Image: researched by @tibettruth
Festive greetings to our readers and subscribers hope you and your families are well and enduring these insane times. It’s been a while since the last item posted, various constraints, resource issues and time all impacted, but we thought to mark the closing of 2020 with an article on a persistent issue afflicting exiled Tibetan concerns. The condition of the democratic process within the Tibetan Diaspora as applying to the election of Sikyong (political leader) currently represented by Dr. Lobsang Sangay.
Campaigning has been going on for a few months now, the election looms on January 3 2021, and across social-media and within exiled Tibetan communities much debate, heat and smoke is generated. As a position we tend not to express favor with any candidate, nor do we usually comment on the process or politics involved. However, having been recently contacted by a senior Indian newspaper and giving thought to the matter we decided to present a number of concerns. We do so because they relate to critical points of importance to the Tibetan cause, which will be ignored by virtually every Tibet related organization and media platform.
First let’s breakdown a little context here. The adoption of western ideological ‘democratic’ process by an exiled/refugee Tibetan community presents a number of interesting challenges. Sure there’s been progress, the establishment of regional and local voting, an election commission and parliamentary assembly. Yet these indicators of democratic accountability and procedure are restrained and influenced by a set of cultural factors and societal norms not always harmonious to the full enjoyment of political expression. Vulnerabilities of course exploited by the Chinese regime, which seeks to sow division and distrust.
At the core of such body politics is an intractable obstacle, which shades any open and diverse exchange. This disabling limitation is forged by an immense sense of respect and devotion towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His position on Tibet’s future status has during the past years promoted a form of autonomy as a solution, an idea which forms the heart of the so-called ‘Middle Way’ approach. Given it’s origin, that it’s the official policy of the exiled Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) it is a heresy to publicly dissent from this position. The result is conformity, compliance, and sadly in terms of full political and electoral expression, little room for the advocacy of Tibetan independence. In this sense a form of self-applied censorship exists producing a somewhat stunted and slanted election.
This barely concealed fissure is used politically from within the Tibetan Diaspora and also by forces hostile to the notion of a free and independent Tibet. Including a number of western states who pose as friends of Tibet, but in truth offer advice to maintain the status quo of Tibet remaining under the bloody maw of Chinese rule. They do so of course to secure and further their economic and political ties with China. That is why they are so willing to support the fragile and distorted exiled democratic process. Because it more or less guarantees the continuance of a CTA which avoids any mention of Tibetan independence. A silence servicing the foreign policy and commercial relations of countries such as the US and others which does not want the thorny subject of Tibetan national freedom destabilizing relations with the Chinese regime.
The consequence of such suffocating factors is that any candidate seeking to become Sikyong is unlikely to stand on a ticket in favor of Tibet’s independence. While those that espouse Tibetan sovereignty are locked-down, targets of ad hominem and socially marginalized. These circumstances impose a corrosive limitation that undermines democratic diversity or indeed faithful representation. Because the heart-kept political hopes of so many Tibetans, for a free and independent homeland, is not allowed expression.
There are other forces at work which disadvantage exiled Tibetan politics to subvert elections, including of course the role played by the Indian government. They too have their interests and no doubt agenda. Meanwhile the political aspiration which dare not speak its name remains in the dreams of Tibetans who continue to hope and trust.
Through popular culture and news reports there’s an image burned into our consciousness that generally conceives torture as being inflicted upon an individual. The plight of a prisoner-of-conscience or innocent protestor abused in the cell has become firmly established. Tibetans know very well that harrowing experience at the hands of the Chinese regime.
The torment suffered inside occupied Tibet is not however restricted to a room in a forced labor-camp or Chinese security center. Nor is the abuse directed only at individuals and not contained to the crude horrors of physical persecution. Any tool of oppression that’s calculated and implemented to instill fear, confusion and compliance may be justly considered torture.
In that context it’s important to understand that the violations imposed upon Tibetans are not contained behind the walls of a prison. Equally it should not be thought that, beyond the detention centers and indoctrination camps, Tibetans are free from tyranny. The systemic oppression and misery forced upon Tibet also has a psychological component. There’s no doubt the emotional and mental impact of decades of Chinese occupation, and the unrelenting assault upon Tibetan cultural and national identity, has inflicted trauma, anxiety and depression on a massive scale.
The witnessing of Tibetan culture being bulldozed towards oblivion, forced relocations into concentration camps and exploitation as forced-labor have left Tibet’s sense of itself in shreds. What has happened to the Tibetan people, forever scarred by such a cultural genocide and engineered terrorism? With no escape from the 24/7 cult of China’s communist party and its glorious leader, Xi Jinping what choices are there?
