Tibet's Party Boss to Separate Dalai Lama From Tibetan Buddhism

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Tibet's Party Boss Plans to Separate The 14th Dalai Lama From Tibetan Buddhism

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    Recently, just prior to the Third Plenum, Chen Quanguo, the current Party Secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), published an article in Qiushi (“Seeking Truth”) titled ‘Ensuring the Security of Tibet’s Ideological Realm with the Spirit of Daring to Show the Sword’. He pledges to “thoroughly carry out the educational activities of comparing old Tibet with the New Tibet, instructing people of various ethnic groups to be grateful to the Party, listen to the Party and follow the Party”. Ironically, he is expressing the kind of imperialist mentality that the Communist Party criticizes and claims to fight against.

    In dealing with Tibetans, he vows to “educate and guide cadres and ordinary people of various ethnic groups to separate Tibetan Buddhism from the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and separate the fourteenth Dalai Lama from the title of Dalai Lama…”.

    This statement shows that after 60 years of rule in Tibet, some CCP leaders are yet to understand Tibet’s intrinsic spiritual and cultural aspects. Tibetans believe His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the manifestation of Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion). This reverence exceeds any political leverage and is not born out of greatness of the title, but the greatness of the person. It represents the Tibetans’ active participation in serving the sacred duties of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This act of service is at the center of the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, which predates the Communist Party in China , as well as the Marxist ideology. During the last few decades, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been proposing dialogue with the Chinese communist leaders, in order to find a mutually beneficial solution. Along with the Tibetan people, he has peacefully sought genuine autonomy for Tibet within the scope of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China, while advising against violence that drive other movements to militant struggles worldwide.

    However, Chen Quanguo’s article will further antagonize Tibetans in Tibet. This is because his article disregards Tibetan values and imposes his perceived superior ideology. Such leftist opportunism played out in Tibet will derail any lofty proclamation like ‘Chinese Dream’.

    Chen Quanguo’s hardline pronouncement on Tibet are encouraged by two main reasons. One is the example shown by Hu Jintao who was catapulted from Party Secretary in TAR to the highest position in China after series of violent repression carried inside Tibet in late 80s.

    More than often, Party’s hardline mood in Beijing overdrives local leaders into employing repressive means. Last April, the Central Committee of the Communist Party’s General office in China circulated a confidential memo to its Party leaders, now leaked and known as Document 9. The document details “Noteworthy Problems Related to the Current State of the Ideological Sphere” and aims to impose a “unwavering adherence to the principle of the Party’s control of media”.

    The document calls on Communist leaders to ”persist in correct guidance of public opinion, insisting that the correct political orientation suffuse every domain and process in political engagement, form, substance, and technology”. It lists seven perils that could unsettle the Communist Party monopoly in China and directs its cadres to engage in an “intense struggle” against constitutional democracy, civil society, “nihilistic” views of history, “universal values,” and the promotion of “the West’s view of media”, among others. Such a hardline tendency will empower provincial leaders to carry out unwarranted repression of ethnic groups who have different values and views than the Communist Party. For instance, in Tawu (Ch. Daofu), Yulshul (Ch. Yushu) in eastern Tibet and Driru (Ch. Biru) under TAR earlier this year, local People’s Armed Police had their hands free to violently suppress Tibetans without slightest provocation. This was obviously encouraged by the mood in Beijing.

    Chinese leaders in Beijing should be mindful of the implications of such policies in Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the most authoritative person for Tibetans, with a reconciliatory intent and a path to solve the issue of Tibet. He is constantly guiding Tibetans towards nonviolence and compassion. Tibetans inside Tibet risk grave punitive actions by the police just in order to procure his portrait. In light of such conducive factors, the failure to reach a peaceful resolution to the Tibetan issue while the 14th Dalai Lama is healthy and active would be a devastating mistake on the part of contemporary Chinese leadership.

    Tibet's Party Boss Plans to Separate The 14th Dalai Lama From Tibetan Buddhism - www.phayul.com

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    The Chinese claim that Tibet is an Autonomous Region of China.

    It is so Autonomous that they can't trust a Tibetan to be the Party Boss or the Boss of Tibet.

    They require the Chinese to control Tibet.

    Indicates how little control the Chinese Communists have on Tibet, inspite of all the 'bribe' money China is pouring into Tibet.

    Chen Quanguo is a Chinese politician.

    He was the Governor of Hebei Province and Deputy Party Chief of his native Henan Province. He is a big gun Communist, He was/ is an alternate member of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and is a full member of the 18th Central Committee.

    However, he does not seem to understand the Tibetans.

