For anyone selfish or unthinking enough to take a vacation to Lhasa its likely they will join a tour to Sera Monastery just north of the Tibetan capital. There they can see monks enjoying Buddhist debate, marvel at the traditional architecture and absorb the peaceful environs at which Buddhism is flourishing.
Meanwhile behind that staged show of supposed cultural freedom a darker reality exists for Tibetans, although you would not come into contact with that during your tightly controlled and monitored time at Sera.
Image: Eric Baculinao
We wonder how such tourists would feel about their Tibet trip had they been in attendance at a March 13 meeting in Sera during which a panel of Tibetan collaborators (Lhakpa Tsering ‘Lhasa, Monastery Management Committee Director’, Tsetan Dorje, ‘Manager Sera monastery’ and Jampa Kelsang, ‘Media and Education Committee Director’ Sera Monastery) addressed some three hundred monks. Insisting that they should “… feel grateful to the Chinese government and show their loyalty to the nation by obeying the country’s laws,”.
Image: Tsering Woeser
Surrounded by Chinese paramilitary police, security officials and ‘management’ staff the monks were ordered to stand against what was described as ‘sepratism’. They were also warned of a series of prohibitions regarding online activity, including posting any information the regime considers sensitive.
Image: Tsering Woeser
The meeting concluded with an exultation ‘re-pay China’s generosity in Tibet and demonstrate loyalty to Beijing and love for the top leadership of China’s ruling Communist Party.’.
Sera monastery is in truth no longer a center for Buddhist learning, like monasteries across Tibet it is an indoctrination facility, placed under a suffocating control by the thought-police of the Chinese regime.
Image: Tsering Woeser
It also has another function, one that exploits the wonderment, gullibility and ignorance of those who travel to Lhasa for an exotic vacation. It’s calculated and tightly controlled illusion of a thriving Tibetan Buddhist culture is an important propaganda tool to manipulate and deceive.
When thinking about Tibet as it suffers under the oppressive grip of Chinese rule there’s a few key phrases to consider.
Image: Melong publication XXiii, 11, November 1956
The military strategy that seeks to destroy any assets or resources which might be of use to an enemy. These usually include water and food supplies, industrial centers, transport infrastructure, communications, and most chillingly people are also a target. Such objectives were central to the Chinese army when it invaded and occupied Tibet in 1950, and in the face of armed Tibetan resistance eventually realized.
Having secured complete control this policy was not concluded, instead its objectives were shifted to Tibetan culture, which was deemed by the Chinese regime to be backward and in need of what it termed ‘reform’. A euphemism for the cultural genocide which was inflicted upon the Tibetan people.
The Oxford English Dictionary, citing the use of the term in a 1946 New York Times report on the destroyed city of Hiroshima, defines ground zero as “that part of the ground situated immediately under an exploding bomb, especially an atomic one.” . The cost of Tibetan lives and decades of misery, starvation and persecution which followed the Chinese occupation of Tibet was as if a nuclear bomb had been dropped upon Tibet’s culture and freedom.
The reconstruction has been dictated by China’s regime, central to which has remained a merciless and brutal enforcement of dogma. Inflamed by the ideology of Marxism the Chinese tyranny saw its colonialism of Tibet as a progressive stage in the evolution from a supposed feudalism, of what it insisted was a stagnant culure. In Marxist language Tibetans were “relics of peoples” undeserving of national freedom, incapable of economic or political independence. Tibet was, under such ‘reasoning’, a valid target to be refashioned.
A new ‘social harmony’ was to be engineered. From the smouldering ruins of China’s brutal violence against Tibet would emerge a Tibetan population ‘liberated’ from a supposed ‘class exploitation’ and ‘local nationalism’. The methodology employed to assist Tibetans realize such a political consciousness included: forced labor camps, mass arrests, torture, destruction of Tibetan monasteries and a mass population transfer of Han Chinese into Tibet!
The poisonous cocktail of Marxist-Leninist doctrine with China’s traditional assimilationist ideology continues to terrorize the Tibetan people. Their culture having suffered the ravages of scorched earth and a nuclear-like assault is being redefined according to the political objective of China’s regime. Tibetan children are the experimental subjects, groomed into what is hoped will be a generation that knows only loyalty and gratitude towards the Chinese authorities.
Image: China’s Ministry Of Propaganda
To realize such a mindset Tibet’s past has been recreated, censored and sanitized in accord with the approved political ideology. Within that perversion of the facts China becomes a savior, arriving as the hero to bring freedom to sorely oppressed Tibetans, denied social and political development by a cruel and feudal elite. This meticulous propaganda is drip fed to Tibet’s children each day.
