No other political authority reaches the excesses of China’s regime when it comes to the deployment of euphemism. Within its monolithic structure there’s a dedicated team engineering pretentious titles to deflect from or mask the odious realities of China’s tyranny.
Take the phrase democratic reform used by China to describe a ‘process’ born it claims from Tibetans, who we are asked to believe appealed for the Chinese authorities to suppress the Lhasa Uprising of 1959. Following that military response the ‘reforms’ were launched with devastating consequences for the Tibetan people and their culture.
Apart from being a calculated deception it is of course an oxymoron of titanic proportions that a totalitarian, self-described communist state, headed by the dictator Mao Zedong could describe the cultural genocide which followed as a democratic transformation.
Whatever injustices existed withing Tibetan society were replaced by a foreign military occupation, mass arrests, forced labor camps, political thought-control, and the armed imposition of policies which targeted Tibetan culture as ideologically corrupt and regressive.
Like a serial kleptomanic who has come to believe his delusional insistence that thievery is economic redistribution, the Chinese government regards its deranged falsehoods as legitimate. In truth the so-called ‘reforms’ it celebrates are a political fiction and no amount of smiling Tibetan dancers performing in the front of Lhasa’s Potala Palace will change that fact.
We’ve long taken the position that tourism to occupied Tibet serves the interests of the China’s regime and bank-balances of Chinese dominated tourist businesses. Those seeking the ‘spiritual experience’ of visiting Tibet are exploited, manipulated and suffocatingly controlled by the Chinese authorities. What they are allowed to see is an ersatz version of Tibetan culture, engineered by the same regime which, away from the stage-managed tourist hotspots, wages a genocidal assault upon Tibetan national and cultural identity.
Our just criticism and opposition on this issue occasionally results in weak responses from those who attempt to justify tourism to Tibet by claiming their presence enables information on the plight of Tibetans to reach the wider world. This reasoning held some credibility in the late 1980s and 1990s but no longer. With the instant access of the internet (informed by the knowledge, testimony, courage and sacrifices of Tibetans inside Tibet) the dire circumstances endured by Tibet’s people is freely available, 24/7 via a few taps of a mobile device or laptop.
The fact is that travellers are lead by a leash along well worn and safe tourist routes, constantly monitored, meeting approved Tibetans and exposed to China’s distorted version of Tibetan culture. They do not see the torture centers, visit forced labor camps, or witness the misery of Tibetans forced into concentration settlements.
Of course that inconvenient reality is not what tourists to Tibet are paying top dollars for. They come for the illusion of a Buddhist Shangri-la, which the Chinese tyranny is more than happy to fabricate, while milking them as cash-cows and promoting its propaganda narrative.
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.
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!
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.