    If one reads through what he has said or wishes to implement, he has a second guess coming.

    And if he thins that he is going to have a new Buddhist religion going with the Dalai Lama vanishing like some third grade magician trick, then he has a death wish and can take a running jump into the Tsang Po!
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    As part of my work I look at the statements by China’s leaders to see if they reveal anything about the current state of affairs in Tibet. This was particularly so after General Secretary Xi Jinping took over the leadership and people were having expectation that he will be different.

    Therefore, it was interesting to read the article by Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo in the Party journal Quishi, “Ensuring the Security of Tibet’s Ideological Realm with Courage to Show One’s Sword” (Qiushi, No. 21, 2013), which has been translated into English by High Peaks Pure Earth.

    It is about how the Chinese leadership should intensify the effort to control the minds of the Tibetan people through the media. People have read this essay as an indication of hardening of Chinese stand on the Tibetan people. In a way, it is, but to me the article has three other points worth noting. Let me expand.

    First, the article is a concrete acknowledgement of failure of China’s Tibet policies to date. It talks about “hostile forces” that “have colluded with the clique of the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and have considered Tibet as a key area for infiltration and separatist activities and as the main battlefield for sabotaging and causing disturbances. They have tried all means to contend for the battlefield, popular feeling and the common people, thus, all their efforts have made Tibet the teeth of the storm in the struggle of the ideological realm.”

    The article further says, “We will thoroughly carry out the educational activities of comparing Old Tibet with the New Tibet, instructing people of various ethnic groups to be grateful to the Party, listen to the Party and follow the Party.”

    In other words, despite more than 60 years after the “liberation” the Chinese authorities have not been able to win over the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people, who are displaying indications of loyalty and reverence to the Dalai Lama.

    Also, if after 60 years the Chinese authorities have to make effort to paint independent Tibet (“Old Tibet”) as negative to the Tibetan people compared to the current socialist Tibet (“New Tibet”) something is certainly lacking. Good or bad, those Tibetans in Tibet who are of a certain age have experienced life in Tibet, before and after 1959, and no amount of “educational activities” can alter their directly felt perception.

    Secondly, we can infer that the Chinese authorities are losing control over the cadres and party officials who are not toeing the official line. Although the article does not specify, it could be that these are mainly ethnic Tibetan officials.

    For example, it says, “We should strengthen the political responsibility of the “Chief” of Party Committees of various levels, requiring them to lead the work and face the challenges directly. They are required to take the lead to listen to and watch state media as well as the local Party newspaper, the local radio station and the local TV station. They should also take the lead to control the orientation of the local media and the public opinion.”

    The article adds, “We should put forth an effort to train a group of excellent propaganda cadres, who are politically reliable and who are in complete mastery of their professional work.

    Connected with this is a sort of declaration of lack of trust in the intellectuals, again of Tibetan origin, I assume. It says, “We will build a contingent of intellectuals with high quality, who are obedient to the Party, who are grateful to the grace of the Party and who follow the Party.”

    Either Chen Quanguo shows disrespect to the capability of intellectuals or the state of affairs of the Tibetan people are such that even intellectuals are not showing gratitude to “the Party.” Otherwise, if the Chinese Communist Party has done positive things for the Tibetan people, the intellectuals, by definition, should be at the forefront in appreciating them for they would know better.

    This brings me to my third point, which is that the article is a clear indication that the Chinese authorities have nothing in substance to show to the Tibetan people that their interest is being looked after. Logically, if one needs to convince a community that good is being done to them, publicity is of secondary importance. What is needed first is that something good needs to be done that could be publicized.

    Therefore, something is not right when Chen Quanguo has to say, “ We should persist in disseminating the earth-shaking and tremendous changes that have occurred in the new socialist Tibet and publicizing the new stable, peaceful and happy life of people of various ethnic groups in Tibet.” Isn’t it common sense that if there have been “earth-shaking and tremendous changes” the Tibetan people would have felt them without having to be convinced by others?

    Above all, this article by Chen Quanguo is a clear indication that the Chinese leaders who administer the Tibetan people have a distinct lack of understanding of the nature of Tibetan people and society. Leaving aside the political issues of “Middle Way,” “high degree of autonomy”, etc. no Chinese who understands and respects Tibetan history, culture, religion and way of life could have said something like “We should educate and guide cadres and ordinary people of various ethnic groups to separate Tibetan Buddhism from the fourteenth Dalai Lama, and separate the fourteenth Dalai lama from the title of the Dalai Lama so that they will consciously make a clear break from the fourteenth Dalai Lama’s clique.”

