Friday, August 15, 2014

The Return of the Marxist Propaganda

Delegates having a good time in Tibet
Yesterday Xinhua published a text called the 'Lhasa Consensus'.
It is the resolutions reached at the end of the ‘2014 Forum on the Development of Tibet, China’, organized by Beijing with a few foreign supporters of the Communist Party of China.
The ‘2014 Forum’ was jointly organized by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China (The Cabinet) and the so-called People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
It was an official affair and the ‘invitees’ had no choice, but to agree to the terms dictated by the Party in Beijing.
They probably knew this before: there is no free meal in Communist China (and the meals looked very good on the photos!).
The ‘Forum’ was held from August 12 to 13 in Lhasa.
The official propaganda says (and publishes photos to prove it) that it was attended by 100 distinguished participants (read Communist China apologists) from more than 30 countries (this is doubtful).
On the official photos released by the organizers, a large percentage looked Chinese amongst the ‘100’.
It was the first time that this type of propaganda exercise was held in Tibet.
According to the organizers, the owner of an Indian ‘national newspaper’, a regular supporter of China’s occupation of Tibet, represented India.
The opening ceremony was addressed by Lobsang Gyaltsen, the chairman of the TAR government, who gave his usual speech on ‘leap-frog development’, “the basis for and key to solve all problems Tibet is facing and the region's sustainable development is at the core.”
Gyaltsen added: “Tibet will never develop at the expense of its environment… To protect Tibet's environment is the biggest contribution we can make to the nation and even humankind."
It impressed the delegates.
Gyaltsen also ‘vowed’ to maintain social stability and harmony …a pre-condition for Tibet's leap-frog development, he said.
The problem is that in China ‘stability’ does not rhyme with ‘freedom’.
Just before the Forum, The People’s Daily had reported that Beijing had released new nationwide regulations for instant messaging services (SMS). The regulations bring ‘limitations’ in terms of content for account-holders. One of the key requirements in the new rules is that all users must register with real names; names must be validated by the service provider upon registration. Those public accounts opened by organizations that provide information services must go through additional reviews and must register with corresponding government administrative offices while service providers are also required to preserve records and proof of violations.
This is for the mainland, you can imagine the situation in ‘minority’ restive areas like Tibet and Xinjiang?
Cui Yuying (a Tibetan, with a Han name), who is vice director of the Information Office of China's State Council, inaugurated the ‘Forum’.
She used the old argument that only Beijing wants modernity for Tibet. The same argument was used in the 1950s, when Mao and his colleagues pretended that the Dalai Lama did not want ‘reforms’ and therefore Tibet needed to be ‘liberated’.
More than one million people died in the process.
Cui insisted that for some (the Dalai Lama?) “Tibet should remain primitive and any development of the region equals the annihilation of Tibetan culture and the region's environment.” She added: “To their understanding, Tibetans should always ride yaks and live in tents.”
According to Xinhua, during the two days, representatives, including scholars, journalists, politicians and entrepreneurs, “voiced their understanding of Tibet' s development”. The Chinese news agency quoted Beijing’s special invitee, the ‘publisher of India’s largest English newspaper’ (it is wrong, The Hindu is not the largest newspaper in India): “The rapid and sustainable development of Tibet within the socialist system, in a way that benefits the region's 3 million people, is one of China' s strategic objectives. …Tibet has been visibly transformed by double-digit GDP growth over two decades without a break and has entered a new stage of development".
The same Indian ‘representative’ affirmed: “As a result of this development, Tibet's interaction and integration with the rest of China has deepened and its isolation from the rest of the world has decisively been ended."
Mr. Ram probably never reads the Chinese press, which readily admits that most of the infrastructure in Tibet is built for the ‘defense of the national borders’ (read, to forestall an Indian attack).
In Tibet, ‘Interaction and Integration’ is first undertaken for defense purpose.
The theme of the Forum was ‘The Development of Tibet: Opportunities and Alternatives’, while sub-themes were ‘Sustainable Development, Inheritance and Protection of Tibetan Culture, and ‘Ecological and Environmental Protection’.
Lord Neil Davison of the Labor Party, ‘represented’ the United Kingdom.
Lord Davidson was quoted by the Chinese as saying: “Many western reports are written by enthusiasts of the Dalai Lama. And they may feel uncomfortable when their presumptions or assumptions are challenged. It is uncomfortable and expensive to have their prejudice challenged."
Amazingly, Lord Davidson's argument is that the high cost of travel to Tibet is one reason why the ‘profit-making’ western media chooses not to report from the region. He seems unaware that Beijing has banned foreign journalists from visiting Tibet, “let alone carrying out any kind of independent journalism there,” adds the BBC which reports: “His comments have been met by astonishment by Free Tibet, a UK-based group that campaigns for an end to what it calls China's occupation of Tibet.”
The group in a statement said: “If the reports are accurate, Lord Davidson should have acquainted himself with the facts before regurgitating China's propaganda on Tibet. Economic development in Tibet is far from what it seems from the window of a car or a plush meeting room in Lhasa."
Lord Davidson
The BBC admits that it has been unable - either through the Labour Party or through Lord Davidson's legal practice in Scotland - to contact the good Lord.
As for the Indian publisher, when he was asked: What are choices for the 14th Dalai Lama? he declared: "The remarkable fact is that after the 14th Dalai Lama has incited and done many separatist activities, the Chinese government still opens the door and would like to talk with him. The communication door is always open.”
It was clearing speaking on behalf of Beijing.
N. Ram adds: "But even if the 14th Dalai Lama said if there was a solution, he would dissolve his government in exile and claimed that he was a simple monk. He had no intention of coming back, because he has spent his whole life fled, from 24 years old when he was immature, and now considered as a wise man over art of happiness and meditation. It is not doubt that he is more a political leader than a monk. He knows how to play on the emotions, which fools the world. Even the Hollywood stars think he is charismatic."
Not only he speaks for Beijing, but it takes decision for the Dalai Lama. It is amazing.

