Firstly, apologies to friends and subscribers who may have noticed our online absence recently. This has been caused by two laptops used for editing the site and social media actions crashing and becoming inoperable.
This has meant using community libraries, but with the hysteria surrounding the current flu-virus that alternative has been shut-down.
Right now this post has been possible via a friend’s kindness, but we sorely need to get a replacement and wondered if those who support our activism for Tibet would consider making a donation towards our goal of buying a Dell 15 Inspiron 7000 .
Our blog is not usually a chosen platform for such a request, however to restore unrestricted online operations we need ASAP support towards our very limited funds. Which is why we’ve decided to make this post in the hope you may kindly consider donating towards our goal of $1000, that would enable us to invest in a new laptop.
Anyone within the Central Tibetan Administration (formerly the exiled Government of Tibet now CTA) care to explain why on earth the editorial team of their website has featured a promotional review of a film which, while posing as an artful exploration of lives and communities transformed through economic and infrastructure developments, is essentially propaganda.
Last time we checked the CTA (headed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay) was, apart from peddling an appeasement deal-of- surrender to China, engaged in exposing and opposing the suppression of Tibet and erosion of Tibetan culture. It regularly issues statements and reports on the expansionist agenda of China, cautions the international community on the corrosive influence of Chinese corporations and regularly criticizes projects, that have exploited and massively degraded the environment of occupied Tibet. From concerns about Huawei to open hostility towards mining companies which are opening up Tibetan mountains the CTA has a respected and established record of challenging and reporting upon the genuine concerns posed by China’s political, economic and corporate objectives.
With that in mind the decision of its website to give such full-page prominence to ‘Common Destiny’ (a film receiving the approval and support of China’s regime) and heavily promoted by the propaganda mouth-piece Xinhua during it’s screening at the Venice Film Festival in September, is all the more baffling.
But this ‘documentary’ was never going to consider such contexts, the crippling debts, failed infrastructure projects or the political and economic dominance imposed upon those partnering governments by China’s regime. No inclusion or reference to the environmental impacts of such developments. Those major issues had no place in this carefully engineered propaganda, the audience is engaged with the various personal narratives, distracted by the emotion, struggle and relative triumphs. A strategy which no doubt was factored into the film from its beginnings and obediently employed by six other (Chinese) directors all of whom were approved by China’s government! The production company behind this exercise in disinformation was none other than Beijing Silk Road Media Group, a public-relations arm of the project and by extension fully committed to the ideology and dictates of China’s regime. Interestingly its producer Liang Yan claimed at the screening that the film is not backed by government, anyone buying into that should seek reality counseling immediately!
There is no genuinely independent film-making within China especially when the subject is a cornerstone of the Chinese regime’s global economic policy. As such there would have been a very close scrutiny of its production. content and promotion, what has been produced is yet another slick, emotion focused distraction that promotes the supposed triumphs of the Belt Road Strategy. It also features key propaganda themes exemplified by the account of a Uyghur boy dreaming of winning a basketball scholarship. Touching story, right? But wait a minute while young Yusuf Jiang (note the Chinese second name) is aspiring to realize such ambitions Uyghur children of all ages are being torn from their families and detained within indoctrination centers to be brainwashed into obedient Chinese speaking citizens. Did that well-documented reality not trouble Martin Campbell or Guy Hibbert? Would not their creative talents not be better served by making a documentary on the cultural genocide waged against Tibet or the Uyghur homeland of East Turkistan?
What also of the Central Tibetan Administration and its promotion of this Chinese orchestrated disinformation? Was it some gross error of editorial judgement that decided to feature this film on their site? A calculated decision to curry favor with China, a signal of further appeasement? No matter the reasons, giving publicity to such propaganda while the same regime behind the film is waging a genocidal assault against Tibet’s culture and national identity raises worrying questions. Particularly for any Tibetan who expects their exiled Administration to be championing the just cause of national freedom rather than uncritically disseminating the lies and disinformation of China’s government!
February 13 is the day on which Tibet’s independence is commemorated, for Tibetans under the terrorism of Chinese occupation however they will not be displaying their national flag. To do so would mean certain arrest, torture and the chilling prospect of being dispatched to years of forced-labor.
