Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tibet: A Story of Discrimination

Hong Lei, the Chinese Foreign Ministry recently stated that the remarks of Maria Otero, the U.S. Undersecretary of State,  expressing concern about the self-immolations were 'disgusting'. 
He added that the Tibet issue has nothing to do with human rights, ethnicity or religion.
Well, Mr. He has a problem if he seriously believes that the immolations in Tibet have nothing to do with human rights, ethnicity or religion.
This is a typical of the Han Chauvinism prevalent in the Miuddle Kingdom today
Just take a small example, out of 376 members (205 full members and 171 alternate members) of the CCP's Central Committee (CC), some 67 have a military background (41 are full members of the CC and the rest are alternate members).
The entire military contingent in the CC, in other words 100% of 67, are Han Chinese. 
Where is the 'equality' amongst nationalities inscribed in the Chinese Constitution?
The present situation is discriminatory. There is a reason for that: the Hans have never trusted the 'minorities'.
As a result there is no 'minority' military officer on the Central Committee. Incidentally, a 'woman' officer has been rewarded with one seat (Dr Chen Zuoning working for the Research Institute of the PLA General Logistics Department).
Amongst the delegates to  the 18th Party Congress, some 300 delegates were associated with the People's Liberation Army or the People's Armed Police (para-military forces). 
The delegation had some 21 women (2 Manchus) and 14 'minority' officers, but none of them could make it to the CC.
Now, the People's Daily informs us that "China has launched a new regulation to curb self-immolation after several Tibetans burned themselves to death over the past months".
The new regulation has been prepared by the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. 

It states that "people who in any form plan, organize, incite or help others perform self-immolation will be tried for intentional homicide".
Further, it stipulates that "people who burn themselves in public places will be charged with a public security offense and those who parade a corpse through the streets or gather to watch the immolation without actively stopping the suicide will also be subject to criminal prosecution."
Xu Zhitao, one of the Director of the United Front Work Department affirmed that many of the people who perform self immolation have been brainwashed: "It is just not in their religion to end their own lives in such an unnatural and abrupt way. The Tibetan Buddhism is long known for its advocacy of sympathy and leniency. They respect life more than anything and this new wave of self-immolation, sponsored by the Dalai Lama or not, is against the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and a severe violation of the law."
In any case, Mr. He says it has nothing to do human rights, ethnicity or religion.
The fact remains that the so-called minorities are discriminated in the so-called People's Republic, otherwise why can't a Tibetan, a Mongol or an Uyghur make it to the Central Military Commission or the Politburo.
Today out of the 205 full CC members, Tibet has only one representative, Pema Thinley, the Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. 
Interestingly, Ling Jihua has become the new United Front Chief after his son Ling Gu died in a car accident in Beijing on March 18. 
Ling, a friend of President Hu Jintao was 'sacked' from his powerful job in the General Office of the CCP.
The New York Times reported: "Before dawn on March 18, a black Ferrari Spider speeding along Fourth Ring Road in Beijing ricocheted off a wall, struck a railing and cracked in two. Mr. Ling was killed instantly, and the two young Tibetan women with him were hospitalized with severe injuries. One died months later, and the other is recovering, party insiders said."
Ling tried his best to cover his son's accident. 
The families of the two women in the car are said to have received money from China’s largest state oil company to keep quiet. According to a top executive of a major foreign multinational, large sums had been paid “to make sure they shut up.” 

The posting of a tainted official in this sensitive seat (The United Front oversees 'minorities' issues, including the so-called negotiations with the Dalai Lama's envoys) also shows the disregard that the Central leaders have for the 'minorities'.

China Rejects US View on Rights in Tibet

VOA News
December 07, 2012
 China has lashed out at the United States for remarks by a U.S. official blaming China's restrictive policies in Tibet for a rise in self-immolation protests.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Friday called the remarks "disgusting" and said the Tibet issue has nothing to do with human rights, ethnicity or religion.
Hong repeated China's position that Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and his supporters are inciting the immolations allegedly to press for lifting China's control over Tibet.
Earlier this week, U.S. Undersecretary of State Maria Otero expressed concern about the self-immolations and urged China to let Tibetans express their grievances freely.  She said China has responded to the protests with measures that tighten strict controls on Tibetans on freedoms of religion, expression and assembly.
In other news, a Chinese Communist Party newspaper is reporting that China is enforcing a new law aimed at curbing self-immolation by prosecuting those who burn themselves in public places.
The Global Times says authorities also will arrest people who gather to watch the immolations without trying to stop them, or who parade a corpse through the streets.
According to the newspaper, the law stipulates that "to incite and help others commit self-immolation" is a criminal act "depriving people of their lives."
There has been a recent spike in immolations in Tibetan areas of China.
At least 92 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in western China since 2009, with 28 cases reported in November alone.  The acceleration has coincided with several anti-China rallies and a corresponding security crackdown.
From his exile home in India, the Dalai Lama has denied any involvement in the immolations.  He has said repeatedly he is not pushing for Tibetan independence, but for greater autonomy.
China views Tibet as a non-negotiable part of its territory.

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