(TibetanReview.net, Aug16, 2014) –A senior MP belonging to Britain’s Labour Party has been criticized for taking part in a Chinese propaganda meeting on Tibet over Aug 11-12 and praising its rule in the occupied Himalayan territory at a time when his own party had expressed deep concern about the situation there. Lord Davidson of Glen Clova, a front-bench member of the House of Lords and Labour’s shadow Advocate General for Scotland, has been shown speaking highly of Chinese rule in Tibet while participating in the Fourth Forum on the Development of Tibet in Lhasa.
China’s state media also quoted him as saying Beijing should use more such meetings and “the power of media” to enable the people in his country to understand the type of development taking place in Tibet.
The Forum was organized jointly by the propaganda arm of the Chinese government – the Information Office of the State Council – and the regional government of Tibet Autonomous Region.
An Eight-point “Lhasa Consensus” issued at the end of the meeting, “backed by all the 100 attendees”, including the 40 participants from abroad, condemned the Dalai Lama while offering unqualified praise to the Chinese rule in Tibet.
The 7th point of the “consensus” said: “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.”
The document also said the participants agreed that Tibet “enjoys sound economic growth, social harmony, deep-rooted Tibetan culture and beautiful natural scenery, and the people enjoy a happy life”.
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, director of the UK-based group Free Tibet, has said Davidson should never have attended the conference in the first place. “The statement issued at the end of this event makes clear that the whole thing was an utterly cynical exercise in propaganda which Western participants blindly or willingly allowed themselves to become part of,” independent.co.uk Aug 14 quoted her as saying.
“As Lord Davidson was enjoying China’s hospitality in Lhasa, unarmed Tibetans were being shot by China’s security forces,” Ms Byrne-Rosengren was quoted as saying, referring to Chinese paramilitary police firing on hundreds of Tibetan villagers protesting against the detention of a respected village leader in a historically Tibetan area incorporated as part of Sichuan Province on Aug 12.
While a Labour Party spokesperson has said Davidson had attended the conference in a personal capacity, Chinese state media repeatedly described the 40 overseas participants from “Britain, India, the United States and other countries” as “representatives”.