Image: courtesy of @s_sferickson
China’s regime is deeply fearful of Tibetan national and cultural identity, the flag symbolizes a powerful challenge to China’s illegal and brutal rule. Its place within the heart of Tibet’s people also rejects the falsehood, peddled by the Chinese department of disinformation, that Tibet is an inalienable and historic part of China.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
While the torturers and psycho-cops of the Chinese authorities can suppress the flying of Tibet’s flag beyond their totalitarian tyranny, Tibetans in exile and their global friends raise the Tibetan national emblem in solidarity with the just cause of independence for Tibet.
Image courtesy of: @hr4tvausnz
Last year @HeyJude408 (a longstanding supporter of our activism on Tibet) took the Tibetan flag along with her on a global trip and posted across social media photographs of it displayed at some of the world’s most beautiful locations. It was a wonderful action, simple, yet reaching many folks in a positive and thoughtful way.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
More recently another of our friends @hr4tvausnz on Twitter posted a series of photographs from Australia in which he and friends raised Tibet’s flag.
Image: courtesy of @monfort_xavi
These are more than gesture, as they reach out and inform the many who’ve no knowledge of Tibet and its struggle, more still do not know of the Tibetan flag or it’s historic independence. Such images are also seen by China’s regime, which through an army of online trolls and observers is contantly monitoring social-media.
Image: courtesy of @HeyJude408
As such posting the symbol of Tibet’s national freedom is an expression of opposition to their tyranny, while displaying solidarity with the right of Tibetans to independence.
We hope you will join us and our many supporters online to share and display the flag of Tibet, especially on February 13.
Looking at this image of Uyghurs imprisoned in a Chinese run concentration camp, one of our colleagues remarked, ‘The only thing missing is a yellow star stitched onto the uniform’. A reference to the emblem forced upon Jewish prisoners by the Nationalist Socialist Party. A controversial analogy for some, yet there’s no denying that the Muslim culture of occupied East Turkistan (so-called Xinjiang Region) is being systematically and violently dismantled. Mosques obliterated, Islamic traditions banned, Uyghur women forced into marriages with Han Chinese colonists. The Uyghur language marginalized as Chinese is forced upon school children.
Meanwhile human rights organizations and the United Nations have received accounts that Uyghurs have been rounded up and forced into what are effectively concentration camps. There they suffer a harsh regime of indoctrination and abuse that has the objective of generating obedience to the ideology of China’s communist party. A people are being violently denied their culture, which has been criminalized, racism and apartheid are driving forces in such tyranny. As they were of course for Nazi-Germany. Uyghur culture is now portrayed as the great enemy of ‘social stability’, regarded too as ‘less than’, dark resonances indeed from recent history.
China denied such camps existed, but only this week information came out acknowledging their existence, SOURCEwhile insisting it was all very legal!
Some insist such reports are fabricated, the product of US inspired propaganda, others defend the Chinese regime, while the haunted expressions stare out from behind the barbed wire! We’ve been here before!
The long anguished discussions across the internet on the demise of the Blog seem to be realizing the concerns they articulated, with the rise and dominance of social-media platforms folks have gotten used to bite-sized, image-driven consumption. Seems there’s just too little time around to read word rich posts.
We’ve noticed that dynamic and mindful of where best, and how, our outreach on Tibet is manifest, we’re giving thought to maintaining this resource. Launched in 2009 it’s become a serious and forceful voice for Tibet, breaking stories, launching campaigns and exposing issues others have feared to engage with.
Outspoken, but always coming from a place of integrity we’ve been dedicated to the just cause of Tibet, in solidarity with the resistance and political aspirations of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet. Yet no matter the awesome committment. expertise and knowledge that maintains and creates this site, there’s a digital tide at work, the flow of which means less exposure and engagement.
Given that the purpose of our presence here is to reach out to the many who know little of Tibet and the plight of the Tibetan people we need to give sober assessment to its continuance, especially when there are other more active and populated platforms.
As we’ve reported. people using cell-phones, tablets and laptops are being denied the choice to include in their tweets, facbook posts, instagram comments, and elsewhere across the digi-verse, an emoji of the Tibetan flag. The reason is due to a decision reached by the Unicode Consortium (UC), an umbrella organization comprised of major vendors such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Mozilla and others, who vote an approval for the emojis we use. No endorsement, no emoji. Now it’s probably no accident that many of the organizations who get to authorize on these have commercial relations with China, and we all know what the regime of that country thinks of the Tibetan flag. Right?
