The Hi-Jacking Of Tibetan Uprising Day

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So here we are again, supporters of Tibet preparing to commemorate the Lhasa Uprising of March 10, 1959, a day on which many Tibetans were killed during a courageous resistance against Chinese rule. The event will be marked by rallies, and marches, at which folk can demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Tibet, and remind the world what Tibet’s cause is all about. An objective reflected by the display of Tibet’s national flag and the raising of banners and placards demanding independence. Behind the appearance of unity however not all those who proclaim to support Tibet uphold the goal of national freedom.

As we have witnessed previously rather than affirming the Tibetan people’s right to independence, we can expect some to distort, marginalize or ignore entirely the political aspirations of Tibet’s struggle. Prominent organizations who declare themselves dedicated to Tibetan freedom will assiduously avoid any reference of Tibet’s independence. They will endorse instead (the official line of the exiled Tibetan Administration) for negotiations with China on the basis of accepting marginal improvements in autonomy while leaving Tibetans under Chinese rule. Those protests such groups do organize on the day focus on culturally related topics or other human rights issues (not though the subject of China’s forcible sterilizations, another taboo subject). While these are credible areas of concern such a diluted and selective protest is a long way indeed from the demands and inspiring sacrifices of Tibetans inside Tibet. Who, risking torture and prison, take to the street to assert their nation’s freedom.

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To anyone freshly arrived to the Tibetan cause this must seem a confusing and troubling polarization, and people are right to ask why it is that Tibetans inside occupied Tibet are struggling for independence while Tibet related groups enjoying freedom in the West are promoting campaigns that run counter to the very aspirations Tibetans are being viciously abused and oppressed for.

Let’s take a look see at what’s behind this disabling schism, there are two areas of influence long thought to be responsible. Firstly, the exiled Tibetan Administration, which is engaged upon a course of appeasing China’s regime to encourage talks on so-called ‘meaningful autonomy’. It’s entirely intolerant towards Tibet’s independence, regarding the issue as a barrier to progressing negotiations with the Chinese regime. Through a developed network of contacts, and aided by a conformist and largely compliant exiled Tibetan society, the Administration finds it an easy task to deflect, control, and influence protests, to ensure the desired message is presented.

Evidence for such orchestration manifests itself on March 10, we have reported upon, challenged and exposed a number of such actions, rallies at which there will be virtually no allusion to national freedom for Tibet. Carefully arranged banners that call for ‘talks with China’ others openly declaring ‘Tibetans want autonomy’. Speeches that while honoring the sacrifices of Tibetans propose ‘solutions’ that betray the rightful demands of Tibetans inside Tibet. What of the majority of individuals supporting Tibet, are they oblivious to such manipulation? Unaware that the central message of such protests conflict with the objectives and courageous sacrifices waged by Tibetans inside occupied Tibet?

Info-Graphic: @tibettruth

Innocence of such dark currents or an unfamiliarity of exiled Tibetan politics would explain such an unknowing. The same cannot be said however of those who assume responsibility for arranging rallies on March 10. Such organizations are acutely aware of the nature of the Tibetan struggle inside Tibet, and conscious that Tibetans face vicious reprisals for demanding their national freedom, yet have resisted China’s tyranny to assert that right. Given this reality you may feel it’s kinda hard to understand why such bodies would meticulously assemble protests, yet consistently fail to give prominence to the common political aspiration of Tibetans in occupied Tibet. But then if they are operating to an agenda, one opposed to to Tibetan independence, the situation would be a whole lot clearer, right?

Info-Graphic: @tibettruth

A second corrosive influence is that exerted by foreign governments, which it should be remembered have an invested and vested political and economic interest in maintaining positive relations with Beijing. Implacably opposed to the notion of an independent Tibet, authorities like the United States would not welcome across American cities a unified, forceful struggle for Tibetan nationhood. A prospect that would be considered an injurious distraction for its diplomatic outreach to China. Having followed a policy that submits to China’s bogus claim of sovereignty over Tibet (an acknowledgment that came to prominence following Richard Nixon’s rapprochement with China in 1972) and urged Tibetans to concede to Chinese rule, in exchange for so-called meaningful autonomy, the State Department has long rejected Tibetan independence.

