Image: conceived and created by @tibettruth
Image: researched and obtained by @tibettruth
In a further effort to Sinicize Tibetan culture, and deceive the wider world into thinking that Tibet’s an intrinsic part of China, a series of propaganda events have been staged coinciding with the Lunar New festival a crucial celebration within Chinese tradition.
Tibetans, such as those in Shigatse, were pressurized into performing rituals (which since ancient times have marked the actual Tibetan New Year celebration of ‘Losar’) on or close to January 25. This date during 2020 marks the Chinese the Spring Festival, it has nothing to do with traditional Tibetan New Year festivities.
That will be celebrated on February 24 and features a series of rituals that date back to the beginnings of Tibetan history, these are totally distinct and unique to Tibetan culture. However as they form such a significant component of Tibet’s cultural and national character the Chinese regime is now seeking to assimilate, dilute and manipulate those traditions to meet their political and disinformation purposes.
Please remember this on February 24, 2020, the first day of Tibetan Losar (New Year) the year of the Iron Mouse, 2147.
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.
The editors of the CTA site have copied and pasted a review written by Tom Baxter, formerly working in communications at Greenpeace East Asia, the environmental campaigning organization with offices in China that’s offered not a word of opposition or critique on the nuclear poisoning of occupied Tibet and East Turkistan. Does that explain the ‘softly-softly’ content of the author? He seems to broadly follow the official narrative issued by the film makers, a story of individual lives seemingly transformed by the controversial development project run by China’s regime. The series of inspiring personal stories from differing countries where the project operates, while no doubt uplifting serve another and darker purpose. Did such an objective, we speculate, concern New Zealand Director Martin Campbell, British screen-writer Guy Hibbert or the American director of photography? Perhaps they were too consumed by the allure of assembling of people centered accounts of hopes and dreams? Uncaring that these tales of realization come with a troubling economic and environmental cost. A fact well known to those countries signed into a developmental program of Chinese economic hegemony
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!
Tibetans must be dancing in the streets of Lhasa today on the news that the Chinese regime has published: “Tibetan Million Serf Liberation (sic) Commemorative Album” (a picture book of disinformation and falsehoods which rewrites the reality of China’s invasion and occupation of Tibet). To launch this political fiction China’s propaganda mouthpiece Xinhua staged an event on September 11 in the Tibetan capital. Featuring of course compliant Tibetans who from their expressions look delighted to receive this latest misrepresentation of history. We imagine they will find it a compelling read, as noted by the Xinua official who addressed the mobilized audience:
“Marxism will further consolidate the guiding position of the ideological leadership, consolidate the common ideological basis of the united struggle of the entire party and the whole nation, and continuously consolidate and expand the mainstream ideological paradox. The spiritual and cultural life of the people of all ethnic groups in the district sang the main theme of “praising the new China and forging new era (sic) “.
As part of the so-called ‘patriotic education’ program this fact-free publication and its ideological drivel will be forced upon Tibetans across occupied Tibet over the coming months.
Chinese Communist Party head for U-Tsang region of occupied Tibet, Wu Yingjie, had a breakdown on Wednesday, announcing to a robotic audience of party loyalists that the Dalai Lama hasn’t done a “single good thing” for the territory.
Exhibiting clear delusional behavior he insisted that Tibetans are “extremely grateful for the prosperity that the Communist Party has brought them.”. That’s like a serial arsonist arguing that his destructive and deadly obsession is deeply appreciated by local fire fighters!
Beyond the fantasies and denial Mr Yingjie felt that his claims required some supposedly ‘independent’ corroboration so he called upon a Tibetan stooge to declare that ‘there’s no such thing as adoration for the Dalai Lama among Tibetans’.
Such stage-managed deceptions and propaganda of the Chinese regime will never alter the reality that in each Tibetan heart burns a devotion to the Dalai Lama and a hope that once day Tibet will regain its national freedom. At that time then the truth will emerge, without fear of Chinese torture, prison or forced-labor camps!
Couple of weeks back we reported on a Tibetan online news source which was using Chinese propaganda terms for Tibetan place-names and territories. The journalist who wrote the particular article very kindly contacted us to express her understanding on the concerns we had raised. Hopefully there will be progress on that.
