Runggye Adak a prominent Tibetan political prisoner, arrested on August 1st 2007 has according to reports from Tibet been released, a development greatly welcomed by all supporting human rights and justice. His case has received international attention and any internet search of his name reveals the extent of coverage and various supportive actions. Indeed Runggye became something of a cause célèbre for Tibet support groups.
It is less well known that from the day of his arrest the courageous action of this Tibetan hero was deliberately misrepresented by organizations supposedly dedicated to the Tibetan cause. So was set in motion a partial and selective truth. Indeed Runggye Adak’s protest was about the return of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama a call for Tibetan unity along with environmental issues. However groups such as the International Campaign For Tibet chose not to inform the wider Tibetan movement that Runggye had on that day demanded Tibet’s rightful independence. Yet that fact was reported at the time by the Tibetan Center For Human Rights and Democracy, Link Phayul Link and Dossier Tibet Link all respected sources on Tibet.
So why the omission? Well before anyone cites administrative oversight it may prove instructive for readers to be aware that Tibetan independence is a taboo for the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and its ‘support group’ friends. So it’s not too difficult to calculate why the demands made by a very brave Tibetan were censored. Despite these being carefully reported and confirmed by the previously mentioned Tibetan news sources, many Tibet support groups erased Runggye’s call for an independent Tibet from their reportage. A video of his protest was also released although whether due to happy coincidence or judicious editing absent from the footage is any reference of Tibet’s independence!
Even as news of his release was announced the International Tibet Support Network, via a website ‘Free Tibetan Heroes‘ while expressing its joy at the news repeated the censored version of his protest.
“When on stage Runggye Adak boldly grabbed the microphone and addressed a crowd of several thousand Tibetans who had gathered for the annual festival. He said: “If we cannot invite the Dalai Lama home, we will not have freedom of religion and happiness in Tibet.” adding that “Eye-witnesses also say that Runggye Adak’s speech called for local Tibetans to stop fighting among themselves about land and water issues..” Source
We salute Runggye Adak’s incredible courage and patriotism, what he has endured is beyond the darkest of nightmares. We respect too and applaud his just demands for an independent Tibet an action that has cost him dearly. Given his sacrifices, the torture and degree of misery he has experienced there many who will such censorship as a despicable act. That so many folks across the Tibetan scene chose to betray his actions by promoting a falsehood engineered in the safe and comfortable offices of the Central Tibetan Administration, International Campaign For Tibet and International Tibet Support Network is deeply disappointing.
As noted August 6th 2014 by our Facebook page:
“Dear Tibetans how would you feel if in occupied Tibet you had decided to protest at a public festival to call for the return of Kundun, to urge unity among Tibetans and to declare support for Tibetan independence ONLY to learn while you are in prison being tortured by the,psychopaths of China’s regime that, in exile, Tibetan organizations were reporting your action BUT had censored any mention of your supportive call for Tibetan independence! That is precisely what happened in the case of Rongay A’drak!“