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Since officials within the State Department regard this to be a matter of extreme sensitivity to China, it is within its political interests to have a presence within the wider movement for Tibet, and in particular to exert, where possible, an influence to dilute or silence any actions supportive of Tibet’s national freedom. Without considering the censorial agenda of those opposed to Tibet’s independence it’s tough to identify a reason why, at such protests, organizations consistently exclude even the slightest reference to Tibetan sovereignty. If pressures are being applied to suppress the issue, it denies people, who in all good faith and innocence participate in such protests, an opportunity to channel the genuine political aspirations of Tibetans in occupied Tibet.

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On March 10th, a date of primary importance for Tibet’s people, to deliberately marginalize or conceal the very goal of Tibetans suffering China’s tyranny is an act of callous deception. If you are attending such protests please consider the struggle inside Tibet and express your support by having a placard, banner, or flag that informs people what is being sought, Independence for Tibet!

New York’s March 10 Tibet Rally Needs Genuine Autonomy!

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Later this year a new executive is set to be installed in the offices of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (New York & New Jersey) and the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey is also to renew it’s staff members. For those Tibetans who are in solidarity with their brothers and sisters inside occupied Tibet these developments may bring about a much needed change in the direction and agenda of Tibetan political activism within New York. A proper debate and the opportunity to elect independently minded representatives, dedicated to the same goal of national freedom as their compatriots in Tibet, may mean an end to the promotion of an officially approved agenda that has blighted the March 10 rally.  There are many local Tibetans who work tirelessly for Tibet’s just cause, even more attend events to raise Tibet’s national flag and demand freedom for their country. It is time that their aspirations were respected and given due prominence by organizers of political events. Hopefully the forthcoming changes within RTYC (NYNJ) and Tibetan Community (NYNJ) will mean that next year’s March 10 rally shall offer a more united and forceful message. One in tune with the heartbeat of Tibetans in Tibet.

March 10 Uprising Statement From Tibetan Youth Congress

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‘Today Tibetans all over the world gather to commemorate an unforgettable event in the history of our country. We observe and honor the thousands of valiant Tibetan men and women who on this day in 1959 filled the streets of Lhasa to revolt against the Chinese Communist occupation forces.On that day, Tibetans stood up against the Chinese government with the courage and determination to proclaim and protect the Tibetan Government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Thousands of Tibetans lost their lives and therefore as we commemorate this day, Tibetan Youth Congress pays our deepest respect and homage to our brothers and sisters inside Tibet and in exile who have sacrificed their lives through various forms of protests against China’s illegal occupation of our nation and vow to continue our work for the freedom and independence of Tibet and the Tibetan people until the Tibet issue is resolved.

Tibet was brutally occupied and the Tibetan people fought back. This resistance continues to this day. These courageous Tibetan’s resistances remind us and the rest of the world that it was not a “peaceful liberation” as China claims. Therefore, we take the opportunity to honor and dedicate today to the Tibetans inside Tibet who day in and day out endure the illegal Occupation yet continue to find ingenious ways to resist it for our freedom – for our future.

The Tibetan people continue to be oppressed, discriminated and denied even basic human rights. Tibetans have been systematically arrested, detained, tortured, and killed for merely carrying out non- violent protests against China. The brutality of the regime and its intolerance towards political dissent is evident in the way it has over the decades treated political prisoners. Most recently on 5 December 2014 Tenzin Choedak, died two days after he was released on “medical parole” nine years short of the completion of his 15-year prison term. In fact he was barely alive at the time he was returned to his family. Choedak had reportedly dislocated jawbones, damaged kidneys and was vomiting blood. He was physically emaciated and had suffered brain injury. Every bone in his feet was broken. According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy this suggests that he may have been subjected to the falaka, or foot whipping torture technique. The falaka involves beating the sole’s of the victim’s feet with a heavy cable or whatever else is available. It causes extreme pain up the victim’s body and the feet to swell. Choedak was imprisoned for his alleged involvement in the popular 2008 Uprising where hundreds of Tibetans lost their lives. Prior to his arrest, Choedak worked with a European non-governmental organization associated with International Red Cross. His responsibilities were mainly environmental protection in Lhasa and Shigatse region of Tibet. He was only 34 years old.

Despite the knowledge of brutality and risk to their lives, Tibetans inside Tibet continue to resist and fight. Tibet continues to burn. The number of self-immolations inside Tibet since 2009 has now reached an unprecedented 136 with the latest activist Kelsang Yeshi, a 38 year-old monk who self immolated on 23 December 2014. His slogan at the time of burning were the most common expressions demanding the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. These self-immolations protests clearly indicate that Tibetans inside Tibet want freedom and independence from the current illegal occupation of Tibet. The Tibetans inside Tibet are doing every bit they can to express their aspirations. Those of us living in exile have a responsibility to fulfill those aspirations and towards our movement.

