Throughout the years of our activism and research on Tibet and its cause we’ve seen an increasing willingness from international academics to collaborate with China’s regime. Although aware of the censorship, human rights abuses and violent oppression of against not only Chinese citizens, but the occupied lands of Tibet, East Turkistan, Southern Mongolia and Manchuria, career and bank-balance considerations have taken precedence.
Thankfully there are those, when viewing China’s tyranny and toxic international leverage, choose not the path of self-serving silence but act with integrity and courage. One such individual is Prof. Anne-Marie Brady of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, who has exposed and reported upon the growing influence of China’s communist party within countries around the world.
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.
Organizers of the CONIFA World Cup 2018 have announced details of first round matches to be played by the Tibetan national soccer team. The first match will be against Abkhazia at 12.00 PM May 31st, the game will be played at the home of English side, Enfield Town FC.
The same venue hosts their next match as Tibet play Northern Cyprus, this takes place at 5 PM June 2.
Occasionally the past has to revisited, especially if events are being re-written and used to deceive and mislead. After all a key objective of this portal on Tibet is to ensure just and challenging reportage. With that in mind we were prompted to draft this expose after receiving a heads-up from our Twitter team @tibettruth. They monitor Tibet related timelines and discovered an account (see image below) which is pushing a major falsehood regarding the political aspirations of Tibetans in occupied Tibet.
This assertion is a gross distortion and designed to mislead those across social media who have little knowledge of the Tibetan issue. You may be wondering why someone would choose to misrepresent this subject? Clearly there’s an agenda at play, one that has a worrying similarity with the propaganda of China’s regime, pushing the falsehood that Tibetans are content under Chinese rule. Of course to make a lie more palatable a suggestion of credibility helps, and whoever is behind the account has been careful to reference the exiled Tibetan authority. However, that’s another deception, so let’s break this all down and drag the deception into the light.
In 2008 the first Special General Meeting of Tibetans was held in Dharamsala, India from November 17 to 22. During that event Mr Karma Chophel, then Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile announced the results of a covert ‘survey’ taken inside Tibet. In which he claimed 17, 000 Tibetans had been asked for their opinions on what solution they favored on Tibet’s status. It was not made clear how this clandestine questionnaire had been made possible, nor its methodology or indeed the form and nature of questions supposedly presented. The ‘results’ claimed that over 8000 Tibetans stated they’d follow the policy of the Dalai Lama (no surprise there then) while 2000 expressed support for the Middle Way policy. Significantly 5000 Tibetans were said to have demanded an end to the Middle Way in favor of a policy for Tibet’s independence. ( Source: Tibet’s Last Stand, Warren J Smith, 2010).
It is this claim made by the late Mr Karma Chophel which appears to be the source of the fabricated assertions being promoted by the Twitter account shown above, distorted selectively and re-worded to emphasize a core deception. The term ‘poll’ has clear meaning and interpretation to any reader within the relatively free societies of liberal democracies, it also implies a certain authority. But the process of determining public opinion on political issues as hot as Tibet is not tolerated by China’s tyrannical regime. Anyone conducting such a survey, those taking part and their families would face torture, jail, forced labor or execution. The notion therefore that Tibetans took part in a poll to express their view on Tibet’s future status is a nonsense! Furthermore with several million Tibetans not participating in this ‘survey’ the assertion that 71% of Tibet’s population wish to stay within China is a blatant lie and completely inaccurate.
There has never been any political surveys or polls conducted in occupied Tibet, while the exiled Tibetan Administration offers little detail on the subject.
Hardly the democratic will of the Tibetan people, nor an actual referendum, but informal opinions and proposals, selecting to overlook that on the specific subject of support for the Middle Way those claimed to have declared their views expressed more support for Tibetan independence. Meanwhile, without any evidence of the methodology employed, nor structure and content of the questions, such declarations are claims only. Contrast these with the wealth of reports, eyewitness testimony and media accounts that document Tibetans protesting year-after-year for their national freedom.
