With armed paramilitary roaming the streets, security checks, 24/7 cctv surveillance, over 100 ‘police’ stations and a number of interrogation centers Mr Wang Yongpu a head of Chinese law enforcement proudly declared (March 13, 2019) such measures as resulting in Lhasa, the capital of occupied Tibet, as being virtually crime free.
By ‘crime’ of course he doesn’t mean robbery, traffic offenses, assault and the like, nope he’s talking public dissent against China’s illegal and violent occupation of Tibet.
The city has been on lockdown since China invaded in 1950. Tibetans terrorized into a state of compliance, made aware of the grim consequences of opposing Chinese rule. Torture, forced-labor camps, midnight raids on houses family members disappearing into the darkness.
The latest measures of oppression, including identity cards, facial recognition technology and tight restictions on movement across Lhasa have added to the suffocation endured by Tibetans.
Behind however the technology and security stratagies being praised by the Chinese regime what is maintaining the so-called ‘social harmony’ is the daily reality facing the people of Lhasa that any expression of opposition to China’s presence results in broken bodies and destroyed minds.
* The details of the photographers who took these images have been withheld for reasons of security. These can be added by contacting us to authorize.
This remarkable photograph was taken on March 12, 1959. as thousands of Tibetan women demonstrated against Chinese tyranny and massed around the Potala Palace Lhasa to show support for and protect the Dalai Lama from China’s army of occupation. Which had begun its deadly repression against legitimate Tibetan protests that sought freedom from an illegal and violent Chinese rule. We remember and salute the courage and sacrifice of those brave Tibetan women, whose spirit of resistance continues in the ongoing demands of Tibet’s people for their rightful independence.
Anyone with an interest in Tibet will eventually come across online references to Tibet being a part of China or claims insisting that since ancient times Tibetans have been ruled by China or under its control and influence. Such assertions promoted by propaganda mouthpieces such as Xinhua, Global Times and China Daily are usually accompanied by three deceptions and distortions. Which we take great delight in exposing below:
The ‘Ancient Tibetan King Had A Chinese Wife Claim’
The recorded claim that Wencheng, a Chinese Princess married the 7th Century Tibetan king Songsten Gambo is one of the devices used to press the falsehood of China’s claims over Tibet. Arguing that her marriage with a Tibetan ruler established a legitimacy regarding Chinese claims on Tibet. This specious reasoning is of course a nonsense. The Tibetan ruler in question also received a Nepalese wife at the same time, so perhaps Nepal should counter China’s cynical and baseless claims!
To further understand how ridiculous these bogus assertions are we need to look, not in 7th Century Tibet, but medieval France and its rival England. At a time equally marked by power politics and alliances. It is around the year 1122 and Éléonore de Guyenne was born. She was to become one of the most powerful and richest women in Europe. Receiving the title Duchess of Aquitaine, and eventually queen consort of France (1137–1152) and of England (1154–1189). Eleanor of Aquitane, as English historians recorded her name, married on May 18 1152 her cousin, Henry Plantagent, who was to become two years later the King of England.
The marriage lasted some thirteen years during which she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become kings, and three daughters. Clearly a dynastic alliance and important to note one involving family members, all of whom were French, including England’s ruler! Now if we apply China’s distorted ‘reasoning’ that asserts legitimacy over Tibet, on the basis of ancient allegiances and marriage, then we must now consider that France could lay claim to the United Kingdom due to the historical truth of Eleanor’s marriage to Henry II of England!
The ‘Tibet Was Under The Control of The Yuan Dynasty Claim’
The so-called Yuan Dynasty during which China’s regime insists Tibet was part of China was in fact a time (nearly a hundred years in duration) when China proper was controlled, occupied and ruled by the Mongolians. Who while extending influence over, never conquered Tibet. Chinese historians and its present regime try to conceal the historical fact that China was part of the Mongolian Empire (dominated by non-Han rulers) by naming it as the ‘Yuan (new) Dynasty’.
China’s propagandists argue that as Tibet was within the territory ruled by so-called Yuan Dynasty is evidence that it historically is an inalienable part of China. Oh boy! The truth is that on the reasoning of conquest and political power it is Mongolians, the foreign rulers who occupied and ruled China at that period who can more legitimately claim that Tibet belongs to Mongolia!
