Tibet: China's disgrace

BEIJING, March 16 AFP - Tibet’s government has declared a people's war'' to erase support for the Dalai Lama and end any independence aspirations of the people there, Chinese state media said today. The blitz will involve both security and propaganda campaigns to counter the message of the exiled Buddhist spiritual leader, the Tibetan Daily reported. The people's war call was made during an emergency meeting of Tibetan political and security chiefs yesterday, the report said, following deadly protests a day earlier against China's 58-year rule of Himalayan region. This grave outburst of fighting, destruction, and burning was planned by reactionary separatist forces both within and outside our borders to smash the social order with the ultimate goal of an independent Tibet,’’ a statement from the meeting said.
We must wage a people's war to beat splittism and expose and condemn the malicious acts of these hostile forces and expose the hideous face of the Dalai Lama group to the light of day.'' The unrest first erupted early last week when Buddhist monks led demonstrations to mark the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule that forced the Dalai Lama into exile. Eyewitnesses reports have said protesters were chanting support for independence and the Dalai Lama, who remains revered by the Tibetan Buddhist faithful. Authorities plan to attack this support with a propaganda push, the Tibetan Daily said. Meanwhile, in another state media report today, a Tibetan spiritual leader picked by China's rulers condemned what he called lawless riots’’ in his homeland, saying a tiny minority was to blame.
The rioters' acts not only harmed the interests of the nation and the people, but also violated the aim of Buddhism,'' the Panchen Lama said, according to Xinhua news agency. We resolutely oppose all activities to split the country and undermine ethnic unity,’’ said the 18-year-old Panchen Lama, nominally Tibet’s second highest spiritual leader after the Dalai Lama.
We strongly condemn the crime of a tiny number of people to hurt the lives and properties of the people,'' he added, using language steeped in vocabulary favoured by Chinese propaganda departments. He said he hoped the situation in Lhasa could calm down soon, and that peace and stability would return to the people and the Buddhist followers’’, according to Xinhua.
The Chinese government enthroned the current 11th Panchen Lama in 1995, rejecting another boy that had been selected by the exiled Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s highest spiritual authority.
The esoteric enthronement ritual is part of a Tibetan Buddhist tradition where youths that pass certain religious tests are selected as the reincarnation of previously departed spiritual leaders.
The Dalai Lama’s choice for the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, disappeared from public view in 1995 aged six and is believed to have been under a form of house arrest ever since.

By Karl Malakunas
BEIJING, March 16 AFP - The Tibetan capital Lhasa remained tense today amid a huge security clampdown, as China faced strong international pressure to use restraint in ending an uprising that has left many people dead.
Residents reported that soldiers were still blanketing the city, two days after violent protests presented China’s communist rulers with a huge domestic crisis just five months out from the Beijing Olympics.
The unrest, the biggest challenge to China’s rule of the vast Himalayan region since protests in 1989 were crushed by the military, left at least 10 people dead, according to the official Chinese account in the state-run press.
But the Tibetan government-in-exile yesterday said about 30 people had been killed and it had received unconfirmed reports of 100 fatalities.
With Lhasa sealed off to foreign journalists and tourists, independent information was scare, making it impossible to determine exactly how many people were killed and how.
Lhasa’s mayor, Doje Cezhug, insisted the situation in Lhasa and throughout the region was calm.
We didn't enforce martial law there, and the situation in Tibet as a whole is good at present,'' the mayor said in Beijing on the sidelines of China's annual parliamentary session, according to the official Xinhua news agency. However, people inside Lhasa said the city remained extremely tense, with soldiers on every street corner and residents either under orders, or too scared, to go outside. Nobody is going outside. We are not sure if there is a curfew but it is clearly implied,’’ one foreigner in Lhasa, who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution, said by phone.
You would be mad to go outside, there are police and security everywhere.'' Friday's violence saw Tibetans ransack Chinese businesses and destroy police cars, with China's state-run media blaming people aligned to exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for masterminding the violence. Tibetan rights groups have countered that Chinese security forces fired gunshots to quell the unrest, and the protests were due to decades of brutal rule from China's communist rulers. China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 to liberate’’ the region from feudal rule and officially annexed it a year later.
In 1959, Tibetans staged a huge uprising against the Chinese that the military crushed. The Dalai Lama fled his homeland following the failed challenge and has since lived in Dharamshala, India.
The latest protests were held to mark the anniversary of the 1959 uprising.
The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace prize in 1989 for his peaceful resistance to Chinese rule and insists he does not want independence for Tibet, rather greater cultural autonomy and an end to repression.
However, China views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous splittist'' who is intent on achieving independence for his homeland. The Dalai Lama expressed deep concern’’ about China’s crackdown to the latest unrest, and urged Chinese authorities to address the resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue'' rather than through force. With China having set a deadline of tomorrow at midnight for demonstrators to surrender, the Dalai Lama is to deliver a speech later today from Dharamshala. With the world waiting to see how China will deal with the protests, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged the Chinese government to exercise restraint’’.
Rice said she was deeply saddened'' that Friday's protests resulted in the loss of lives’’ and expressed concern that the violence appears to be continuing''. I also am concerned by reports of a sharply increased police and military presence in and around Lhasa,’’ she said in a statement.
``We call on the Chinese government to exercise restraint in dealing with these protests, and we strongly urge all sides to refrain from violence,’’ Rice said.
Many other nations, including Australia, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Canada, have also expressed concern about the events in Lhasa and urged China to act with moderation.
For China, the crisis comes as it sought to prove itself as a responsible world power and a force for global harmony ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.