We are curently sending a direct appeal to all the major voters within the UC detailing why they should approve an emoji of Tibet’s flag. Not least of all because to deny Tibetans around the world, and those who support the Tibetan cause for freedom, the option to display that emblem in their communincations on social media is a flagrant denial of freedom-of-expression. Of course such lobbying may or may not realize a change of position from such organizations, and for sure it will prove a long haul. With that in mind until such time as Tibet’s national emblem is accorded an emoji we are hereby issuing notice that we’ve hijacked the Sunrise Over Mountains emoji 🌄 which we shall be using as substitute symbol for the Tibetan flag. Sharing as it does with the Tibetan emblem the central feature of the sun rising above the mountain we think it’s an apposite symbol.
In keeping with principles of compassion and non-violence we shall make every effort to ensure that the kidnapped emoji is comfortable and in good health. However it’s release is entirely contigent upon the Unicode Consortium and its multi-national corporations meeting in full our demand that they approve an emoji for the flag of Tibet.
Meanwhile we shall be inviting our friends across social-media and those supporting human-rights, Tibet and free-speech to join us in using this emoji to represent the Tibetan flag.
No genocide exists in a vacuum and while responsibility can often be justly placed upon an originating tyranny, be it China’s regime, the Khymer Rouge, or dictators such as Stalin and Hitler the atrocities and oppression which spring from such fascistic authority are often enabled and tolerated by the political and economic interests of other states. Some go further of course and encourage and fund state-terrorism, we need only to assess the history between the CIA and Pol Pot to realize that ethics can be relegated below geo-strategic requirements. Sure the Western Allies went to war against the Nazis, but there was much appeasement, indifference and indeed financial, as well as academic cooperation with Hitler’s Germany that took place. Would the horrors that came to define Germany during that period have been prevented or significantly reduced had the world presented, from the rise of Hitler, a unified and determined stance against fascism?
Of course it was not in the political and more importantly commercial interest of countries to destablize relations with Germany in the years prior to the Second World War. Yet they were aware of the accounts of labor-camps, forced-sterilization laws and growing persecution of Gypsies and Jews, but took vitually no action. Such economically driven apathy sent a clear signal to the Nazis that the wider world cared so little of such reports as to be interpreted as an acceptance of their vicious campaign of suppression.
A similar theatre of callousness is emboldening the Chinese regime while Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians, and Manchurians are suffering a genocidal assault against their cultural and national identity. Concentration camps are housing up to a million Uyghurs, existing in a dark misery, abused and indoctrinated with the approved ideology of China’s totalitarian authority. Human rights violations mostly ignored, the eradication of Tibetan and Uyghur culture barely mentioned, apart from the occasional platitude from a United Nations official or carefully worded report. Global media too facilitates the odious excesses of dictator Xi Jinpeng, its reportage, with far too few notable and sadly isolated examples, preoccupied with a narrative that in-the-main avoids or treads very softly on the nature and extent of tyranny that characterizes China’s policies towards Tibet and East Turkestan.
What’s behind such engineered disinterest? The political and financial concerns of states which have long elevated trade interests with China above unease on human rights and the brutal denial of freedom being witnessed against Tibetans and Uyghurs. What’s been a global scramble to profit from the opportunities of a Chinese market has resulted in a dilution of foreign policy anxieties on China and almost extinction of ethical structuring of such protocols. When governments issue bland and acutely worded cautions on human rights related issues on China their target audience is not the vile and corrupted terrorists of the Chinese regime, but a domestic one. Better show folks at least some pretence of valuing the principles we make so much noise about as exemplifying our national values on liberty, justice and rights. These of course are being trampled into the dust by China’s paramilitary as they inflict measures of control and abuse that Himmler’s SS would have recognized!
Yet it is largely silence that dominates the global response, as business, media corporations and politicians grovel to Beijing, signalling to China that in real terms they are unconcerned by the harrowing atrocities and war of genocide against Tibetan and Uyghur culture. Like their Twentieth Century counterparts their greed-driven indifference makes them complict enablers of the harrowing crimes being perpetrated against the people of occupied Tibet, East Turkestan and China itself.