Meanwhile today we see on the front page of the highly respected Tibetan Review a headline that may have been scripted in China’s ‘Minstry Of Deception’. This is very disappointing. Another highly respected Tibetan publication promoting the disinformation of the Chinese regime.
As we noted previously when something’s plain bad we’re going to call it out, especially if it’s negatively impacting on a clear and accurate understanding of Tibet.
Its March 5 report on the recent blizzard in Eastern Tibet with some concern. Apart from the sadness on reading of the loss of animals and hardship for Tibetans, our attention was distracted by descriptions of Tibet in the language of the Chinese regime. This particularly troubling as the Tibetan Review is edited and administered by Tibetans based in India.
Image: original Jana Hollingsworth/Amended @tibettruth
The report was headlined as: ‘Snowstorms affect 120,000 people, over 1 million livestock in Qinghai’. This last term comes right out of the Chinese regime’s geographical place-name committee and is a propaganda construction. Designed to promote the baseless claim that Tibet’s part of China. Such descriptions are calculated to mislead and deceive people, a fact which the Editor of the Tibetan Review would be acutely aware of. So why therefore is this much respected journal on Tibet repeating such pro-Chinese regime distortions?
We can only presume they apply this policy through a combination of the following. An ill-judged belief that in so doing reports are invested with a veneer of detached objectivity, although how uncritically repeating the lies of China’s regime achieves that status is of course debateable. Alternatively it maybe an example of lazy journalism, simply copying and pasting China’s official narrative that’s so corrosively available across the internet.
Whatever the reasons, surely the Tibetan Review would realize its responsibility to ensure its readers and subscribers are provided reports which aren’t tainted with the bias of Chinese propaganda terminology. But it’s not so easy to be complacent on that when reading content such as: “…Yushu (Tibetan: Yulshul) Prefecture of Qinghai Province”. This syntax is widely used and promoted by the Chinese authorities. Yet it was given editorial approval!
For the record and purposes of accuracy, the location in the report lies within the area of Gyêgumdo (Jyekundo being the main town) a part of Kham region of occupied Tibet.
Image: snowlionstours/amended @tibettruth
That the language medium of the Tibetan Review is in English shows its reaching out to a wider readership than the exiled Tibetan community. As such its highly regarded output has a critical role in assuring that Tibet, its cause and territories is represented accurately and factually. Regurgitating the falsehoods of China’s tyrannical government fails that objective.
We again call upon its editor and reporters not to describe Tibetan territory according to the cynical dictates of China’s regime. They need to reflect upon the following question. In what way are you serving a true and authentic reportage on Tibet by replacing traditional Tibetan place-names with those fabricated by the Chinese authorities?
In a sleepless effort to push its toxic disinformation on Tibet the Chinese authorities regularly re-write not only historical facts but display a degree of delusion which psychiatrists would advise requires immediate medication. The self-deception and denial which characterizes its claims on Tibet has reached such a stage that dictator Xin Jinping and his politbureau comrades are beginning to confuse their cynical falsehoods as factual representations.
Take a headline in today’s Global Times (a mouthpiece for China’s regime, which postures as an independent media outlet) which announced that the Tibetan capital, Lhasa headed a list of what it described as “China’s (sic) safest cities”.
How has this claimed condition been achieved? Well to examine that spurious and engineered claim we need look no further than comments made by a Mr Wang Liang, described as a senior official of Lhasa Public Security Bureau. Who’s reported to have announced, no doubt with some pride, that: ‘Lhasa has enhanced people’s sense of security through innovative social governance’.
Now there’s a phrase that ranks as euphemism of the year!
Lhasa like the rest of occupied Tibet is not ‘safe’ but effectively under martial law by a foreign occupier and the ‘crime’ featured in the report is coded language for any sign of Tibetan dissent against Chinese rule. This reality is even hinted at within the article which discloses that there are over 100 ‘police service stations’ in the city. Although it chooses not to mention in addition the 24/7 ‘security’ monitoring, torture centers and forced labor camps within the Lhasa area!
So let’s expose this delusional and fallacious report for what it is.
It’s like a psychopath holding a gun to the head of someone and warning them to shut the hell up, while announcing to the cops that his diligent action had pacified the hostage!