    The bond between the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama is older than the Communist Party of China or even the Nationalists Chinese. Moreover, Tibetan Buddhism as we know of it cannot be separated from the Dalai Lama, the way Chen Quanguo puts it, without destroying the fundamentals.

    Here I want to contradict myself by saying that the Chinese authorities do understand this special bond and are afraid of it. Chen Quanguo’s article is just one of the many efforts that the Chinese leadership is making to break it. The ban on the possession of photos of the present Dalai Lama is related to this and is very much in line with Chen Quanguo’s strident remarks saying they should “prevent voices and images of hostile forces and the fourteenth Dalai Lama’s clique from being heard and seen.”

    What should be the Tibetan people’s response to this onslaught by Chen Quanguo? I want to repeat two points that I mentioned in another article in 2008.

    First, I believe the Tibetans should continue to assert their Tibetan identity, within Tibet and outside. This has to be understood as the broader concept of the Tibetan struggle and not narrowed down merely to political identity.

    Secondly, Tibetans in Tibet and outside need to assert the commonality of their aspirations. I believe this commonality in the aspirations among Tibetans is the solid foundation of the Tibetan struggle. Tibetans in Dho, U and Kham, which incorporate the entire area of traditional Tibet, have time and again highlighted this commonality.

    So, if there is anything positive that General Secretary Xi Jinping is planning vis-à-vis Tibet, I think it should include changing the mindset of leaders who are selected to rule over the Tibetan people. I can say with certainty that almost all Tibetans will take this article by Chen Quanguo with more than a pinch of salt. Even if the Chinese leaders do not care about the Tibetan people, such articles are counter-productive to China’s own interests.


    Looking at Chen Quanguo’s Article on Tibet, with more than a pinch of salt
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Invasion & After

    Tibet Since the Chinese Invasion

    Almost a half a century ago, Chinese troops invaded Tibet, bringing to sudden and violent end Tibet’s centuries old isolation beyond the Himalayas. Tibet’s unique brand of Buddhism formed the core of Tibetan culture and society, a radical contrast to the materialist anti-religion dogma of the Chinese communists.

    In the wake of the invasion, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s Spiritual and temporal leader, and nearly 100,000 Tibetans fled into exile in India. In the years after, Tibet’s remarkable culture and its inhabitants, have been systematically persecuted. Alexander Solzhenitsyn described China’s rule in Tibet as “more brutal and inhuman than any other communist regime in the world.”

    History of Tibet Since the Chinese Invasion

    Despite forty years of Chinese occupation and various policies designed to assimilate or signify Tibetans and to destroy their separate national, cultural and religious identity, the Tibetan people’s determination to preserve their heritage and regain their freedom is as strong as ever. The situation has led to confrontation inside Tibet and to large scale Chinese propaganda efforts internationally.

    1949-51 The Chinese Invasion


    His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaping Tibet to take political refuge in India (March 1959)
    China’s newly established communist government sent troops to invade Tibet in 1949-50. A treaty was imposed on the Tibetan government in May of that year, acknowledging sovereignty over Tibet but recognizing the Tibetan government’s autonomy with respect to Tibet’s internal affairs. As the Chinese consolidated their control, they repeatedly violated the treaty and open resistance to their rule grew, leading to the National Uprising in 1959 and the flight into India of Tibet’s head of state and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

    The international community reacted with shock at the events in Tibet. The question of Tibet was discussed on numerous occasions by the U.N. General Assembly between 1959 and 1965. Three resolutions were passed by the General Assembly condemning China’s violations of human rights in Tibet and calling upon China to respect those rights, including Tibet’s right to self-determination.

    After 1959: Destruction

    The destruction of Tibet’s culture and oppression of its people was brutal during the twenty years following the uprising. 1.2 million Tibetans, one-fifth of the country’s population, died as a result of China’s policies; many more languished in prisons and labor camps; and more than 6000 monasteries, temples and other cultural and historic buildings were destroyed and their contents pillaged. In 1980 Hu Yao Bang, General Secretary of the Communist Party, visited Tibet – the first senior official to do so since the invasion. Alarmed by the extent of the destruction he saw there, he called for a series of drastic reforms and for a policy of “recuperation”. His forced resignation in 1987 was said partially to result from his views on Tibet. In 1981, Alexander Solzhenitsyn still described the Chinese regime in Tibet as “more brutal and inhumane than any other communist regime in the world.” Relaxation of China’s policies in Tibet came very slowly after 1979 and remains severely limited.

