We just received a report that in occupied Tibet the Chinese regime is now forcing Tibetans to memorize the words of China’s national anthem, lyrics which praise the glorious ideology of the communist party and supposed progress of the so-called Motherland.
This latest example of tyranny is further evidence of a calculated campaign to eradicate Tibetan national and cultural identity, those failing to comply face the ‘choice’ of prison, forced-labor camps and torture.
Reading of such genocidal assault upon Tibet it’s natural to feel outrage, sadness and indeed for some a sense of despair. Others may regard the momentum of Chinese rule over Tibetans has an inevitable conclusion, the demise of Tibetan culture, crushed into obscurity by increasingly aggressive measures that aim to eliminate the language of Tibet.
Such colonial violence was waged against the Irish when under occupation by the English the reasoning, crude as it is, hopes that in destroying the indigenous spoken language any sense of cultural and national identity is diluted. To the point that with successive generations a compliant, and uncritical population emerges. No doubt thankful and loyal subjects.
While the ability to speak the tongue of your culture and ancestors is a critical component defining the idea of cultural and national identity it’s erosion and forced replacement as a consequence of being occupied by a foreign power does not necessarily mean the game is won for the colonizing tyranny.
Take Ireland and its loss of Gaelic, beaten and humiliated out of Irish mouths by English rule, despite such a loss the resentment and determination among many Irish people to honor and maintain their culture was immensely strong. The language of those taking up arms against England in the cause of Irish freedom, was often English, yet the hearts and minds which sacrificed themselves for that struggle remained profoundly Irish. That reality offers hope for Tibetans suffering under the asphyxiating pressures of Chinese cultural dominance.
While Chinese may in time become the first language of occupied Tibet such a disturbing development would not in itself extinguish a Tibetan identity. That flickering sense of distinctness, if protected and nurtured within, could enable Tibetans to retain a vital connection. Not only with their cultural tradition and past, but as a spark which at some opportune time could allow the re-ignition of Tibetan cultural expression.
Of course it would be preferable if the people of Tibet could maintain their language, but the genocidal policies of China’s regime seek to exterminate a separate Tibetan identity. Language is the prime target. What the psychopaths of the Chinese government fail to understand is that socially engineering, through force, a generation of Chinese-speaking Tibetans does not address the oppression, injustice, suffering and cruelty; which has scarred every single Tibetan family since China invaded Tibet in 1950. It is that harrowing legacy, scorched across the collective memory of Tibetans, which will continue to undermine attempts to expunge the distinctiveness of Tibetan character.
Sure, it could be that with 24/7 Chinese language internet and television pumping into Tibetan homes, with ‘must speak Chinese’ requirements for employment and schoolchildren taught only Chinese we may well see a future Tibet in which Tibetan is a relic language. The interest only of academics and linguists. But depressing as that grim vision is, we believe it’s more than probable that political and civil dissent to Chinese rule will continue into the future, that the past will not be forgotten. What makes a people is more than language, and a culture and sense-of-belonging is not, as shown by history, vanquished by terrorism and persecution. Hope remains, even if its first words are in the language of an oppressor!
Seeing just how far governments sink to kiss the ass of China’s regime fills anyone supportive of human rights and freedom with a sense of outrage and disappointment, the State Department, under the corrosive influence of a profit driven China lobby, consistently grovels to Chinese sensitivities. None though kowtow with the class of the British government. We heard sometime back that their Foreign and Commonwealth Office had effectively censored a Tibetan play scheduled to show in London. See HERE
Some snake-oil ‘justifications’ were offered by officials but the motives were obvious, don’t upset China, even if that requires censorship! Meanwhile it’s now been revealed that while that artistic production was being shut down and banned to English audiences their government had agreed to direct tax-payers money to fund the Chinese film industry! see HERE
Yep, you heard it right, the world’s second most powerful economy, run by a totalitarian dictatorship that operates through torture, executions, forced labor camps and censorship is considered a suitable case for British aid. This means that UK taxpayers are now investing directly to China’s ministry of propaganda! How so? Recently Mr Wang Xiahui a long-serving Communist party bureaucrat, was appointed top executive of the China Film Bureau, a key part of China’s State Council which ensures conformity to the objectives and policies of the Communist Party from radio and television. Cinema and film management falls under the control of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
In the early summer of 1989 around 500 Chinese students began a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, their demands for greater democracy were formalized in a statement which included the following words:
“This country is our country,
These people are our people,
This government is our government,
If we do not cry out, who will?