10 March is a day when we reflect upon history and the events that unfolded in Lhasa. We must understand what the uprising was for and most importantly when we observe this Tibetan National Uprising Day, we must work to fulfill the wishes and demands of those that sacrificed their lives for Tibet. 10 March is also a day to remember who we are and where we are headed to and as a Tibetan to pledge your commitment and responsibility for your country – and in doing so, understand that unity, optimism and strategy lies at the core of our struggle. We call upon Tibetans living in exile and inside Tibet to remain united and steadfast in our movement. The Chinese government will never be able to break the will and spirit of the Tibetan people. Tibetans in Tibet and in exile remain more defiant than ever and today we send a message to China that until and unless the Beijing government changes its stance on Tibet, the Tibetan people will continue to rise and resist and our Revolution will grow stronger and bigger.

Finally, on this day we pay our humble respect and tribute to our spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We Tibetans remain forever grateful for the work he has done for Tibet, the Tibetan people and humanity. The message of love and compassion that His Holiness preaches is the ultimate way to bring peace in the 21st century across the world. We pray for the long life of His Holiness and wish him a very Happy Birthday as he turns 80 on July 6 later this year. On behalf of Tibetans inside Tibet and in exile – Thank you, your Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Bhod Gyalo!’

Translated copy of TYC March 10 Statement via Dossier Tibet

Anonymous Serves Uprising Notice To China’s Regime

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The hacktivist collective, Anonymous has published a statement today in commemoration of the March 10, 1959 Lhasa Uprising, under the title of ‘Operation Tibet‘ the document released via an anonymous posting service is in the form of a notice which is addressed to the Chinese authorities and includes a list of Chinese Embassies and UN Missions, to which presumably the declaration was sent.

“This March 10, a day commemorating the 1959 Uprising in Lhasa Anonymous is proud to actively support Tibet’s cause and we remind the Chinese regime that its actions will be challenged and exposed, present operations continue to target Chinese government sites, further actions are currently being planned! We Are Anonymous. We Are Legion. Expect us” (Extract Taken From Anonymous Statement Dated March 10, 2014)

The full text is available at this LINK

Many thanks to our friends over on Twitter for sharing news of this statement

A Response To The Distortions Of Tibetan PM’s March 10 Statement

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So not surprised to note the statement of exile Tibetan Prime Minister, Lobsang Sangay, his words demonstrate the huge disconnect between the exiled Tibetan Administration and the struggle and objectives of its people inside occupied Tibet. Firstly shall we make clear Lobsang la that, the motivations and political objectives of those Tibetan martyrs who -self-immolated, are clear for all to see.

Anyone reading the political testaments from these Tibetans, or eyewitness testimony of such events cannot fail to note that what these heroes sacrificed themselves for was, Tibet’s national freedom and independence, along with declaring support for the Dalai Lama. Yet in your March 10 statement you choose not only to ignore that fact, but through implication of motive, to misrepresent their actions by claiming that:
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“The self-immolations are an emphatic rejection of the empty promises of the so-called ‘socialist paradise.” http://tibet.net/2012/03/10/statement-of-kashag-on-53rd-tibetan-national-uprising-day/

This fact-free statement betrays what your compatriots offered their lives for, as they did not engulf themselves in fire, simply to protest undelivered policies or improvements made by China’s regime. It is extremely disappointing that as head of the exiled Tibetan Administration you have issued such distortions, which are aggravated by your comments on the nature of Tibet’s cause

“The Tibetan struggle is not against the Chinese people or China as a nation. It is against the PRC government’s policies” http://tibet.net/2012/03/10/statement-of-kashag-on-53rd-tibetan-national-uprising-day/

Such words avoid a reality of colossal dimensions, in that Tibetans are struggling, as evidenced by countless reports, for their national independence, in doing so it is natural and inevitable that your people see China and its occupiers for what they are, foreign oppressors. Moreover, Tibetans regularly expose themselves to arrest, torture and Chinese bullets not to seek, as you suggest, a moderation of policies or improvements in areas of employment, health, or education, but to demand Tibetan independence.

It is fine to close your statement with a hope for freedom and reunification, no one supportive of Tibet would oppose such a prospect, but perhaps you would care to explain why you take such detailed care to avoid and misrepresent whenever the subject of Tibet’s rightful independence arises?

