Image: courtesy of @anonriddler
Following yesterday’s news of a fire at Lhasa’s Jokhang temple, questions are turning to the cause. Of course it wont be long now before a servile and uncritical mainstream media dutifully report the official version from China’s regime. This will claim that faulty wiring or insufficient attention to safety measures caused the blaze, alternatively Tibetans may be blamed for their traditional practice of lighting butter lamps as offerings. Anything is possible with a regime that is dependent upon deception and propaganda!
Across our digital planet however people rightly look to other reasons for the fire and wonder, given the violent and oppressive nature of China’s occupation of Tibet, if responsibility rests with the Chinese regime. There are grounds for such speculation, not least that China views Tibetan Buddhism as representing Tibetan cultural and national identity. As such it is targeted with a number of highly repressive controls, with monasteries now run by approved members of the local Chinese communist party, totalitarianism has placed a suffocating stranglehold over Tibet’s Buddhist culture. Military check-points, barbed wire and machine guns are a common site at monasteries. Given this reality, you won’t be surprised to know that there will be no tears shed by China’s government at the sight of the Jokhang consumed by fire.
There have been other Buddhist sites burned down across Tibet, which were attributed to ageing Tibetan architecture, electrical faults or unguarded fires in kitchens. Such claims. coming from the mouth of a regime which is actively repressing the practice Buddhism in Tibet are problematic and remain unable to convince. Which explains why in the wake of yesterday’s inferno social media was buzzing with images and questions on the Jokhang fire. Meanwhile today Anonymous activists have been posting across Twitter of their intent to target Chinese government websites, an action which they presumably is justified, not only on the possibility that China’s regime may have been responsible for the blaze, but also as a response to the ongoing tyranny against Tibetans and their culture.
Sincere thanks to @tibettuth and @TibetAnonymous for the headsup on this action and @anonriddler for allowing use of the image above.