    Attempted Tibet-China Dialogue

    Two delegations were sent by the Dalai Lama to hold high-level exploratory talks with the Chinese government and party leaders in Beijing between 1979 and 1984. The talks were unsuccessful because the Chinese were, at that time, not prepared to discuss anything of substance except the return of the Dalai Lama from exile. The Dalai Lama has always insisted that his return is not the issue; instead, the question that needs to be addressed is the future of the six million Tibetans inside Tibet. It is the Dalai Lama’s opinion that his own return will depend entirely upon resolving the question of the status and rights of Tibet and its people.

    Alarming Chinese Influx

    In recent years the situation in Tibet has once again deteriorated, leading in 1987 to open demonstrations against Chinese rule in Lhasa and other parts of the country. One of the principle factors leading to this deterioration has been the large influx of Chinese into Tibet, particularly into its major towns. The exact number of Chinese is difficult to assess, because the vast majority have moved without obtaining official residence permits to do so. Thus, Chinese statistics are entirely misleading, counting as they do only the small numbers of registered immigrants. In Tibet’s cities and fertile valleys, particularly in eastern Tibet, Chinese outnumber Tibetans by two and sometimes three to one. In certain rural areas, particularly in western Tibet, there are very few Chinese. Regardless of the figures, the overall impact of the influx is devastating because the Chinese not only control the political and military power in Tibet, but also the economic life and even cultural and religious life of the people.

    The Chinese military as well as the civilian build up in Tibet has been a source of great concern to India, as it impacts directly on India’s security. Tibet acted for centuries as a vital buffer between China and India. It is only when Chinese troops faced Indian troops on the Indo-Tibetan border that tensions, and even war, developed between the world’s most populous powers. The more Tibet is converted into a Chinese province, populated by Chinese, the stronger China’s strategic position along the Himalayas will be. China’s growing military reach has now become a source of concern to many Asian nations as well as to India.

    The Legal Status of Tibet

    Recent events in Tibet have intensified the dispute over its legal status. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims that Tibet is an integral part of China. The Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under unlawful occupation.

    The question is highly relevant for at least two reasons. First, if Tibet is under unlawful Chinese occupation, Beijing’s large-scale transfer of Chinese settlers into Tibet is a serious violation of the fourth Geneva Convention of I949, which prohibits the transfer of civilian population into occupied territory. Second, if Tibet is under unlawful Chinese occupation, China’s illegal presence in the country is a legitimate object of international concern. If, on the other hand, Tibet is an integral part of China, then these questions fall, a China claims, within its own domestic jurisdiction. The issue of human rights, including the right of self-determination and the right of the Tibetan people to maintain their own identity and autonomy are, of course, legitimate objects of international concern regardless of Tibet’s legal status.

    The PRC makes no claim to sovereign rights over Tibet as a result of its military subjugation and occupation of Tibet following the country’s invasion in I949-I950. Thus, China does not allege that it has acquired sovereignty by means of conquest, annexation or prescription in this period. Instead, it bases its claim to Tibet solely on their theory that Tibet has been an integral part of China for centuries.

    The question of Tibet’s status is essentially a legal question, albeit one of immediate political relevance. The international status of a country must be determined by objective legal criteria rather than subjective political ones. Thus, whether a particular entity is a state in international law depends on whether it possesses the necessary criteria for statehood (territory, population, independent government, ability to conduct international relations), not whether governments of other states recognize its independent status. Recognition can provide evidence that foreign governments are willing to treat an entity as an independent state, but cannot create or extinguish a state.

    In many cases, such as the present one, it is necessary to examine a country’s history in order to determine its status. Such a historical study should logically be based primarily on the country’s own historical sources, rather than on interpretations contained in official sources of a foreign state, especially one claiming rights over the country in question. This may seem self-evident to most. When studying the history of France we examine French rather than German or Russian source materials. I am making the point, however, precisely because China’s claim to sovereignty over Tibet is based almost exclusively on self-serving Chinese official histories. Chinese sources portrayed most countries with whom the emperor of China had relations, not only Tibet, as vassals of the emperor. When studying Tibet’s history, Tibetan sources should be given primary importance; foreign sources, including Chinese ones, should only be given secondary weight.

    The Political System in Tibet Today

    Tibet is strictly governed by the Chinese Communist Party, with the active support of the military. The Party rules through branch offices in each province, autonomous region and autonomous prefecture. Subordinate to the Party is the government, which carries out policies designed by the Party. China has established the full panoply of Party and government offices to administer Tibet as exists in China. In Lhasa alone, there are over 60 departments and committees almost all of which are directly connected to their national offices in Beijing. Thus, Tibet is “autonomous” in word only; in fact, the Tibet Autonomous Region has less autonomy than Chinese provinces. The top T.A.R. post, the Party Secretary, has never been held by a Tibetan.