This is something of an update to a previous post we wrote on the subject. Prompted by the fact we just received a report from Science Daily on the subject of genetic traits that enabled Tibetans to adapt and thrive in the extreme conditions that apply in Tibet. On the face of it another scientific paper saturated with jargon that offers a balanced and impartial analysis. But as subscribers to this Blog will be aware whenever the Chinese regime’s involved a particularly careful scrutiny needs to be applied. especially on matters relating to Tibet. So with that in mind take a look at the following:
“Further analysis showed that Han Chinese and Tibetan subpopulations split as early as 44 to 58 thousand years ago, but that gene flow between the groups continued until approximately 9 thousand years ago.“ (Emphasis added) Source: Hu H, Petousi N, Glusman G, Yu Y, Bohlender R, Tashi T, et al. Evolutionary history of Tibetans inferred from whole-genome sequencing. PLOS Genetics, April 2017
Now away from the rarefied exactitude of genetic science, what is being implied by the comments above regarding the Tibetan population? Maybe you see it differently but we’re reading that Tibetan DNA has been associated with the Han Chinese population since very ancient times indeed. A curious assertion, and a touch misleading, after all there was not existing at that time period a ‘Han’ society, nor such an entity as ‘China’. These are political and cultural terms, which we should remind ourselves are actively promoted, exploited and enforced by no less than the propaganda ministry of China’s regime. Indeed the idea that Tibet has been ‘part of China since ancient times’ is a recurring and bogus claim made by the Chinese authorities to attempt to legitimize and justify its rule over Tibetans.
Any supplementary material which could bolster such fact-free assertions would be of service to China’s government, especially if it had the seeming authority of an independent and objective study! Does this perhaps explain the puzzling presence, in an otherwise dry research on genetic adaptations, of comments that carry more resemblance to political disinformation than empirical neutrality? Are academics being manipulated? Or is it a willing complicity from researchers who have compromised in order to service and progress their academic status and opportunities of working within China and occupied territories such as Tibet?
We’ve raised such questions before and there’s a history of scientific papers on Tibet that slyly promote the official dogma of China’s regime on the matter of Tibet. A 2014 Chinese academic study concluded ancient migrations into Tibet came from an area known as the Loess Plateau, which just happens to be within contemporary Chinese provinces!
“This study reconstructs the history of human migration to the Tibetan Plateau (sic) and discusses the possible mechanisms involved. We propose that humans first arrived in the relatively low elevation Northeastern Tibetan Plateau (sic) from the adjacent Western Loess Plateau via the He-Huang Valley, and then moved further south to the central plateau.”
Source: D. Zhang, G. Dong, H. Wang, X. Ren, P. Ha, M. Qiang, F. Chen, History and possible mechanisms of prehistoric human migration to the Tibetan Plateau, Chin. Sci. Bull. (2016)
No surprise that this paper seeks to legitimize, through dubious claims and flawed science, that Tibetans are derived from Chinese territory, politics and the demands of China’s propaganda saturate any academic activity regarding Tibet. Of course the distant time of such migrations was, if it occurred, long before Han Chinese culture, or the territorial entity of China existed. Such facts though are not allowed to obstruct the covert objectives of this study. To promote the falsehood that Tibetans, their culture, history and lands are derived from and part of China.
Genetic anthropology is the new kid on the breaking-science block, a mixture of hard laboratory research, spiced with statistical extrapolation and sometimes reaching conclusions that are supported more by affirmation than objective and empirically verifiable evidence. It’s smoke and mirrors, given a sexy make-over by the gleam of 21st Century genetic pioneering. However unlike its older scientific brothers and sisters its findings, particularly relating to ancient genetic histories are open to question and cannot be as easily or conclusively proved through regular scientific process.
This enables considerable space for speculation and assertions, that while attracting media attention, in themselves should be treated with caution, especially when such studies seek to ascribe a particular ethnological origin to a present day people. Our genetic heritage on a personal and collective level derives from a vastly rich and diverse source, through countless generations we have received numerous ethnological inputs, while ancient migrations traversed the continents carrying an admixture of Haplogroups, Successive contacts between differing groups and later cultures combined to ensure that we are more ‘children of the universe’ than belonging to one particular ethnic culture. Long live that variety!
Researchers in the field however seem to take a different view and invest considerable time and effort in claiming that the genetic origins of a present day population group can be determined, innocent enough you may think. What though if such claims could serve a political agenda, or perhaps an even darker motive?
