Spread the word: call it The Tibet Earthquake—not the “Western China Quake.”

Via elephant journal
on Apr 16, 2010
get elephant's newsletter

tibet china quake earthquake

Update: The official, government-approved death toll now stands at 1141, though Tibetans on the ground tell stories of bodies piled up hills, too many dead and missing to count.

Remember: this is about people, not just borders. Tibetans don’t even have the right to assemble in that province under Chinese rule.

We’ve been reporting on the so-called China Quake (as the Chinese PR outfits and mainstream media, Hillary Clinton…everyone except for Nancy Pelosi have called it) since it occurred, and through our Buddhist community we’ve been able to share first-hand reports and how to best help, now.

But one thing has been grating at me since this quake first occurred—this quake hit Tibet and Tibetans, not China or Chinese. 98% of the area is Tibetan, despite the importing of Chinese Hans. In fact, it hit an area of Tibet that fought for decades against the Chinese “People’s Liberation” and only lay down their weapons at the direct order of the Dalai Lama (then, many of the warriors and their families were killed).

This is an area of Tibet that is still fiercely independent—and many of the Chinese military, having arrived two days too late to be of any help, are there to watch the countless monks who have worked tirelessly to save their own people—and make sure that they don’t rise up in protest again, as they did in 2008.

So let’s stop calling it the China Quake. That’s like calling occupied Austria, during WWII, “Germany.” Think that’s an exaggeration? Mao was responsible for more deaths than Hitler and Stalin combined.

For an article much better than this one, on the same subject, click over to Josh Schrei on Huffington Post.

The Tibetans that died in Jyekundo had the right to die as Tibetans, not as Chinese.

The tragic 6.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Jyekundo yesterday has been consistently labeled the “China Quake” by the mainstream media. It is worth noting, for many reasons, that Jyekundo is firmly planted in what was formerly Tibet and the vast majority of the victims are Tibetan…

…A few international reporters made their way to the quake site early and have been allowed to report relatively unimpeded. But reports have already started that access is being limited. Minnie Chan from South China Morning Post stated that the PRC has issued a ban on reporters traveling to the region. And, as the New Yorker posted yesterday, the Chinese government propaganda apparatus has quickly sought to control exactly how the story of the Jyekundo quake is told, limiting results on the state-sanctioned search engine and continually and relentlessly referring to the the quake as the “China quake” and the victims as Chinese…for the rest, click here.

Tibetan Videos:


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


6 Responses to “Spread the word: call it The Tibet Earthquake—not the “Western China Quake.””

  1. This issue has been annoying me also. Tibet is not "in" China and does not want to be. Tibet is an occupied country. If there were an earthquake in Iraq or Afghanistan would we call it an American earthquake?

  2. Good analogy. Those Taliban have been causing havoc in our Americaghanistan, lately.

  3. viahttp://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    Tobye Hillier
    Happening over here in Europe as well…. they're not even saying western china.

  4. […] whole tragic bloody political and occasionally inspiring (in the way that tragedies so often are) Tibet Earthquake, called the China Earthquake by worldwide media, since it happened. Our columnist Jon Pappas and […]

  5. lee says:

    people, what do you want? save lives or argue about independence?