A comment often made across social media by those with an interest or sympathy towards a free Tibet is ‘I wish I could do more’. Of course unless you are able to devote time and energy towards the issue the daily demands of life, family or work understandably tend to take priority. However that does not mean that what efforts you can make are not of merit, perhaps the most valuable contribution is to share, post and promote information, reports, images on Tibet. The reason such action is so critical is due in part to an information vacuum, arising from a mainstream media which often only superficially reports on Tibet or worse, simply repeats the official line of the Chinese regime.
So getting information out there which does expose the situation inside Tibet is vital, and a few minutes sharing such accounts across your social media sites or an a Blog is an important counterbalance to the relative absence of media coverage. Secondly, it should be remembered that many people on the internet are unaware about the plight of Tibet, sharing links, images and reports is therefore a really positive and powerful way to increase understanding and knowledge. Lastly by spending a few minutes on your favorite social media and posting information about how Tibetans suffer under the grim excesses of Chinese occupation challenges the lies and denials of China’s regime. That sure generates a warm glow!
Being a digital warrior for a free Tibet has never been easier, with a tap, swipe or click you can ensure, in only a moment, that your friends and fellow internet users have easy access to information that mainstream media either ignores or dilutes. So, please make sure to post and share articles, news and images from our Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts. Such support is deeply appreciated.
We have got bad news for girls and boys around the world who maybe counting down the days to December 25 a previously unknown militia calling themselves Screw China Brigade have released a press statement today declaring that they have kidnapped Santa. The communique features a number of demands, including the following threat:
“Unless parents exercise caution and awareness in buying presents this Season and ensure they do not purchase products Made in China then Santa’s ability to deliver any gifts shall be seriously placed at risk.It’s your call people!” SCB November 25
In light of the gravity of this situation and to avoid trauma being inflicted to families we support the initiative calling for a boycott of goods made in China and advise our friends to support this action by avoiding Chinese products this forthcoming holiday season.
TYC urges Tibetans (& friends of Tibetan independence) to keep in mind two very important dates:
13th September, 2012 They urge the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of different areas, NGOs, organizations, and individuals to organize solidarity campaigns on the 13th September, 2012 to show their strong support and solidarity to the demands and the appeal of the TYC-Indefinite hunger strike.
16th September, 2012 : Do raise the Tibetan flag outside your houses and at 8.30pm sharp that night, turn off the lights for just 2 minutes to Show solidarity with Tibetan Martrys and 3 Hunger Striker.
As distinct territories the now occupied lands of Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria appeared in atlases and upon maps throughout the later 19th and 20th Centuries, See: 1911 Map Click On New Window.
Look in most atlases today and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the name ‘Tibet’, while the other territories have been removed completely by the vast majority of cartographers. Tibet itself usually features as the truncated geo-political creation, named by communist China as ‘‘Tibet Autonomous Region’. Closer inspection will reveal that former Tibetan place-names such as Shigatse have been changed to more Chinese-sounding Xigatse. This is no accident, Communist China has a ‘Geographical Place-Names Committee’ whose task is to invent Chinese place names to replace those in areas such as Tibet and East Turkestan; it is part of a deliberate attempt to present Tibet as a bona-fide part of China. Sadly, some leading western map publishers and geographical institutions are assisting this deception by publishing Sinocised maps of Tibet. Even the respected National Geographic (NG) has promoted this cynical and political fiction, and appears unwilling to feature genuine Tibetan place names in its publications. It was not always so as its maps had for decades had shown Tibet clearly marked, along with non-Chinese versions of Tibetan towns.
1970s NG Map Showing Non-Sinocized Place Names In Tibet
Following many years of presenting Tibet on its maps with non-Chinese variants of Tibetan place names, by 1980 people had noticed and questioned if NG had approved the use of Chinese-sounding names? What does seem certain is at that time original phonetic renderings of Tibetan names were cleared from its maps, to give way to Sinocized versions, an act which supported the bogus claim that Tibet was part of Chinese territory. Given the eminent position of NG within the academic, map-making and geographic community it was not long before other cartographers followed suit in endorsing, through maps and atlases, China’s propaganda assertions concerning Tibet’s territorial status.
Yet National Geographic’s Map Policy assures the public that its cartography “strives to be apolitical” that being so how does its Map Committee explain what seems to have been a considered change of policy towards its maps of Tibet, possibly decided sometime in the very late 1970s, by approving the Sinofication of Tibetan place names. Such an action, taken we must imagine with the knowledge and possible encouragement and cooperation of China’s regime, surely constitutes a political action on the part of National Geographic? What could have prompted this troubling decision to appease China’s regime by substituting bogus Chinese versions of Tibetan place names, which NG had formerly faithfully represented? Some may argue that the respected journal was simply reflecting a political reality, well if that was so why, given Tibet was illegally annexed in 1950 and subsequently came under the military and political tyranny of China, did National Geographic continue for nearly thirty years to accurately represent authentic Tibetan place names on its maps? The political facts were that Tibet had been occupied for decades, yet to its credit NG had rightly followed a policy that featured Tibetan place names, those circumstances had not changed, so what had influenced National Geographic, to what appears to have been a deliberate policy change?
Was it purely coincidental that around 1980 China was beginning to open its doors to greater academic and economic contact with the West? Did the propspect of engagement with China, and the no doubt alluring academic, career and financial benefits, prove an irresistable determinant? Whatever the facts, in deciding to produce maps that show Tibet and its settlements with Chinese-sounding names surely benefits China’s propaganda aims, to persuade the world of the supposed legitimacy of its claims over Tibet.
It is surely time to put Tibet back on the world map, minus China’s poisonous distortions, if you agree please help us by emailing National Geographic and asking them to restore Tibet and authentic Tibetan place names on its maps and atlases. They may be contacted here: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: Map extracts here are for educational purposes to supplement written content.