Ms Anna Di Rienzo, a Professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago has just released the findings of a study in which she claims: “Modern Tibetans appear to descend from populations related to modern Sherpa and Han Chinese. Tibetans carry a roughly even mixture of two ancestral genomes” (Editorial Note: Why she implies Sherpas are a distinct people from Tibetans is curious as it is considered that they are originally a group from Tibet who about 500 years ago migrated to the area now claimed by Nepal)
No doubt such a claim will delight the propaganda ministry of China’s regime which is un-sleeping in its efforts to convince the world that Tibetans are Chinese and Tibet historically a part of China. The assertions made by Ms Di Renzio refers to ‘two ancestral gene pools – one belonging to a group that migrated 30,000 years ago and adapted to high altitudes’. Now while China’s antiquity is given special emphasis
“Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The written history of China can be found as early as the Shang Dynasty (c. 1700–1046 BC),” (Source;Wiki)
It’s cultural identity and territorial existence most certainly did not exist in the time frame of the supposed migration referred to by the study, indeed it appears that evidence of any remotely ‘Chinese’ culture made its first appearance during the Neolithic, which began around 10,200 BC, nearly 20, 000 years AFTER the claimed migration of the claimed ancestral gene-pool migration that Ms Di Rienzo suggests party formed the present Tibetan population!
It would be like an Archeologist describing the recently discovered 900,000 year-old foot prints in England as being made by a group from France!
Equally it’s a touch misleading to describe a mysterious and unverifiable population group that seemingly existed, some 20, 000 years (prior to even the emergence of the Neolithic) as ‘Han-Chinese’! That being so just why has this respected and experienced academic’s findings been phrased in such a way as to suggest that Tibetans are genetically part Han-Chinese? At this point the question is which party would most benefit from claiming that Tibetans partly are genetically derived from the Han-Chinese?
The answer is of course China’s Regime. Now nobody is saying that Ms Di Rienzo is part of an orchestration designed to promote the propaganda claims of the Chinese authorities. Yet the presentational wording of her study could be very easily seen in that light. Such an interpretation is given additional credibility by those troubled to see the involvement of Case Western Reserve University, whose anthropology department has a long association with China, lead by Melvyn Goldstein a figure who divides opinion within the Tibetan movement and has been criticized as an ‘anthro-apologist’ for China’s rule in Tibet. His writings on Tibet have attracted serious concern, notably from Tibetan author Jamyang Norbu
“Beijing appears to regard Goldstein as the premier Tibet scholar on its side. If one goes into the Chinese government white papers on Tibet and checks out The Historical Inevitability of Tibet’s Modernization, The first and key reference cited is Goldstein’s History of Modern Tibet: the Demise of the Lamaist State. This book is extremely important to China’s propagandists, because it is the only extensive account of pre-invasion Tibet and its government that is not only harshly condemnatory of Tibetans, but presents a very convincing appearance of meticulous research and authentic scholarship” (Source: http://www.jamyangnorbu.com/blog/2008/07/13/running-dog-propagandists/ )
Whatever the facts the manner in which these researches have been presented has the appearance of a political gloss, yet they are factually misleading and lack any verifiable empirical testing to conclusively prove the claims made. Would it not have been possible for Ms Di Rienzo and her academic partners to have outlined the results in the following, more neutral fashion?
‘The data our research has produced suggests that Tibetans are genetically linked to a possible migration that could have occurred some 30, 000 years ago, the precise location of a source point is unknown’
We leave it to our subscribers and visitors here to judge if this study constitutes independent science or propaganda disguised as bona-fide research?
It’s arrived, the final day of the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW) meeting in New York. A lot of folks will have seen, or been following our activism in exposing and challenging the censorship, which this event regularly imposes upon the subject of forced sterilizations. We’ve been greatly assisted in bringing awareness of this matter by our many friends on Twitter. Thanks to such solidarity and 24/7 action from @tibettruth people across social media are discovering the hypocrisy, denial and evasion, from organizations who declare themselves as champions of women’s human rights. There remains however the big question, and we are asked a lot about this, why is this horrifying example of violence against women being ignored?
Well here’s our take, drawn from years of campaigning, research, writing and lobbying on this issue. There’s a number of forces at work within the annual session of the UNCSW and the parallel Non-Government Forum which ensure the topic is not included.
