March 9, 2009

China continues to clamp down; anniversary of Tibetan protests is tomorrow morning. Worse, they shut down Oasis concert.

Chinese suppression of all things Tibetan (except tourism) knows no end. They’ve started a widespread campaign to crackdown on Tibetans—those vicious evil Buddhist peace-loving nomads. Update re China’s Tibet clamp down via NY Times:

The announcement of the increased patrols came one day before the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan rebellion against Chinese rule. After the 1959 revolt was suppressed, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India.

Last year this month, the police clamped down on a protest by Buddhist monks in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, prompting many Tibetans to riot in the streets. The uprising quickly spread to other Tibetan areas of China, becoming the largest- scale Tibetan rebellion against Chinese rule in decades.

The Chinese government fears the same thing could happen again this year, and it has been flooding Tibetan regions across western China with troops and police officers, creating an unofficial state of martial law. Foreigners have been barred from many areas.

In the uprising last year, at least 19 people were killed in Lhasa, most of them Han Chinese civilians, according to the Chinese government. In the ensuing crackdown, 220 Tibetans were killed, nearly 1,300 were injured and nearly 7,000 were detained or imprisoned, according to the Tibetan government-in-exile, which is based in Dharamsala, India. More than 1,000 Tibetans are still missing…

…Simmering resentment at Chinese rule has manifested itself in various ways in recent weeks. In late February, many of China’s six million Tibetans chose not to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year, to mourn those who suffered during the unrest last year. Monks and nuns have held protests in Tibetan areas of Gansu and Sichuan provinces. One monk in northern Sichuan set himself on fire in a marketplace.

Officials have been quick to blame such incidents on what they call the “Dalai clique.” A senior Tibetan official said on Sunday that the increased patrols in the Tibet Autonomous Region were temporary measures aimed at foiling separatist plots by the Dalai Lama’s followers.

“This year, they have intensified secessionist activities, trying to collude with their agents in Tibet,” said the official…

Shut down an Oasis concert? Could Chinese suppression get worse?

BEIJING — The popular British rock band Oasis has said that the Chinese government canceled the band’s scheduled debut concerts in China because a band member appeared at a Free Tibet concert in New York in 1997…The Chinese government gained full control of Tibet in 1951 after a military invasion. Eight years later, the military crushed a widespread rebellion, and the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, fled to India. Following an uprising last March, the Chinese government accused the Dalai Lama of advocating separatist violence, but the Dalai Lama says he supports genuine autonomy for the vast Tibetan region, not secession.

Because this month is the 50th anniversary of the failed revolt, the Chinese government is especially anxious over any signs of trouble. It has deployed thousands of soldiers and paramilitary police officers into Tibetan towns to suppress dissent, and closed off large parts of the Tibetan region to foreigners.

The Tibetan independence cause has drawn the support of many actors and musicians in the West, including the Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins and U2. The Chinese government became especially vigilant about musicians afterBjork, the pixie-like Icelandic singer, shouted “Tibet! Tibet!” during a concert last March in Shanghai. She had just finished performing a song called “Declare Independence” from “Volta,” her 2007 album.

The outburst drew sharp criticism from Chinese Internet users and praise from Tibetans and foreign supporters of an independent Tibet. The Culture Ministry said that Bjork “broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people’s feelings.”

In July, one month before the Summer Olympics, the Chinese Ministry of Culture posted new rules on its Web site saying that foreign entertainers who have taken part in activities that China deemed a threat to its sovereignty …

They’ve shut down all tourism into Tibet:

BEIJING: Chinese officials have significantly increased security forces across Tibet in the face of a grass-roots movement to boycott festivities during the coming Tibetan New Year, according to residents of the region and recent visitors. The movement aims to use the holiday period to mourn Tibetans who were killed during the government crackdown last March and express concern for those arrested or tortured.

With the holiday beginning next Wednesday, the increased forces have been seen in at least four crucial areas of the vast Tibetan region: Lhasa, the capital; Xiahe, a town in Gansu Province that is home to a large and restive Buddhist monastery; Tongren, a monastery town in Qinghai Province; and Lithang, a town in Sichuan Province that has been locked down this week.

The problems in Lithang stemmed from a single person’s protest on Sunday, according to residents and the Free Tibet Campaign, an advocacy group in London. A monk, Lobsang Lhundup, 37, shouted slogans from a street corner supporting the Dalai Lama and calling for a New Year’s boycott, the group said. The next day, hundreds of Tibetans took to the streets to demand the monk’s release; riot police officers broke up the protest and arrested about 20 people.

On Tuesday the government ordered shops and hotels to shut down…

For more, check out recent Times article.


That was so one week ago. Howwabout this:

Chinese police shoot Tibetan monk in self-immolation protest

A young Tibetan monk was shot by Chinese police after he set himself
on fire Feb. 27 , the third day of the Tibetan New Year, at a market
in Sichuan province’s Aba (Ngaba in Tibetan) prefecture, Voice of
Tibet radio service reported, citing eye-witness accounts. The monk
from Kirti Trunkhor monastery was apparently named Tabey and aged
between 25 and 30. He doused himself with gasoline and set himself
ablaze after holding aloft a picture of the Dalai Lama. He collapsed
after being shot by police, and was taken away. It is not known if he
is alive or dead.

Still, all in all, China’s patient, kind, understanding, even…generous to Tibet—the Reds may’ve killed one in six Tibetans (genocide, anyone?), mowed down the vast forests, dumped nuclear waste in the Himalayas (their own water source, for crying out loud) and pillaged and dececrated libraries and monastaries and nunneries…but at least they’re giving back a little green to the vast red hole they’ve created in the once-peaceful Land of the Snows:

6 Mar 2009: China plans to spend 15bn (£1.5bn) on environmental protection in Tibet, including measures to halt the encroachment of deserts, state media reports…

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