Tibet

Tibet’s Buddhism Placed In Chains By China’s Thought-Police

Tibet's Buddhism Placed In Chains By China's Thought-Police
Sera monastery, Lhasa, Tibet, now an indoctrination center and tourist attraction

Image: archivenet

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.

Tibet's Buddhism Placed In Chains By China's Thought-Police
Dictator Xi jinping prominently displayed within Sera Monastery

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,”.

Tibet's Buddhism Placed In Chains By China's Thought-Police
Tibet’s religious centers are now under occupation by Chinese paramilitary and the thought-police of China’s regime

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.

Tibet's Buddhism Placed In Chains By China's Thought-Police
Tourists, undercover Chinese officials and paramilitary mingle within Lhasa’s Jokhang temple

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.

Tibet's Buddhism Placed In Chains By China's Thought-Police
Sera monastery is effectively a prison in which its Tibetan Buddhist inmates are under 24/7 surveillance and forced to perform for tourists.

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.

Tibet

Tibet Travel – An Ethical Free Indulgence Servicing China’s Regime

Tibet Travel - An Ethical Free Indulgence Servicing China's Regime
Tibetans and their culture victims of voyeurism by floods of tourists

Image:usatoday

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 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 hot-spots,  wages a genocidal assault upon Tibetan national and cultural identity.

Tibet Travel - An Ethical Free Indulgence Servicing China's Regime

Image:archivenet

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.

Tibet Travel - An Ethical Free Indulgence Servicing China's Regime
The once pristine shores of Tso Ngonpo in Amdo region of Tibet now trashed by tourism

Image:chinacn

The fact is that travelers 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.

Tibet Travel - An Ethical Free Indulgence Servicing China's Regime
Tourists smile for the occasion, oblivious to the fact that from this location near Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple Chinese paramilitary threw Tibetan monks to their death

Image:archivenet

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.