Chinese Authorities in Tibet Have Launched a 42-Day “Strike Hard” Campaign.

Via on Jan 28, 2009

Tibet, March 2008

[A photo from the protests in Rebkong, Tibet, March 2008.  Image via FreeTibet.org.]

Earlier this week, Radio Free Asia reported that Chinese authorities in Tibet had launched “a 42-day ‘strike hard’ campaign in the Himalayan region, rounding up thousands for questioning.”  As Andrea Miller noted in a post for Shambhala Sun Space, “strike hard” campaigns were first begun in China in the early 1980s to combat organized crime.  In this context, however, the campaign is being used to suss out, intimidate, and/or silence supporters of Tibetan autonomy or independence–in particular, those active in the uprisings and anti-Olympic demonstrations of last year.  With the 50th anniversary of the crushed Tibetan revolt against Communist rule in Lhasa (the events around which claimed the lives of an estimated 86,000 Tibetans) on the horizon, the Chinese are clearly preparing for more resistance and activism.

In a press release, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy states that so far 5,766 people have been rounded up by Chinese police.  Then today, the Associated Press reported that 81 people have been detained.  Thirty people were ostensibly being held on charges of “robbery, prostitution, and theft.” Another forty-eight were arrested on unspecified charges, and the last two are charged with having “reactionary music” on their cell phones.  (China takes this music issue very seriously.  Last year, the government blocked iTunes during the Olympics, presumably in response to the fact that athletes had been downloading free tracks from the album Songs for Tibet – The Art of Peace in a “subtle act of protest.” The Art of Peace Foundation, which has produced the album, had offered the downloads free to Olympic athletes, “urging them to play the songs on their iPods during the Games as a show of support.”)

Because the fiftieth Tibetan National Uprising Day is right around the corner, and it seems that China is going to pull out all the stops to keep things quiet, it’s an important time to support Tibetans both inside Tibet and in exile.  Below is a list of organizations you might consider donating time, money, and other assistance to.  You can also be helpful by emailing, Facebooking, MySpacing, blogging about them, as well.

[Parts of this post originally appeared at my blog.  For more information on the situation in Tibet and other issues, visit http://chaplaindanny.blogspot.com.]

About Reverend Danny Fisher

Rev. Danny Fisher, M.Div., D.B.S. (Cand.), is a professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, CA. He was ordained as a lay Buddhist minister by the Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California in 2008. In addition, he is certified as a mindfulness meditation instructor by Naropa University in association with Shambhala International. A member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, he serves on the advisory council for the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program. In addition to his work for elephant journal, he is a blogger for Shambhala Sun. He has also written for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Religion Dispatches, The Journal of Buddhist Ethics, The Journal of Religion & Film, Eastern Horizon, New York Spirit, Alternet's Wiretap Magazine, and other publications. His award-winning website is http://www.dannyfisher.org

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