1) A prevailing belief, though not often allowed expression, in which family-planning (including the brutal and coercive kind) is seen as enabling women a greater chance to enjoy more fully educational and employment opportunities and economic progress.
2) There’s also an unthinking subscription to the flawed and outdated Malthusian demographic model linking ‘sustainable’ population levels to resources. Those following this concept naturally find all sorts of rationalizations to reducing the global population. The result is a dangerous and delusional tolerance towards coercive birth control, on the basis of ‘the greater good’!
3) On the surface there’s an almost convincing display of unity of purpose from those in attendance, everyone seems to be ‘on message’ (so much so that the jargon and slogans which endlessly fill the cavernous interiors of the UN seem to be engineered!) But below the collectively synchronized rhetoric there’s a noticeable fragmentation. Or perhaps compartmentalization would best describe it. A developed sense of the myopic with each NGO so consumed with its own agenda or topic that it becomes either indifferent too and or ignorant of any issue beyond the lens of its preoccupation.
4) Lastly, and perhaps the most influencing factor which censors any mention of forced sterilizations, is that exerted by a hierarchy. We’ve seen it operate over a few years now, populated by a handful of politically positioned individuals. They occupy key roles within both the UNCSW and UN Women and are supported by what is effectively an executive cabal drawn from a range of leading Women’s groups. The record of these organizations concerning the subject of forced sterilizations is evidence enough that they are extremists, who have long ago abandoned any sense of conscience or integrity in exchange for the benefits of career, status and self-promotion. With such a mindset steering events is it any wonder that the suffering inflicted by forced sterilizations is willfully ignored?
We have been in and out of the CSW61 since March 11, it’s not been easy witnessing the censorship and manipulation which operates, yet clearly there are some well motivated people who attend. Others are so carried away by the event that no critical assessment of procedures is possible. Many are distracted by their selective cause, while some wander from meeting to meeting in wide-eyed naivety, while the anointed few guarantee the chosen agenda is promoted. Everywhere the officially approved sound-bytes are repeated, more in an act of faith than critical examination, in that sense it has all the superficiality and troubling phoniness of a cult. The adherents of this ideology are convinced that in following the creed (packaged, marketed and sold by the UNCSW) they are advancing women’s rights. Maybe they are. But only those meeting the approval of, and conforming to, the politically correct orthodoxy!
February 13 is Tibetan Independence Day an event recalling the historic sovereignty of Tibet and the fact that Tibet remains within international law an independent nation under illegal occupation. We salute the brave people inside Tibet who continue to oppose Chinese rule.
On this occasion it is important to remind our Tibetan friends that we stand with you in your just cause for national independence and we shall continue to do all we can in active solidarity with the movement for Tibet’s national liberation.
In this we are given very welcome support from people around the world and are really grateful to all those who offer their knowledge, skills and donations towards our efforts. We also acknowledge the contributions made by Anonymous activists, who today are taking action against Chinese government websites.
So what thus far has been the response of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) to international outrage that China, which allows the annual slaughter of dogs at Yulin, is to host the 2019 World Dog Show. What does the FCI say to global citizens who are dismayed and opposed to its agreement to rename traditional Tibetan dog breeds as being ‘Chinese’? Well here’s a statement from Mr Rafael de Santiago the President of the FCI as published by ‘Canine Chronicle’. We advise that these comments should be examined with a healthy degree of critique, especially the content hiding ‘between the lines’, which we have for purposes of clarification, plus it’s just too darn tough to resist, offered a responsetomarked in red.
“Always attentive to the opinion of the breeders worldwide, we took note of the uproar concerning the attribution of the 2019 World Dog Show to China and to the decision regarding the country of origin of the following breeds : DO-KHYI (230), TIBETAN TERRIER (209), TIBETAN SPANIEL (231), LHASA APSO (227) and SHIH TZU (208).
Whilst we understand the concern expressed by the breeders worldwide about both situations, the FCI wishes to inform that the decision to grant the organization of the WDS 2019 to China was taken by a decision of our General Assembly where 68 countries were present or represented and by a large majority of votes, in total transparency and according to the principles of democracy internationally recognised and accepted…..” (Emphasis added)
So on the fallacious pretext of democratic process even the most ethically unsound and morally dubious action is absolved of any principled and moral responsibility by virtue of a consensus? On that basis presumably the Mr de Santiago and the FCI would countenance the mass culling of stray dogs, and defend the decision by claiming a democratic mandate! Of course the FCI is using a straw-man defense here, but let’s return to his statement….