Statement on the 53rd Commemoration of the Lhasa Uprising of 1959

This declaration has been released to Tibetan organizations world-wide in recognition of the many thousands of Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for Tibetan independence and in solidarity with the people of Tibet, who continue their rightful struggle for nationhood, justice and freedom.

As His Eminence 11 Shingza Rinpoche, Mr Dorjee Gyalpo and Mr Yeshi Tenzin approach the third week of their hunger-strike outside the steel and glass indifference of the United Nations Headquarters, in occupied Tibet the resistance to China’s violent and illegal occupation continues, undiminished by the genocidal efforts to erase Tibet’s national identity. Despite placing Tibet under military siege, shooting, torturing and jailing Tibetans, protests for Tibetan independence continue across that blighted land.

Meanwhile, armed with a recently selected Prime Minister, who sings a remarkably similar song of compromise to the previous incumbent, the body formerly known as the Tibetan Government in Exile (promoting itself as the Central Tibetan Administration [CTA] a less politically emphatic title aimed to mollify China’s sensitivities) maintains efforts to appease communist China, in the hope of securing so-called ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibetans. In surrendering the objective of a separate political or territorial identity for its people, the CTA now sees resolution in submitting to Chinese rule and extending trust towards the theoretical protections within Communist China’s law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy.

Evidence for such breathtaking compromise may be found within the troubling pages of the ‘Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People’ (released on 16th November 2008 by the CTA). A document that contemptuously ignores and abandons the rightful political aspirations of the Tibetans inside occupied Tibet, it is in essence a capitulation towards China’s demands. Illustrated by this extract:

 “To a very considerable extent Tibetan needs can be met within the constitutional principles on autonomy“. Investing significant faith in China’s law on regional and ethnic autonomy it goes on to claim that discretionary powers within the regional framework “can be exercised to facilitate genuine autonomy for Tibetans” and concludes by describing Tibetans as an ‘ethnic minority’.

Such betrayal, and that is precisely what is going on here, is difficult to stomach, more so as the architects and supporters of this surrender will be flying Tibet’s national  flag this March 10 and offering fine words on the sacrifices of Tibetans, while behind closed doors they  are pressing for a ‘solution’ diametrically opposed to the very cause being waged by their compatriots inside occupied Tibet.

A struggle, even Tibet’s oppressors acknowledge, that has the objective of national independence, on Wednesday March 7 Tibetan traitor, carrying the Sinocized name of ‘Wu Zegang’, China’s puppet ‘governor’ in the region of Ngaba, Amdo, speaking on recent self-immolations declared that “Tibetans demanded: “independence for Tibet..”

Unsupportive of that aspiration, the strategists of the CTA, while aware of the decades of tyranny China has forced upon Tibetans, in a staggering example of misplaced optimism triumphing over fact, believe prosperity, self-rule and freedom attainable under communist China’s constitution.  The thinking and denial that accommodates such delusion would no doubt have counseled that equality and justice was possible for Black people under South Africa’s Apartheid Regime!

In rushing to address China’s increasing demands on talks relating to Tibet the CTA appears to be blind to the fact that  securing ‘genuine autonomy’ itself presents hazardous political risks and offers no protection whatsoever in maintaining a distinct Tibetan national, cultural or territorial identity. Tragically, such considerations do not trouble the thinking of those responsible for progressing negotiations with Beijing, including Lobsang Sangay.

Meanwhile, the selfless sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers outside the United Nations, or demands of the Tibetan martyrs who have self-immolated, and countless individual and mass protests for Tibetan independence across Tibet, has not agitated the conscience of the CTA, which remains contemptuously dismissive towards any dissenting voice, preferring to stumble, with eyes wide-open towards the abyss. What a disconnect between a people and its leadership, instead of unity we have an Administration willing to extinguish Tibetan nationhood and trampling over the common political aspiration of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet. Thankfully however opposition towards this inane strategy is increasing, particularly from younger Tibetans, and those communities far removed from the deferential conventions which stifle dissent within Tibetan communities in India. Evidence for such resistance may be observed across the Internet, the call to end the CTA’s  vacuous and fruitless policy of appeasement is gaining ground.

March 10 is a date of immense resonance for Tibetans inside, and beyond Tibet, this year against ongoing repression in occupied Tibet and with self-immolations reminding the world of Tibet’s true cause for independence, it is hoped that the Central Tibetan Administration will not only hear the voices of its people, but decide to act upon them by actively supporting the national liberation of Tibet.