If we do not act, who will?”
Sentiments which would find some sympathy among Tibetans, who struggle against China’s violent and illegal occupation for their nation’s independence. A little reported aspect of the democracy protests that occupied Tiananmen Square in June 1989 was a previous event which proved inspirational to some Chinese students. In response to the imposition of Martial Law in Lhasa, during March that year, some Beijing-based Tibetan students openly protested, a protest which must have drawn considerable attention from the emerging Chinese Democracy Movement. It was an act of immense bravery and defiance against communist Chinese occupation.
Tragically, the popular uprising to liberalize China was to culminate in state-violence and bloodshed as communist Chinese forces slaughtered unarmed civilians in Beijing during that momentous month, followed by a witch-hunt against what the communist authorities described as “counter-revolutionary hooligans”. Arbitrary arrests, torture, long prison sentences, and forced labor was targeted at those who had dared to speak of democratic freedoms for China. Today the Chinese regime continues to persecute survivors, victims’ relatives, and any voice of dissent that challenges the ‘official version’ of events.
The sacrifices made by the Chinese pro-Democracy students at Tiananmen Square provide a singular reminder that despite ephemeral economic progress, and limited social moderation, China remains a highly repressive, totalitarian state. The widespread abuse of human, cultural, political and religious rights, and ongoing oppression inside Tibet and East Turkestan demonstrate its disregard of international agreements on human rights. While it may appear that little has changed since freedom dared to announce herself in Tiananmen Square, the hopes for justice freedom and human rights burns as brightly as ever. China shall be free from the tyranny of this dictatorship, an objective shared by Tibetans, Uyghurs and the people of Southern Mongolia.
The pain and loss resulting from the tragedy of Tiananmen can never be forgotten, especially by those who lost relatives and friends, yet its inspiring legacy, a spirit of hope and resistance endures. All dictatorships fall, as will that of China’s and with unity, sacrifice and courage the people of China, Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia shall, sure as a sunrise, one day regain their freedom.
Over a 150 Tibetan activists from India, Nepal, United States of America and Europe are attending the 5th International Rangzen Conference. A platform to explore, advance and examine the cause of Tibetan independence. It is being held May 23 to 25 in Dharamsala, Northern India.
Image: Carlo Buldrini
We wish this conference every success in progressing the legitimate cause of Tibet’s national independence.
You would think that a culture and people with direct experience of being oppressed and ruled by a violent and foreign oppressor would possess an immediate and profound sense of empathy and solidarity with others whose national freedom was being brutally denied. Of course such a response indeed exists, yet human nature being what it is there’s always the exception, the thuggish and callous treatment of Palestinians by Israeli forces comes to mind.
Today we read of another example when a Czech politician, in declaring ambitions to support Tibet made the following comment:
This remark is a gross distortion and misrepresentation of the facts, and we wonder how Marek Benda would feel if political figures from beyond his beloved Czech Republic has commented during the German occupation of Prague that:
‘The Czechs are poor people, they are culturally oppressed and it is good that someone should pay attention to this without saying that they should be separated from German rule, while they themselves do not want this,’
The documented evidence, media reports and eye-witness testimony is consistent and clear on the subject of Tibetan protests inside Tibet, the demands of which are Tibetan national freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama. Facts which Marek Benda and his proposed Czech Parliamentary friends of Tibet should be very aware of!