Mr de Santiago continues.….”That decision was made on basis of a very open and complete presentation made by our Chinese member, CKU, during which our Chinese member delegation has clearly mentioned the cultural differences between China and most of the other countries in the world.” (Emphasis added)
Ah! Now where have we heard this line before? That’s right from the very same Chinese regime that permits the persecution and slaughter of dogs, inflicts a range of harrowing human rights atrocities against its own people, wages a genocidal assault against Tibet and its culture, violently denies free-speech, imposes a blanket of censorship across the media, administers a program of forced sterilizations, and runs a network of forced-labor camps where political and religious prisoners are being butchered for their organs! None of these harrowing realities bother the FCI which in a staggering example of credulity has swallowed the argument used by the Chinese authorities when it is regularly challenged on human rights issues, namely that the world needs to give China special consideration because it’s culture is ‘different’. In other words human rights are according to the torturers of Bejing specific and defined, not by universality, but cultural factors. We’ve been hearing this nauseating excuse for years, meanwhile the violations continue.
The President goes on...”The FCI sees it as an excellent opportunity to raise awareness among the Chinese population that the dog, our beloved friend, is a member of our families, a living entity and most of all Man’s best Friend”. (Emphasis added)
Anyone who read our previous post ‘China Is Not Fit To Host The 2019 World Dog Show’may recall that we mentioned in that article how the FCI, like the International Olympic Committee and Governments worldwide, hides behind what has proved a failed and empty promise of ‘constructive engagement’ with China. This approach would have you believe that in working within China a moderating influence is exerted and the more odious excesses of the Chinese regime, or in the case of animal cruelty, are moderated. This jaded and threadbare justification has proved over and over to be utterly vacuous, the abuses continue, oppression, shootings and torture remain, while the suits of the IOC or the FCI wring their hands and offer platitudes about ‘improvements’ and ‘awareness’.
Mr de Santiago then says…“In addition, we find it important to clarify that our Chinese member, CKU, is an FCI full member. As such, CKU has the right to ask to be the country of origin of the breeds indicated above. It is important to know that any change in a breed standard can be implemented worldwide if and only if the FCI General Committee, following recommendations of the FCI Standards and Scientific Commissions, approves it.”. (Emphasis added)
Now we get down to it, in the above remark Mr de Santiago and the FCI openly acknowledges, and is endorsing that Tibet is; and presumably they would also agree, has been an inalienable part of China. In truth however that is a falsehood. Indeed in terms of international law Tibet remains an independent nation under an illegal occupation. That fact however does not concern the President of the FCI who ‘reasons’ that since these breeds are supposedly from within the ‘country of origin’ China therefore retains a right to rename the Lhasa Apso or Tibetan Terrier as more Chinese sounding titles. This line of thinking is effectively an endorsement of military aggression and colonization, which is precisely how Tibet was annexed by China in 1950.
The FCI President concludes…“Nowadays, the FCI is more than ever committed to the betterment and safeguard of the Dog and to promoting its welfare, love and respect in the four corners of the world.”
Really? What kind of double-think is going on here? So to protect the dogs of China, the most effective course of action is to collaborate with the world’s most heinous and blood-soaked regime and support hosting the World Dog Show in Shanghai? While in the very same country at Yulin and elsewhere countless numbers of dogs are being abused, tortured and killed. It’s rather like imagining the International Red Cross announcing in 1939 that in order to advance the rights of Polish Gypsies and Jews it will be attending a conference hosted, approved and financed by the National Socialist Party!
Once again the Nepalese authorities have revealed where their allegiances rest, forgotten now is the solidarity. generosity and compassion shown by exiled Tibetans towards the people of Nepal during the earthquake that devastated that country in 2015. As Tibetans in Kathmandu gathered to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday this week the Nepalese authorities, ever keen to impress their Chinese paymasters, sent in the police to beat and arrest Tibetans, while tearing down images of the Dalai Lama. What short memories the politicians and police force of Nepal has!