It appears that at the end of their ‘deliberations’, the delegates passed some resolutions, termed by Beijing ‘The Lhasa Consensus’:
  1. Participants notice that Tibet enjoys sound economic growth, social harmony, deep-rooted Tibetan culture and beautiful natural scenery, and the people enjoy a happy life. It is a place where the modern and the traditional meet and where man lives in harmony with nature. Tibet has embarked on an irreversible path of modern civilization.
  2. Participants notice that ordinary people in Tibet are satisfied with their well-off lives, good education, sound medical care, housing and various social securities. All ethnic groups in Tibet have full confidence and motivation for building a better future.
  3. Participants notice that Tibet's traditional culture is apparent everywhere. Fine traditional culture and cultural relics have been well preserved. This is a result of the dedication and efforts of the Chinese Central Government and the People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region in protecting, inheriting, and advocating Tibetan culture, which should be encouraged and supported.
  4. Participants notice that different religions co-exist in harmony in Tibet and the Tibetan people enjoy religious freedom. Prayer flags, pilgrims and people burning aromatic plants for religious purpose can be seen easily on the streets of Lhasa. The temples are crowded with worshippers and pilgrims.
  5. Participants notice that most parts of Tibet are still in a natural state. While enjoying modern civilization, the Tibetan people are able to enjoy blue skies and white clouds, holy mountains and lakes, forests, grasslands, clean water and fresh air.
  6. Participants notice that a path of sustainable development in Tibet featuring coordinated and balanced economic, social, cultural development, ecological and environmental protection will not only be beneficial to the long-term development of Tibet but also offer a significant model for other countries and regions. Participants appreciated the substantial efforts and considerable achievements of the Chinese Central Government and the People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region in promoting economic and social development, improving people's well-being, preserving the culture and improving the ecology and environment of Tibet.
  7. Participants unanimously agree that what they have actually seen in Tibet differs radically from what the 14th Dalai and the Dalai clique have said. The Dalai clique's statements on Tibet are distorted and incorrect. Many Western media reports are biased and have led to much misunderstanding. Seeing is believing. Participants express the aspiration to introduce the real Tibet to the world.
  8. Participants notice that the forum, jointly held by the State Council Information Office of China and the People's Government of Tibet Autonomous Region is of great significance for bringing Tibet to the world and helping the world have a better understanding of Tibet. Participants were satisfied with the considerate arrangements for the forum and looked forward to regularly holding the forum in Tibet.
In the meantime, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) in Dharamsala received a list of 45 Tibetans from Sichuan Province who were arrested between 2008 and 2009.
According to TCHRD, all of the prisoners on the list were held in Deyang (德阳) prison, located in Huang Xu Town in Deyang City, Sichuan Province. TCHRD says: “The list is the latest evidence from Tibet of the harsh measures the Chinese imposed in Tibet during and after the 2008 Tibetan Uprising.”
The Dharamsala-based human rights organization affirmed that the list was compiled by Gonpo Trinley, who was himself held in the same prison from 2008-2009; Trinley smuggled the list out of Tibet and brought it in India on August 2, 2014.
It is of course the tip of an iceberg.
TCHRD also reported that “despite strict restriction on communication, information is coming out of Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Sichuan Province [the apologists will say that it is not Tibet, as it outside the TAR] that Chinese paramilitary forces opened fire on unarmed Tibetan protesters on 12 August 2014. At least ten Tibetans were injured. The injured Tibetans suffered gunshot wounds to their heads and torsos. Photographs of the injuries appeared on social media sites shortly after the shooting.”
It is probably a detail for the ‘experts’, though according to TCHRD, the Tibetans were just protesting the detention of Wangdak, "a widely respected village leader, the night before. Local police officers detained Wangdak at midnight from his home in Denma Shugpa Village in Loshu Township in Sershul County of Kardze TAP.”
This is a drop in an ocean of repression.
No, development, road and infrastructure for the Army or the Chinese tourists cannot replace freedom of expression.
But Lord Davidson and Mr. Ram preferred to visit the Gorges of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra), near the Indian border than the Chinese prisons in Tibet; they can always argued that they were not engaged for this.
Beijing should however by now be aware that during the last 60 years, propaganda has not helped to solve the ‘Tibetan issue’, which the Chinese leadership still consider as a ‘foreign’ invention.
Let the Dalai Lama come for a visit to Lhasa, Beijing will understand who the Master of the Hearts of the Tibetans.

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