The Hi-Jacking Of Tibetan Uprising Day

Image:karmadhondub-dennisbarbion

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.

Image:archivenet

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.

Image:nixonlibrary

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.

Image:archivenet

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 Rally For Tibet Stained By CTA Splittists

These prominent rally organizers refused to allow Tibet freedom placards/slogans

These prominent rally organizers uneasy with freedom placards/slogans

Image:capture from facebook video posted via sonam samanatha

In exile Tibet’s cause reached a disappointing low on March 10, a date commemorating the 1959 Lhasa Uprising and a central focus to honor Tibetans inside Tibet who continue their courageous and peaceful resistance to Chinese tyranny. For the second year running New York was the stage upon which a cynical game of manipulation and the promotion of political approved agendas was acted out.Unlike last year however, when such covert actions were restricted to the prominent placement of slogans promoting the policy adopted by and actively followed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and the Central Tibetan Administration events yesterday took a disturbing turn for the worse.

It would appear that in the land of free speech there is no place within the Tibetan
community of New York for any mention of Tibet’s independence or slogans calling for a
free Tibet. So what was going down? From various reports it appears that a coalition of
censorship and political conformity, comprising prominent figures within the Regional
Tibetan Youth Congress, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, Tibetan Community and
Chushi Gangdruk had agreed upon excluding from the organized rally any voices or protests that dissented from the officially approved call for ‘genuine autonomy’.

New York March 10 A Goal Not Shared By Tibetan Struggle Inside Tibet

New York March 10 A Goal Not Shared By Tibetan Struggle Inside Tibet

Image:rtycnynj

The resulting scenes were deeply troubling with Tibetans, by their own people, being
marginalized, bullied and censored simply for daring to promote the rightful national
freedom of Tibet. As you may imagine the sense of outrage, frustration and sadness which emerged was a cause of much debate and division, resulting in division, accusations and genuine anger. Understandably so, after all the struggle being waged inside Tibet seeks not submitting  to Chinese communist laws on autonomy but demands nation liberation and independence, it is the duty and birthright of exiled Tibetans to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Tibet towards that just objective.

The resultant reaction across various social media platforms has been volcanic to say the
least, especially upon Facebook, people rightly condemn what was a blatant attempt to
censor any mention of Tibetan independence by silencing and ostracizing those who dared to shout for national freedom. Much finger-pointing, excuses and denial have been offered in the subsequent exchanges on the subject with calls for unity and tolerance, yet those who seek to castigate pro-independence Tibetans as being responsible for causing
disabling division are being duplicitous and delusional in their criticism.

Why so? Well the origins for this regrettable incident are to be correctly sourced not to people holding a conviction who support Tibet’s independence, nor can it be explained in any reasonable manner to an unwillingness to tolerate different views on Tibet. The seeds of this divisive and damaging schism were engineered in the political laboratories of a Central Tibetan Administration that for years now has been actively promoting a policy of appeasing China’s regime. It’s Middle Way ‘solution’ seeks not an independent Tibet but merely the application of Chinese communist laws relating to autonomy of so-called ‘ethnic minorities’.

Is the CTA an invisible hand behind such actions?

Is the CTA an invisible hand behind such actions?

Image:rtycnynj

There’s a problem though, and one lying in a dark corner that explains events at the rally yesterday, the Chinese regime has long dismissed such overtures from the CTA as a veiled bid for independence. So from the perspective of the Central Tibetan Administration the issue of Tibetan independence is deeply problematical, indeed it is regarded as an obstacle to progressing talks with China, as such a response was needed.

How best to reassure China that the CTA was not advocating an independent Tibet? Statements to that effect were clearly not enough, actions were needed, some physical manifestation perhaps to help dispossess the Chinese government of its suspicions? So in addition to relentlessly affirming via official statements that only genuine autonomy is being sough a covert campaign has been set in motion that’s manipulating various global protests for Tibet, along with the exile Tibetan community into endorsing the official proposals of the CTA. False choices are being presented in which supporting the Middle Way is portrayed as being loyal to the cause of Tibet and His Holiness, while advocates of Tibet’s rightful independence are marginalized as being disloyal, extreme or unrealistic. Such has been the toxic and cynical narrative increasingly clouding the exiled Tibetan movement.

To the disadvantage and embarrassment of Tibet’s cause there are a significant number of Tibetans in New York who for reasons of conformity, lack of understanding, personal gain or wishing to demonstrate what in reality is a misplaced loyalty now act as censorial attack-dogs for the policy of surrender being pushed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and his colleagues within the Central Tibetan Administration. Their unthinking obedience is betraying the sacrifices and common political aspirations of their brothers and sisters inside occupied Tibet, such treachery, for that is what it is, needs to be urgently exposed and challenged, in that regard we hope that their disgraceful attempt to silence fellow Tibetans who support Tibet’s independence will serve as a call to action!

March 10 Uprising Statement From Tibetan Youth Congress

800px-Flag_of_Tibet_svg

‘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