    China maintains an occupation army in Tibet of at least a quarter million strong. Military and police are often overwhelmingly present in Lhasa and elsewhere, though as of February 1992, security in Lhasa is dominated by undercover and plainclothes police. The military plays a greater role in the administration of Tibet than any Chinese province, and no Tibetan serves in the leadership of the military district governing Tibet.

    Even though the Party still controls Tibet, its control is beginning to slip. There is a pervasive disillusionment with, and contempt for, the Communist Party and the government in Tibet which can even be found among Party members and government functionaries. Inefficiency and corruption have consumed some government operations to the extent that they barely function and are an enormous waste of government funds. During ICT’s one-month tour of eastern Tibet, it became apparent that the Party’s goals have been drastically reduced from its once grandiose plans of social, human and economic transformation to simply holding onto power, taking care of Chinese settlers and extracting Tibet’s natural resources.

    The Party now seems to have little left to offer Tibetans other than the repression which keeps Tibetans from mass rebellion. Nobody in Tibet is talking about how the Party can reform itself, for it has become something that most Tibetans must just tolerate and avoid. Some Tibetans use the Party for their own personal and professional advancement and try to improve conditions for Tibetans from within the system. The late Panchen Lama succeeded in wresting enough power from the system to improve conditions in a number of areas. The Panchen Lama was the only Tibetan who the Chinese feared, unlike current Tibetan leaders such as Ngawang Ngapo Jigme, Mao Rubai and Raidi who have little power. Recent reports from Lhasa indicate increasing alienation and disaffection among middle and lower level Tibetan bureaucrats and a corresponding loss of trust in them by their Chinese superiors.

    Human Rights Situation in Tibet

    Human rights conditions in Tibet remain dismal. Under the Chinese occupation, the Tibetan people are denied most rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including the rights to self-determination, freedom of speech, assembly, movement, expression and travel.

    Political Prisoners

    China’s consistent use of excessive military force to stifle dissent has resulted in widespread human rights abuses including multiple cases of arbitrary arrests, political imprisonment, torture and execution. Human rights groups have documented at least 60 deaths of peaceful demonstrators since 1987.

    Human rights groups have confirmed, by name, over 700 Tibetan political prisoners in Tibet, although there are likely to be hundreds more whose names are not confirmed. Many are detained without charge or trial for up to four years through administrative regulations entitled “re-education through labor”. Also, over the past year unrest has spread from urban areas into the countryside.

    Credible reports of mistreatment and torture of detainees and political prisoners in Tibet are widespread, including beatings, shocks with electric batons, deprivation of sleep or food, exposure to cold and other brutalities. Human rights and humanitarian organizations are denied access to prisons and detention centers in Tibet.

    Freedom of Religion

    Prior to the Chinese invasion of 1950, Tibet was a country steeped in religion. Religious practice permeated the daily lives of the Tibetan people and formed the social fabric connecting them to the land. Recognizing this, the Chinese focused on destroying this cultural base of the Tibetan people in the hopes of quelling dissent to their rule. In 1960 the International Commission of Jurists found “that the Chinese will not permit adherence to and practice of Buddhism in Tibet…. [and] that they have systematically set out to eradicate this religious belief in Tibet.”

    Over 6000 monasteries and sacred places were destroyed by the Chinese. Despite this and the over 40 years of restrain on their religion, the Tibetans continue to seek to practice their religion. Today the practice of religion continues to be severely limited in Tibet. Although there have been some outward improvements in this area, China maintains strict control over religious institutions and practices and the Tibetans are not free to practice and organize their own religion. ICT published Forbidden Freedom and A Season to Purge which took an in-depth look at the issue of religious freedom in Tibet.

    China has shifted its religious policy in Tibet to actively suppress and restrict further religious growth. This shift involves measures to halt unauthorized rebuilding of monasteries destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, setting limits on the number of monks and nuns in all monasteries, enforcing restrictions on youths joining monasteries, prohibiting Tibetan Party members from practicing religion, and strengthen the control of the government and Party over each monastery through “Democratic Management Committees.”

    The Environment in Tibet

    The Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest plateau in the world. It sustains a unique, yet fragile high altitude eco-system much of which remains unspoiled due to its remoteness and inaccessibility. However, human impact is now taking an unprecedented and devastating toll on the natural resources – the wildlife, forests, grazing lands, rivers and mineral resources are now at a point where they may never recover.

    Wildlife

    Pre-1950 travelers in Tibet compared it to East Africa, so vast were the herds of large mammals. Today, the herds are all but vanished, wiped out mainly by Chinese soldiers shooting automatic weapons from trucks in the 1960s. Poaching by Tibetans and Chinese continues, threatening the survival of some species. One Tibetan nomad told Dr. George Schaller, the foremost Western specialist on Tibetan mammals, “If the officials obey the law and stop hunting, we will too.”