During recent public events and press statements the head of the exiled Tibetan Administration, Doctor Lobsang Sangay has issued a call to see the Dalai Lama returned to Tibet Source
On the face of it such a goal would find no opposition from the global Tibetan community, often protests inside occupied Tibet, along with demanding Tibetan national independence also call for a return of Tibet’s spiritual and national leader. His Holiness has spoken of a hope to one day return to his beloved country. Is there though something darker behind this latest initiative, consequences which may not have been considered beyond the inner politics headed by Doctor Sangay and his Administration?
The reason we raise this question is that for years the Chinese regime has calculatedly responded to appeals for negotiations on Tibet by focusing upon the Dalai Lama. This is a cynical position engineered to avoid the matter of Tibet’s status in terms of its national and territorial sovereignty and the rights of the Tibetan people to external self-determination. China is acutely aware of, though can never concede, the reality of Tibet’s former independence and knows too that within international law it’s so-called ‘liberation’ of Tibet is more accurately and legitimately described and understood as a military invasion. These are subjects of the most intense sensitivity for the Chinese regime.
With that in mind the reader will see in a new light the conditions China imposes upon possible discussions on Tibet. It utterly rejects any notion of entering into talks with the exiled, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) which it refuses to acknowledge, while contemptuously dismissing the office held by Lobsang Sangay. Instead it demands contact only with envoys of the Dalai Lama and when responding on the subject of Tibet is consistently intransigent and lays down a series of requirements directed at the Dalai Lama. In essence these demand a recognition that Tibet has always been a part of China and that he must give up what the Chinese regime describe as ‘splittist activities’.
As these political diversions serve China’s twisted agenda they come as no surprise, after all its totalitarian regime has been distorting and deceiving on the matter of Tibet and its status since 1950! What is more remarkable however is the recently adopted prominence, invested by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and the CTA, to promoting a return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama. It plays into the propaganda maneuvering of China’s authorities, enabling them to further manipulate and progress their uncompromising demands. But there’s another factor which adds to the concern at such a prospect.
The Central Tibetan Administration is actively promoting a dangerous set of compromises in an effort to bring China to the negotiating table, at the core of such concessions is a stated willingness to surrender Tibet’s lawful right to nationhood. Lobsang Sangay has gone much further in detailing the vision he has for the Tibetan people, a so-called genuine autonomy for Tibetans under the dictate of China’s rule and defined by Chinese national and regional law. Let that sink in for a moment and we are pretty sure the word which will surface is, surrender. Unless you are of a diplomatic persuasion then it may be realism.
For this politically suicidal objective to be realized China’s dictates require absolute compliance and at the very heart of such demands is the Dalai Lama. In launching this latest ambition to see His Holiness returned to Tibet is Lobsang Sangay offering further capitulations in the desperate hope of advancing his goal of seeing Tibetans living as a contented Chinese minority under the compassionate rule of Chinese rule?
Where would we be without the lithium-powered technology which has become such a feature of daily life for millions around the planet. If you are a Tibetan witnessing the poisoning of your land, water and air such a question must seem a touch self-interested and callous. For in the scramble to profit from the lithium market Chinese mineral and mining companies are transforming Tibetan areas such as that around Golmud in Amdo region into toxic wastelands. Tibet and its people are paying a very heavy price for technology which have become such a social and economic necessity in the laughingly named developed world.
Anonymous activists have been busy the past few days ahead of an action they are calling #OpGoldFKR, which launches April 1 and seeks to target Chinese mining corporations, whose presence in occupied Tibet is causing serious environmental damage and poisoning Tibetans. Today however a number of Chinese government websites have been hacked and taken offline by hacktivists operating under the title #Op_Tibet #BlackHatGlobal #TheCreed, Targets have included government, engineering sites and just announced on Twitter a bio-medical research center website was breached and its data results leaked. Many thanks to @Eliminatori10 for sharing news on this.
Our activism is presently targeting the United Nations Commission On The Status Of Women (UNCSW) and associated women’s Non-Governmental Organizations, convened at the sixty-second session of the UNCSW at UN headquarters, New York, March 12 to 23 2017.
