We remember the courageous Tibetans in Lhasa during March 1989 who rose up against China’s illegal and brutal occupation of Tibet.
Image: Dhondup Lhadar Rangzen
Let’s hear it for the magnificent seven Tibetans currently walking from Philadelphia to New York City; Kunga Norbu, son of Dalai Lama’s older brother, Taktser Rinpoche, Tenzin Wangdue, executive member, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, New York, Sunny Sonam, organizer of the North American Miss Tibet, Lobga Rangzen, executive member, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, New York, Samgha, antiques dealer, Dhondup Lhadar, former executive member, Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamsala.
All of whom are commited to Tibetan independence and through this action wish to show solidarity with their compatriots inside occupied Tibet, raise awareness of the Tibetan issue and to demonstrate support for the just cause of Tibetan independence. They also have released five demands of national and local government, and the United Nations, which seek more active support for and recognition of Tibet’s sovereignty.
As their press statement notes: “Without restoring independence, Tibetans shall have no future. We urge all freedom and justice loving people to support us. All of us marchers are staunch believers in the restoration of Tibetan independence; in the past, to demand independence for Tibet, we had sat on hunger strikes for more than a month in India and US. Moreover, we had marched for thousands of miles and led many other campaigns aimed at restoring Tibetan independence.”
They arrive at NYC on March 9 and will be outside the UN Headquarters.
It’s easy for folk to have an impression of China as a modernized, economically booming country. After all that’s been the narrative pushed by mainstream media since the 1980s and China’s restructuring of its domestic economy. It became a market-orientated economy, awarded by the USA Most Favored Nation status (from which human rights were eventually decoupled on the dubious assertion that unfettered economic engagement would lead to political democratization). Allowed entry to the World Trade Organization in 2001 the Chinese economy has gone on to become a dominant global force. The reportage of this transformation has become something of a cliché and become firmly placed in popular perception of China.
What’s been less reported is that this economic metamorphosis has enabled massive investments into China’s military occupation of Tibet and other occupied territories such as East Turkistan and Southern Mongolia. Nor has the mainstream media devoted any meaningful coverage to a parallel increase in the concentration of political power within the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed some would say that China’s embrace of capitalism and free trade was in part designed to maintain and strengthen the position of the regime. This has resulted in even greater repression, censorship and human rights concerns, which have been largely ignored and tolerated by other countries. Meanwhile China’s President Xi Jinping has consolidated to himself supreme political control, with the mass applause of the ‘National People’s Congress’.
Throughout the years China’s communist authorities have used fear and corruption to ensure control and that process has intensified, especially for the peoples of occupied Tibet and East Turkistan.
In the past few days so-called Tibet Television has been broadcasting a series targeting ‘anti-corruption’ and the ‘regulation’ of communist party members. Coded language for another propaganda drive to suppress any dissenting Tibetan voices within its administration. Another purge against Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, as there’s no tolerance for any belief apart from the dictate of China’s communist party, as commentated upon in the Global Times (a conduit for China’s propaganda) by Xiong Kunxin, a lecturer at the so-called Tibet University in Lhasa:
‘The CPC remains an atheist organization. Thus, CPC members are banned from religious beliefs, because they can only believe in Marxism; believing in other religions means betrayal of their chosen belief and it will shake their belief in Marxism and separate them from the Party’.
China may well have opened the doors to global trade, it’s cities and manufacturing transformed by an economic revolution, but make no mistake at its political heart it remains a totalitarian state which murders, tortures and enslaves to retain power.
Image via @tibettruth (double click for larger view)
Graphic: via @tibettruth
An eight member delegation of the US Congress, headed by Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Dharamsala, India, the exiled base of the Tibetan Administration, to hold talks with the Dalai Lama and Doctor Lobsang Sangay the administration’s political leader.
They will be accorded considerable praise and gratitude as friends of Tibet, yet in truth their support is constrained to issues of human rights and culture, while this may be regarded as positive assistance it fails to address the just and historic right of Tibet’s people to national independence. The reason why Ms Pelosi and her Congressional colleagues are silent on that core subject is, that while appearing to be champions of the Tibetan cause, they are advocates of the US policy which recognizes Tibet as an integral part of China. This explains their carefully worded emphasis on cultural issues and human rights, to avoid any mention of Tibet’s status or reference to the struggle being waged inside Tibet.
It is not the Tibetan people, or their rightful determination for national liberation which is being supported by this delegation. Indeed their is something distasteful and disingenuous about these political dignitaries serving up such cynical platitudes, while across the mountains in Tibet a cause is being waged to demand (what these defenders of freedom are afraid to voice for fear of upsetting China and their own State Department), national freedom for Tibet!