    Deforestation

    Forests in Tibet are the third largest in China’s present day borders and government lumber operations are cutting at an unprecedented rate. Reforestation is neglected and ineffective, leaving hillsides vulnerable to erosion. Rapid and widespread deforestation has life-threatening consequences for the hundreds of millions who live in the flood plains of the major rivers of Southeast Asia, many of which have their headwaters in Tibet. Clear-cutting also threatens the habitat of Tibet’s other residents – the rare giant panda, golden monkey, and over 5,000 plant species unique to the planet.

    Nuclear Activities

    The northern Tibetan Plateau was home to China’s “Los Alamos,” – its primary nuclear weapons research and development plant, and nuclear weapons were first stationed in northern Tibet in 1972. Today there are at least 3 or 4 nuclear missile launch sites in Tibet housing an unknown number of warheads. Nuclear waste from the research facility is feared to be dumped on the nearby plains where Tibetan nomads allege they have suffered illness and death from strange diseases consistent with radiation sickness. ICT’s ground-breaking report Nuclear Tibet, addresses this troublesome area.

    Desertification

    Government-encouraged population migration into the northern Tibetan plateau, now under control of Qinghai Province, has caused massive and irreparable environmental damage to huge tracts of fragile tableland. Experts attribute the deterioration to overgrazing, irrational land reclamation, and wanton denudation of surface vegetation.

    Agricultural Development

    Large-scale agricultural development projects are now being carried out in Tibet which are disrupting traditional practices and the ecological balance maintained by farmers for centuries. Motivated by the need to feed the growing Chinese population in Tibet and reduce the costly wheat imports, the projects may ultimately harm Tibetans more than help them. One of the projects, which is funded by the United Nations World Food Program , employs hundreds of Chinese and few Tibetans and is opposed by local Tibetans, ICT and other Tibetan organizations.

    Natural Resource Extraction

    The extraction of minerals and wood from Tibetan regions is largely done by, or at the direction of, newly arrived Chinese workers and administrators. Some meager benefit may accrue to local Tibetans, but more often than not, the land is left despoiled and traditional Tibetan livelihoods disrupted. Moreover, roads built to access uncut forests or untapped minerals usually result in an increase in local Chinese government administrators who may then assume more control over the local monastery, probably leading to greater restrictions on religious freedom. Implementation of family planning policies may also increase, which could involve coercive methods.

    Hydro-electric Construction Projects

    China has plans to build dozens of hydro-electric dams on Tibet’s rivers and export the electricity to Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Xining, Lanzhou and Xian. The most heated environmental issue in Tibet may be a hydro-electric construction project on Yamdrok Tso, a sacred lake between Lhasa and Shigatse. A correspondent for The Independent wrote, “environmentalists fear this giant project will create one of China’s worst ecological disasters of the 21st century.”
     
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    Saranarthi – Tibet: The Fight For A Lost Nation

    Another visit by a Chinese leader, another round of tall promises, another episode of shadow games. Perhaps India should take a few lessons from the Tibetans who have seen the real face of the dragon. No amount of talk can build ‘strategic trust’ between the two nations, no amount of assurances should make us forget China’s policy of ‘creeping acquisition’ and no banner headlines will wash away China’s legacy of human rights abuses. The living example of which is an entire civilization of people, living in India as saranarthi’s (refugees). Following is an excerpt from my book Tales from Shining and Sinking India published in 2012.

    ‘We Tibetans are treated as political lepers by the international community, and our cause as an embarrassing and contagious disease.

    We, the victims, are ignored and shunned while our oppressors are courted and feted by a world gone mad.

    We are a peaceful people and we have nowhere to turn to for justice except the UN.

    We do not ask for charity.

    We only demand what is ours’.

    Statement issued by members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, while on a hunger strike outside the UN office in Delhi (1977)

    Within a few years of India having its midnight tryst with destiny, Tibet started its long and arduous entanglement with darkness and deceit. The year 1950 onwards, Mao’s China began making rapid inroads into the mountain kingdom promising modernisation, reforms and prosperity. In less than a decade, Communist China managed a vice-like grip over Tibet, while not delivering any of the promises made.

    Resentment against the ‘occupational forces’ brewed for years, but things came to a head in March 1959 when the streets of Lhasa erupted in protest, after it became apparent that the Chinese were getting ready to curb the movements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (perhaps even arrest him). The protests came on the back of Chinese oppression and the realisation that traditional institutions of Tibet were being systematically eradicated since Buddhism was at odds with the vision that Mao had for China. In a final bid to assert themselves, scores of Tibetan protesters gathered close to Potala, and issued a formal ‘Declaration of Independence’.