DHARAMSHALA, India, March 16 AFP - At least 1,000 Tibetan exiles packed the centre of their northern India base today for fresh protests over China’s crackdown in Tibet following deadly riots.
Activists nailed hundreds of Chinese flags to the ground for people in Dharamshala, home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile, to walk on on their way to the main Buddhist temple.
China should stop the brutal crackdown and genocide inside Tibet,'' Sonam Darjee, a leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress - a pro-independence group which views the Dalai Lama's call for greater autonomy as not going far enough. The Tibetan Youth Congress has always believed in independence for Tibet. Inside Tibet the people want independence. Most of the people killed in Lhasa are Tibetans. They have been killed by Chinese,’’ he said.
Other demonstrators, however, said they wanted to see China agree to more talks with the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan leadership in Dharamshala.
We are demanding a peace dialogue between his holiness and the Chinese. What is going on in Tibet should stop,'' said Lhagyal Tsering, a teacher who fled Tibet for northern India in 1981. A group of around 70 refugees also began a hunger strike in a temple and under a banner describing China as a killer of Tibetans and enemy of mankind’’ and calling for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tenzin Taklha, a joint secretary of the exiled Tibetan administration, repeated today that the violence in Lhasa had left around 30 ``confirmed dead’’, with unconfirmed figures taking that number up to 100.
China’s official version, published by Xinhua news agency, is that 10 people, mostly businesspeople, were killed on Friday.

PARIS, March 16, 2008 (AFP) - Leading French sports official Jean-Luc Rouge has said that staging the Olympics in August would be more of threat to the Chinese authorities than if they were hit by a boycott over human rights.
Rouge, president of the French Judo Federation, told Le Parisien newspaper that organising the Games would be more dangerous for the Chinese leadership than beneficial.'' Without the Olympics ahead, the world would not be so concerned over what is going on in Tibet’’, he said referring to last week’s violent repression of anti-Chinese rallies in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.
Rouge took part in the judo tournament at the 1980 Moscow Olympics which were hit by a US-led boycott over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and he said that staging the Games contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall'' nine years later. Holding the Olympics in Moscow simply turned the spotlight on the country, the way of life there and the internal security systems,’’ he added.

DHARAMSALA, India, March 16 Agencies - Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama says the Beijing Olympics should go ahead despite the Chinese crackdown on protests in his homeland.

``I want the Games,’’ he said, refusing to call for a boycott, as many Tibetan exiles have been demanding.

[b]``The Olympics should not be called off,’’ he told reporters today in Dharamsala in northern India, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama’s home in exile.

The Chinese people ... need to feel proud of it. China deserves to be a host of the Olympic Games,'' he added, saying Beijing needed to be reminded to be a good host of the Olympic Games.’’ [/b]

The Dalai Lama launched a scathing criticism of China’s decades-long rule of his homeland and called for an international probe into the unrest.

[b]``Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some cultural genocide is taking place.

``They simply rely on using force in order to simulate peace, a peace brought by force using a rule of terror.

``Please investigate, if possible … some international organisation can try firstly to inquire about the situation in Tibet.’’ [/b]

Police and troops have locked down Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, two days after ugly street protests against Chinese rule that the contested region’s government-in-exile said had killed 80 people.

The unrest followed three days of protests by hundreds of monks in Lhasa, India and elsewhere around the world marking the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his peaceful resistance to Chinese rule and insists he does not want independence for Tibet, but rather greater cultural autonomy and an end to repression.

[I reckon that’s the only thing he’s wrong about: Tibet should be independent. I went to hear him make an address many years ago and was extremely impressed with the Dalai Lama, far more so than with a couple of his retinue who were on some kind of ego trip, particularly one westerner. But the great man himself came across as wise and modest, kk]

BEIJING, March 16 AP - China has blocked access to YouTube after dozens of videos of the protests in Tibet appeared on the popular website.
The blocking added to the communist government’s efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted on Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule.
Access to YouTube, usually readily available in China, was blocked after videos appeared on the site yesterday showing foreign news reports about the Lhasa demonstrations, montages of photos and scenes from Tibet-related protests abroad.
There were no protest scenes posted on China-based video websites such as 56.com, youku.com and tudou.com.
The Chinese government has not commented on its move to prevent access to YouTube. Internet users trying to call up the website are presented with a blank screen.
Chinese leaders encourage internet use for education and business but use online filters to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic.
Foreign websites run by news organisations and human rights groups are regularly blocked if they carry sensitive information. Operators of China-based online bulletin boards are required to monitor their content and enforce censorship.
China has at least 210 million internet users, according to the government, and is expected to overtake the United States soon to become the biggest population of web surfers.
Beijing tightened controls on online video with rules that took effect on January 30 and limited video-sharing to state-owned companies.
Regulators backtracked a week later, apparently worried they might disrupt a growing industry, and said private companies that already were operating legally could continue. They said any new competitors would be bound by the more stringent restrictions.

I won’t read these articles now, I’ll probably find it hard to get to sleep. That does say something. Sometimes ignorance is bliss because the truth can hurt.

it certainly sends out a clear statement to taiwan about their own move to complete independance away from china

Note the Dalai Lama does NOT want a boycott. He knows it’s a meaningless sop by people who want to pretend they’re doing something when they really arent.

an on the podium protest has alot more visibility.

It would probably takes someone of Chinese origin (preferably of Tibetan, but they have no-one good enough to stand on the podium) or of Asian/Oriental regional basis to do a Tommie Smith. It needs to be a gold medallist or the protest would be dismissed.

In the year before he died, the Mexico Olympic silver medallist Peter Norman of Australia declared he wanted the present generation to take a stand on what they believed strongly in - and do it on the pdoium in Beijing.

“Today there is a whole new generation,” he said.

“But someone still has to stand up and make a statement on behalf of the downtrodden.”

Referring to the Olympics, he went on to say, “Once you’ve earned the right to stand on that podium, you’ve got that square metre of the world that belongs to you.”