The ‘Tibet Came Under The Patronage Of A Chinese Emperor Claim’
The final falsehood employed to press claims of legitimacy of Chinese rule over Tibet uses the argument of ‘previous control’. However this assertion derives from the Qing Dynasty when the Emperor K’ang Hsi (who was himself was a Manchu being Central Asian and not Chinese) intervened in Tibetan affairs, most particularly relating to Buddhism. Establishing what China’s regime claims was a condition of suzerainty over Tibet.
Well a few important considerations here, firstly the Dynasty in question (like that of cynically renamed ‘Yuan’) was not Chinese but Manchurian, a people and culture who had more in common with Tibetans than the Han society. Secondly although Chinese forces established military victories in some parts of eastern Tibet, large parts of such territory was regained by Tibetans in 1865 and later Chinese control was ended there when Tibetans expelled Chinese forces in the early 20th Century.
So there we have it folks, next time you see any hysterical (no mispelling there) claims that Tibet has always been a part of China you know what to say to such BS.
Here we go again folks, as the circus otherwise known as the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), hits downtown NYC. It’s 63rd session convenes today and the defenders of women’s rights will no doubt be investing much energy, committment and rhetoric on issues of equality, empowerment and justice for women.
What however they will not be doing is giving any attention to the subject of forced sterilizations, this obvious and harrowing violation of women’s human rights is taboo.
Each year we expose and challenge the hypocrisy and silence of UNCSW, UN Women and the associated NGO Forum. All of which are consumed with concern on a range of issues impacting women, including reproductive rights.
Yet they refuse to make clear their opposition to forced sterilizations, which China’s regime is still implementing, and are in denial to the reality that reproductive freedoms surely includes the right for a woman not to be forcibly sterilized!
We’re going to be active on this during the two weeks that the UNCSW is in session. Keep updated via our Twitter account @tibettruth and Facebook page /digitalactivism
It’s been an amazing day of global action for Tibet’s just cause. Rallies around the continents of the world have raised the Tibetan flag and shown solidarity with the Tibetan people and their rightful demands for an independent Tibet. As we write this ongoing actions are still taking place in New York City, San Francisco, Boston and Minnesota.
Today is the commemoration of the Lhasa Uprisings of 1959, 1987-89 and 2008 when Tibetans took to the streets to oppose Chinese rule, at a disturbing cost to lives and individual freedom. The response from China’s regime was brutal, mass arrests, torture, Tibetans gunned-down, the record of these protests is bloody indeed.
After the March 10 1959 uprising the Chinese regime was quick to forge the narrative of a failed rebellion, releasing staged footage of Tibetans surrendering and laying down rifles. It was a story taken up by global media and decades later remains a journalistic cliché when reporting on the event.
No doubt this brings a warm glow of satisfaction to China’s Ministry of Propaganda, yet in consistently framing events in Lhasa on that day as a failure journalists are offering a slanted and less than complete account. For example in focusing on the military supremacy of China’s troops the courage, determination of Tibetans is ignored.
Yet it was their resistance and heroism which organized and protected the Dalai Lama’s journey into exile. That action resulted in the establishment of the exiled Tibetan government, creation of Tibetan settlements in India and the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture for the tens of thousands of Tibetans who followed their leader across the Himalaya.
Moreover armed resistance to Chinese rule had predated the Lhasa Uprising (Tibetans inflicting significant losses on China’s army), this guerilla movement continued until the 1970s, only to be betrayed by then President Nixon and his advisor Henry Kissinger.
In truth the Tibetan spirit of defiance for Tibet’s national freedom was not defeated in Lhasa on March 10 1959, as evidenced by the continuence of the struggle, and revealed in mass-demonstrations of the 1980s and during 2008. This is not a failure, but a response of determination, bravery and hope. Such commitment continues today as Tibetans and their supporters around the world come together to raise the national flag of Tibet.
Journalists who write on this matter need to be mindful of these factors and think carefully about uncritically repeating China’s official line on events in Lhasa at that time. Is it really about being ‘balanced’ when talking of a ‘failed uprising’, minus important factual context? We wonder if the same correspondents and news agencies consistently describe the United States involvements in Afghanistan or Vietnam as ‘failed military campaigns’?
Having endured freezing temperatures and the ever present hazards of traffic since walking from Philadelphia to New York City, the magnificent seven Tibetan marchers for Tibet’s independence will be arriving outside the UN building at 8.30 AM. Later in the day there’s a rally including guest speakers; Sonam Wangdu, Jamyang Norbu, Dorjee Tseten and Tseten Lhagyal, all strong voices for Tibet’s national freedom. If you can make it do come along and show your solidarity.