, at which no forensic or other evidence was submitted, found guilty, Lobsang was executed. On March 22 2011 a Tibetan named as Dhokar was arrested near Bathang in Tibet’s Kham region, aged 26 Chinese police accused him of bombing a Chinese police station in 2008.

There are of course many reasons to treat these incidents with suspicion, not least of all the fact such charges are made by China’s regime, which is engaged in a ceaseless campaign of propaganda and ideological warfare on the issue of Tibet. With the world currently shocked by Tibetan self-immolations, and demanding China eases its repression against Kirti Monastery, would it be too fanciful to consider the  reporting of a bomb blast in Eastern Tibet, as some attempted distraction; aimed at diverting media attention, while also providing a cover for further crackdowns against dissenting Tibetan voices? Whatever the facts on thing may be relied upon and that’s the eager compliance of mainstream news agencies to publish, without critical analysis, such reports. Take for example a news item which surfaced on Thursday October 27 via the AFP which reported an apparent bomb blast of a Chinese government building in the Tibetan town of Chamdo on October 26. An unnamed local source quoted by Tibet Express reported the building as destroyed, although no injuries mentioned, with heightened Chinese security.

There is one curious part to this story, according to the source:

“…words reading “Tibet’s independence” are written in red colour on the destroyed walls of the office building and ‘Free Tibet’ fliers were strewn within the compound leading to authority’s suspicion that Tibetans could be behind this explosion.” Tibet Express

For that message to be legible on an already destroyed part of the building it must have been painted after the explosion, how likely is it that Tibetans, already no doubt acutely anxious of being detected and captured, would set off a massive explosion during the early hours of the morning, then as the dust and flames took hold paint the slogan? Furthermore, we are informed this took place in the hours of darkness, was this location under the sodium glare of street lighting? If not then painting such words amid the smoke and ash clouds, already a challenging task, would have surely required torches for illumination? If the area was well lit then why would anyone risk detection or identification by daubing political slogans immediately after such an explosion? Lastly we have the placement of free-Tibet leaflets placed according to this supposedly trusted source inside the compound, again this suggests a post explosion action, a highly risky and unlikely operation.

Now it is not impossible that Tibetans could engage in such actions as part of their struggle for independence, however as with the other isolated incidents involving alleged bombing attacks there are troubling questions. If it was not the work of Tibetans we must ask ourselves who would seek to benefit from such an attack linked so conveniently to Tibet’s independence?

6 thoughts on “Who Planted The Bomb?

  1. It’s very likely these bombs were planted by the Chinese regime themselves to try and convince other countries they are up against a terrorist threat, just as they did with the Uighurs in E.Turkestan.

    As pointed out in the article, it also seems an attempt to distract from the protests and immolations in and around Kirti monastery and deflect international criticism from their appalling atrocities in Tibet.

  2. All good points, but the Chinese haven’t admitted that such a bombing has even occured in the first place — according to the NY Times an official in Changdu reached by telephone said there was no report of any bombing.

    Hard to say one way or another, so only time will tell.

    1. Indeed that is so, what is known more definitively of course is that China’s regime has a long record of media manipulation and censorsorship. This latest report, be it actual or otherwise, poses to serious questions and invites the reasonable speculation that it may well be an action engineered by China for the purposes discussed in our article. As to how this will develop, we await reports of ‘arrests’ followed by some sham trial and an unjust sentence.

      1. Yes, China certainly has a long history of media manipulation and censorship. According to the Phayul, Kelsang Gyaltsen, a Tibetan MP, said the blast might be a plot to frame false charges against Tibetans, stating that in 2001 China did the same when they accused and jailed Tenzin Delek.

        Also, according to Phayul, the authorities have blocked passage to a bridge near the area to monitor movement of people and that a prominent monastery in the area has also been cordoned off because of suspected involvement of the monks in the blast, so that does seem to be the past pattern.

  3. The whole world knows about the non-violence preached by HH Dalai Lama and practiced by all Tibetans. The Chinese are doing exactly what the Nazi Germans did during the Second World War; stage manage violence against themselves and then attack the hapless victims. Of course the whole world knows that the Chinese are no different from the fascists. But they are definitely not jack asses – they are more refined than the fascist thugs. They flaunt their trillion dollar surpluses to entice the cash starved western countries to toe their line. No one can be fooled by their devious means. They attacked a hapless country and a sovereign nation Tibet and systematically destroyed a wonderful and peaceful culture. They massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent Tibetans, ruined the country ecologically and altered the demographics of the nation.

    But they can fool none with these devious plans. The export oriented units that churn out the trillion dollar excesses will not run forever. And truth shall triumph at the end. After all communism is only a hundred years old, Tibetan civilization goes much much beyond that. It will prevail one day.

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