    The response was on expected lines; the Chinese military machinery used the only tool it had; reinforcements poured into Lhasa, and even the Dalai Lama’s summer palace was not spared. The rapidly deteriorating situation and the shelling of the NorbulingkaPalace, made the arrest of the spiritual leader imminent. It was under such trying circumstances that a young Tenzin Gyatso (the Dalai Lama) heeded the advice of his council, and secretly exited Lhasa and headed towards India.

    With no leadership to guide and inspire them, the popular uprising fizzled out. China called it a conspiracy of ‘armed rebellion’ and used this pretext to execute a violent crackdown on the Tibetan independence movement. The occupational forces made sure that the Tibetans did not have the ability or the capability to launch a full-scale rebellion ever again.



    Today for the international community, Tibet is a forgotten agenda. It’s too busy battling extremism, oil prices and an arms race, China’s economic and military predominance has only scuttled voices of protest against the nation’s blatant human rights abuses. As for Tibetans themselves, it’s a civilisation living in exile, many of them were born as refugees or saranarthis, most will die that way. Ironically the essence of Tibetan culture can now be found more widely in McLeodganj than in Lhasa. The town was one of the thirty-seven settlements that the Government of India had allotted to Tibetans fleeing Chinese oppression.

    McLeodganj still retains the essential charm of a hill station, and also has the Parliament of the Tibetan government in exile and the residence of the Dalai Lama. But most of all, this tranquil town serves as a base for the Tibetans to launch their movement.

    Despite international insensitivity and isolation, the Tibetans have persevered. One would expect that after half-a-century they would accept their fate and move on. But while the Tibetans have been grateful to India for being a magnificent host, they want to shrug off the tag of being saranarthis. The younger generation Tibetan may not have seen Lhasa, yet they would prefer to return to their motherland – but on their feet, not on their knees.

    Sadly, the Tibetan government in exile over the years has seen even the limited support it had, slip away. The rising power of China and its vast markets made any sort of censure impossible; what’s worse was India’s rather meek admission under the former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, that Tibet was indeed a part of China. Not only did India lose a stick to threaten China with, the move totally shattered the belief of the community in exile that their host would proactively engage China on their behalf.

    It might not be omnipresent, but anger and resentment is increasing in the otherwise peaceful Tibetan community in exile. Organisations like the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) have come to the fore, often taking a more radical approach to the continued occupation of Tibet. Using innovative techniques that also get media attention, Tibetan protesters have continuously managed to embarrass the Chinese government in the international fora, so that the world does not forget about their gradual extinction.

    When I reached McLeodganj in November 2006, I found that the mood was quite restive. The Indian government was treating the impending arrival of Hu Jintao as the most significant visit by a head of state to India in recent times – a Chinese premier was setting foot in India after a decade. But the Tibetan community was understandably outraged to see the same India that had given them shelter, now hobnob with the Chinese at the very highest levels.

    Though Hu Jintao’s itinerary would not take him anywhere close to McLeodganj, it would be this town from where large scale protest and the descent would be organised. Having burnt its fingers earlier with diehard Tibetan protesters, the government this time clamped down the movements of TYC leaders. So even as TYC leaders were put under police surveillance, other activists fanned out to get the attention of Hu Jintao (and the world media).

    China: The Human Rights Abuser
    Not just the visit of the Chinese premier, but the immediate provocation for the Tibetans also came in the form of a video that blew the lid on China’s scant regard for human rights. The shocking video, broadcast first on Romanian TV, captured how the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force (CAPF) shot dead a group of Tibetans trying to cross into India from the Nangpa Pass on 30 September 2006.

    By the time I reached McLeodganj, the video had gone viral on YouTube and had been creating headlines. Filmed by mountaineers who happened to be in the area, the video showed in graphic detail how a group of Tibetans, struggling against the knee-deep snow, suddenly came under attack without warning. As a shot rang out in the mountains, a young girl fell lifeless into the snow (later identified as Kelsang Namtso, a seventeen-year-old Buddhist nun), and the group panicked and tried to scamper up the mountain. The CAPF had had good training, this time the bullet zeroed in on twenty-three-year-old Kunsang Namgyal; despite being hit, he tried to move forward, only to be shot at again. Namgyal was eventually captured. (Though initially presumed dead, he was apparently released by the Chinese authorities after months of torture.)