Resistance is of course fraught with dark and grim consequences for the dissenter and their family. Compliance is for many the only way to survive. But there’s a price to pay for that also. The daily indoctrination sessions, public propaganda events, all under the un-sleeping eye of mass-surveillance and the ever present dangers of informers. There’s a mental and emotional cost for compliance, as it involves the breakdown of personal and cultural identity.
The societal and personal values which sprang from Tibet’s Buddhist culture are replaced by a fanaticism, and delusion. Individuality is rejected, there’s only subservience to the Chinese authorities and its political ideologies. The nature and extent of control which China has over Tibetans is staggering, not a single aspect of daily life is free from the intrusion of the occupying regime.
It is no exaggeration to say that Tibet itself is being tortured, and will be released from such anguish only when it regains its just national freedom. Otherwise the suffering will continue until the last remnant of Tibetan identity is destroyed.
Image: researched, obtained and produced by @tibettruth
Image: researched, obtained and augmented by @tibettruth
Image: researched and produced by @tibettruth
The Chinese regime declared August 24 2020 that during the year “Tibet helps 543,000 farmers, herdsmen find jobs”. See print-screen below
Let’s disentangle the euphemisms and distortions at work in that wording to reveal the facts behind the claim.
Firstly the ‘Tibet’ mentioned is not all of the traditional lands that comprise the country. It refers to a truncated region of Tibet, renamed following the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet as the so-called ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’.
Regarding the phrase ‘helps’ in reality this is a euphemism for coercing, as the Tibetans supposedly ‘helped’ had no choice. It was a dictate at the end of machine guns!
As to the ‘farmers’ and ‘herdsmen’ these are mostly Tibetan nomads who were rounded up, their animals confiscated and given to Chinese meat companies and animal by-product manufacturers. They were, like their farming compatriots, forced onto convoys of buses and placed into concrete concentration settlements or camps such as the one above.
Image: print-screen VTibet.CN
Lastly we come to the mention of ‘jobs’, not as understood in democratic societies, this is slave-labor and political indoctrination in the most wretched of conditions. Tibetans exploited to a merciless degree, prisoners with no hope of release.
These are the cold truths behind the eye-catching headline of China’s regime. In that context our title for this post is neither a betrayal of accuracy, or exaggeration.
Image sourced, researched and produced by @tibettruth
Slave-labor has long been a go-to component of the Chinese regime’s oppressive tool box. Having inflicted millions of deaths since the rise of the communist party of China it continues to destroy lives.
It’s become increasingly used in occupied East Turkistan and indeed Tibet. With growing international concern that products sold around the world are manufactured at such places of misery and abuse.
Such anxieties are of no importance to China’s tyrannical authorities who continue with mass-arrests and deportations of Uyghurs and Tibetans in bondage to Chinese run companies and government backed projects.
Image: shared on twitter by @anonriddler
Each passing day that Tibetans endure the brutal occupation of their land, and in exile voices are raised to oppose and expose China’s tyrannical and illegal presence in occupied Tibet, something extraordinary is taking place.
An action in support of the just cause of Tibetan national freedom which often goes unnoticed by many organizations and individuals who are active on Tibet.
Due to its covert nature it does not attract the attention of the wider Tibetan movement, but we have been very pleased and honored to report on such activism over recent years.
We refer of course to those anonymous activists who collaborate across ‘Operation Tibet’, ‘Team-Riddler’ and ‘The Creed‘. These individuals carry out amazing work in solidarity with Tibet and have inflicted much damage upon the digital infrastructure of the Chinese regime and its corrupted corporations.
As part of that action Anonymous launched a campaign targeting China’s mass-surveillance system, and have been quietly removing Chinese servers linked with that from the internet.
Today this incredible activism has witnessed yet another such server being taken offline, reported across Twitter. At the time of writing https://22.214.171.124/ is not accessible, a very welcome situation to all those supporting human rights and freedom.
We wish to express our respect and genuine appreciation to all those individuals who are engaged in those operations.
Anonymous activists at ‘Operation Tibet‘ issued August 22, 220 a video statement calling for action on Save The Children due to that organization’s continued silence concerning China’s mass abuse of Uyghur children. Many thanks to @AnonymousTibet for sharing news on this.
Image: Zhao Lang/Enhanced and updated by @tibettruth