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Thursday, January 28, 2021

China still edgy about Tibet

(TibetanReview.net, Jan 09) — Despite its claims about the situation in Tibet having normalised after its brutal armed repression of an uprising there in Mar’08, the Chinese authorities, by their conduct, clearly confirm the truth only in the opposite sense. Armed troops are still everywhere, Tibetan pilgrims in Lhasa are being rounded up and sent back to their homes in the countryside and large areas of the Tibetan Plateau still remain out of bounds to foreigners, reported Aljazeera.net (Doha, Qatar) Jan 8. It cited exile Tibetan scholar at Harvard Dr Lobsang Sangay as describing the ground situation in much of Tibet as “undeclared martial law”.

As China anticipates more unrest in light of the upcoming 50th anniversary in March of the Tibetan National Uprising, the Chinese repression could not be more intense and relations between Chinese and Tibetans more hostile, given China’s highly publicized and telecasted false propaganda about the Mar’08 uprising. “It is a segregated society at the moment in Lhasa – with Tibetans on one side and Chinese on the other… the situation is very, very tense. Even old friends dare not talk to each other,” Dr Sangay was quoted as saying.

Aljazeera.net cited Beijing exiled prominent Tibetan writer in Chinese, Ms Woeser, as confirming Beijing was taking extreme measures to prevent more unrest around Mar 10 in 2009. She has said so many temples in Tibet were under direct control of the authorities with posting of the paramilitary People’s Armed Police. While Tibetans from outside capital Lhasa were being rounded up and sent back, those in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces, were being prevented from undertaking pilgrimages or even business trips to Lhasa or even from doing business there.

While China has trashed the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetan government’s highly conciliatory proposal for a negotiated solution to the Tibet issue, elements in respected circles still see negotiation as the best hope for solution for both the sides. The report cited Professor Gong Yuxuan at Beijing Foreign Studies University’s School of Philosophy and Social Science as saying trouble was less likely if Beijing could make amends with the exile community.

“Take Taiwan, for example, now the Chinese government and Taiwan have established a good relationship… If the Chinese government can do the same with the Dalai clique then it is less likely for any riots to happen in Tibet,” he was quoted as saying. Unfortunately, such voices of reason and conciliation have no impact on the Chinese government, which sees outright repression and annihilation as the only solution.

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