There is no Dalai Lama, no history other than the one fabricated by the Chinese regime. It’s a ‘new Tibet’ which is taught, with a doctrine that asserts before Tibet was ‘liberated’ existed only cruelty, exploitation and slavery. Now, thanks to the ‘enlightened’ policies of China’s government, Tibetans enjoy the modernity and progress of a socialist paradise. They are so the propaganda would have you believe, ‘masters of their own affairs’!
Such is the thought-control applied within indoctrination centers (schools and what monasteries are left) across occupied Tibet. China is assiduously destroying Tibet’s past, brutally controlling its present and attempting to possess its future!
As the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women closes today and women activists and NGOs hug their last goodbyes to New York City, we’re disappointed to report that once again the defenders of women’s rights have remained deafiningly silent on the atrocities of China’s forced sterilizations.
There’s been much self-congratulation about progressing gender equality, equal participation, girl’s empowerment, women in leadership and solidarity against child-marriage and female-genital mutilation. But the hot topic of a ‘feminist vision’ has suffered an acute myopia concerning China’s state engineered violence against women, which its coercive population control program still inflicts.
After years lobbying and informing @UN_CSW @UN_Women and associated women’s NGOs on this issue we are not surprized that they continue to ignore the plight of their sisters suffering under the harrowing dictates of the Chinese regime. Their record on this matter is a shameful betrayal of women’s human rights and seriously erodes, to anyone of normal intelligence and integrity, any residual moral authority or credibility they may have.
We have through our experience and activism on this subject come to a conclusion that these bodies do not care about the court of public opinion. Nor are they vexed by the staggering hypocrisy at the heart of their callous indifference to those whose lives have been devastated as a result of being forcibly sterilized. While demanding action across a range of rights for women, they choose denial, silence, delusion and evasion as a response to this issue. Why is this appalling duplicity operating you may wonder. How can it be that women who announce themselves dedicated to rights and equality remain unmoved by the disturbing reality of forced sterilizations?
It’s our view that these organizations operate and possess characteristics often defining a cultic mindset. There’s an exclusive ideology, a dominating elite and compliant devotees. An elevation of an enshrined philosophy above all other considerations, protected by an emphatic and consistent rejection of anything regarded as not conforming to the approved dogma.
Does this concerned sisterhood regard women’s freedom-of-choice, and opportunity to educational and career advancement, restricted and disadvantaged by having children? Does that explain their selective definition of reproductive rights as being the provision of safe and free access to contraception and related education? Those are of course important and justified resources yet a woman surely has the right not to be forcibly sterilized, an action that violently denies any chance of reproduction.
They choose to offer no comment on that, which begs the question; are these organizations holding to the unspoken view that women ‘unburdened’ by pregnancy and children are more likely to realize the ultimate goals of the much trumpeted feminist vision? If so it may well serve to account for their reticence to condemn or oppose forced sterilizations, atrocities which are tolerated and perceived as liberating women from the confinements of motherhood?
Our position on this is one of respecting all human rights, we’re not interested in arguments for or against abortion, nor do we subscribe to any side of the pro or anti debate. Unlike the participants of the UNCSW and NGO Forum we regard forced sterilizations as a disturbing example of violence against women, constituting a physical and psychological disfigurement and denying women the reproductive right to have a child.
We have eyes and ears on site at the 63rd Session of the UNCSW in New York City and at the end if the first week the reports are not good. The subject of forced sterilizations, especially those which form part of China’s population control program is off the table. Anyone who has followed our activism and reportage over the years on this gathering of the ‘concerned international sisterhood’ will know that there’s a taboo administered by UN Women and its associated NGOs on criticizing China’s regime and its mass campaigns of forcibly sterilizing women.
While participants are engaged in articulate and impassioned discussions on a range of concerns; equality, gender-based violence, economic empowerment and female genital mutilation being prominent. The plight of their sisters suffering forced sterilizations has again been given the cold shoulder. Not a politically correct issue for those who describe themselves as defenders of women’s rights!
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
A serial abuser is holding a woman hostage, having raped and beaten her into disfigurement. He then releases a statement to the cops that under his care she is making a recovery. Crazy right?
To most folks of normal intelligence and integrity sure, but then as we know the Chinese regime seriously fails that standard!
It declared today, via its official mouthpiece the Peoples Daily that forest ‘recovery rates’ in Tibet have risen by over 12%, now there’s a development that requires closer scrutiny! Having reduced vast areas of Tibet’s once verdant forested valleys to a lunar-like landscape (an ecocide that continues) we are now supposed to applaud this cynical public relations announcement.
Natural forests which have developed over thousands of years within the environment are cut-down for profit, the land left bare to add to erosion and flooding hazards. In some extremely limited cases they are replaced with low-quality, mono-culture plantations, which is what lies behind this announcement today. Such replanting has to be measured against what has been lost, the incredible species diversity, ecology, wildlife and vital role in flood prevention.