Regular visitors here will know we’ve consistently exposed and challenged the UNCSW and women’s NGOs for their refusal to oppose and condemn forced sterilizations. In particular their silence on China’s coercive population control program. Clearly anyone supporting human rights would be concerned that a UN body and NGOs, apparently dedicated to defending and promoting women’s rights, choose to ignore these harrowing violations. Yet that’s precisely what is happening.
There’s something deeply wrong at work here, especially when you consider that their collective silence and evasion on this issue is in opposition to the findings and concerns of other divisions of the United Nations! Unlike @UN_CSW (and @UN_Women) the UN’s Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) is sufficiently concerned about the plight of women suffering under the harrowing realities of China’s population policies to take action. It also is not inhibited to express its concerns:
“In November 2015, the UN Committee against Torture conducted its fifth periodic review of China’s compliance with the Convention.18 In its concluding observations, the Committee stated its concerns about China’s coercive implementation of the population policy, such as coerced sterilization and forced abortion, and the lack of information on investigations into such allegations” (Source: CECC Report 2016).
We would like to thank the UN Committee Against Torture for its concern on this most disturbing of human rights violations and greatly appreciate their decision to investigate and challenge the Chinese authorities on this matter. A few months earlier they had requested China’s regime provide information on ‘‘the total number of investigations or prosecutions launched against officials and other persons” with respect to coercion within China’s population program. Responding during October 2015 China’s government failed to furnish the Committee with the relevant data sought by UNCAT. No surprise there then!
This clear refusal to comply with a official UN inquiry into reports of violations imposed by China’s population control program provides further evidence (not that much more be needed) that women in China remain subject to a range of draconian measures that contravene a number of human rights principles and breach the United Nations’ Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995, endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 50/203 of 22 December 1995).
That document, to which China is a signatory, states that governments which participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women reaffirmed their commitment to: ‘‘Ensure the full implementation of the human rights of women and of the girl child as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of all human rights and fundamental freedoms; . . .’’ (para. 9) and ‘‘are convinced that . . . [t]he explicit recognition and reaffirmation of the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to their empowerment; . . .’’ (para. 17).
UNCSW and Women’s NGOs may be seen across social media as championing women’s rights and demanding empowerment across all sorts of areas. Such as education, employment, social mobility and human rights. Indeed who would oppose such calls. The priority theme for 2018 is ‘Empowering Rural Women And Girls’, and we have witnessed limitless energy and arguments to advance that cause.
However their take on ’empowerment’ does not extend to a woman having a right not be forcibly sterilized, they do not advocate what any right-thinking person would consider as constituting a fundamental freedom. Even as their prestigious UN colleagues in the Committee Against Torture document their concerns on the subject and expose the Chinese authorities blatant refusal to cooperate, they remain mute!
Meanwhile the parallel NGO Forum, which runs as ‘Side Events’ over the same dates is hosting a series of meetings and presentations. These for the most part reflect the main theme. However, other issues feature, including of course Female Genital Mutilation. No one is arguing these are not worthy subjects to be supported. Yet the key point is that the same community of women’s NGOs has again chosen not to give exposure to the forced sterilization of women. Yet those organizations are aware of those violations, especially with regard to China, despite such knowledge they have once more cast a veil of indifference over the subject.
This censorship and denial occurs each year at the UNCSW and NGO Forum, making a mockery of the claim that such bodies are committed champions of women’s human rights. If truth be known it is an agenda, or ideology which is being supported, not human rights as a universal principle, hence the politically correct themes and issue selectivity on display.
In that tragic land of a once free and peaceful Tibet we are hearing today, reports of another self-immolation. Details at the time of this post are not completely detailed, but a Tibetan man named as Tseko, self-immolated today in Ngaba, within Tibet’s Amdo region. An action taken in protest at China’s illegal and violent occupation.
Image: courtesy of the bravery of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet
Thanks to those immensely courageous Tibetans for getting news of this to the wider world.