    Only a handful of the seventy-three Tibetans, who were attempting to cross the border into India through the 6,000-metre-high NangpaPass, managed to make it. Many others were arrested by the CAPF but were never seen again. The most shocking incident was that this group was just several hundred yards from the CAPF unit and had their backs facing the unit, yet they were fired upon, without any warning whatsoever.

    International law requires that the use of firearms by border patrols be used only as a last resort – when life is at risk. From the video it was evident that none of the lives of the CAPF squad had been endangered. It was obvious that the soldiers were doing some sniper shooting practice with live targets, human rights be damned; the video even went on to show Chinese policemen smoking casually after the killing.

    Lobsang Choeden was another member of the group who had a miraculous escape that day. Members of a mountaineering team hid him in their tent and gave him food to eat. The footage clearly revealed the fear on his face as he evaded the CAPF squad that came looking for him. Choeden saved his life by hiding in a makeshift toilet.

    When I caught up with Choeden in Dharamshala, he explained to me in broken English how the whole group had come under fire, and how the lives of Tibetans were of no value to the Chinese. Today, even if Choeden wishes to go back to Tibet, he cannot afford the thought. His photographs have been splashed all over Tibet, and one sight of him can cost him his life. After speaking to the international media, Choeden feared for his family, which was still in Tibet; but he did get an audience with the Dalai Lama and he considers himself lucky for that.

    The mountaineers who captured the video were obviously stunned; they successfully managed to sneak out photographic evidence of the Chinese soldiers in ‘action’. Most crucially, a video of the firing managed to create international ripples and became public just weeks before Hu Jintao’s visit to India.

    The Chinese responded with standard protocol, ignoring the bad press and wishing it all away. But with growing international condemnation over killing innocent people, the official press agency reacted, claiming that the Tibetans had refused to pay heed to orders to back down. According to the government’s version, it was the Tibetan group that attacked the CAPF; the CAPF ‘forced to defend itself’, had to fire at the Tibetans.

    Voice of Tibet
    The Chinese propaganda machinery is a behemoth; keeping its military might and economic muscle in mind, the dragon usually takes an unaccommodating diplomatic position. The Chinese are clear that propaganda is a potent counter to the truth, and that opinion can or should be moulded to suit national interests. But in Tibet, the flow of information has been virtually impossible to stop; it’s one area where the Tibetans have managed to give the Chinese a tough time.

    China has increasingly been able to control the flow of information in and out of Lhasa, even managing to control the tide of the Internet and electronic media. But an ancient technology has been used to create a wormhole into the Chinese universe; a tiny shortwave radio station in McLeodganj prevents Tibet from becoming a forgotten agenda and assures those who still suffer under the Chinese oppression that all is not lost, and the struggle is very much on.

    Operating at 15.430 Mhz the shortwave broadcasts of Voice of Tibet (VoT) keeps a tab on the latest developments in Tibet, the happenings in the Free Tibet movement, and spreads the message of the Dalai Lama. But does the existence of a shortwave radio station in the age of the Internet serve any purpose? That was the first doubt that crossed my mind.

    The poignant answer came from the homepage of the radio station – vot.org:

    “Anyone reading these lines is obviously in a privileged position of having access to the Internet and a wealth of information, even to tuning in to a large number of domestic and foreign stations.

    In Tibet where much of the population is illiterate and poor the power of radio is particularly obvious. Radio broadcasting is the main medium for mass information and education. In Tibet, the Chinese Communist government has monopoly control over the mass media, and with lack of an independent information source, the general public has no access to free information and total lack of a channel to voice their right to speech. As such, getting reliable information from an outside source is as critical for the survival of the Tibetans and its culture.”

    It may really be a drop in the ocean, but it shows how a modest two-room set-up, with a staff of less than half a dozen, can give sleepless nights to the massive Chinese propaganda machinery. And talking of machinery, when I was given a guided tour of the station, I could not hide my surprise at the equipment that VoT was using. The station head had explained to me beforehand that they managed with meagre funds and donated equipment, yet VoT used antique broadcast technology, analogue amplifiers and spool tapes. But despite the handicaps, VoT had become a crucial link that bound Tibetans in exile with those who are still living there under Chinese oppression.

    Everyday VoT broadcasts a thirty-minute news service in Tibetan language, also a fifteen-minute service in Mandarin Chinese for those who would like the perspective from the outside world, and not just what the state machinery was dishing out. Radio stations like VoT have become empowering tools for vast masses of the illiterate and the poor in Tibet, and has allowed them to keep in touch with their roots by listening to features on Tibetan culture, music and folk tales. Twice a week VoT airs His Highness the Dalai Lama’s latest public speeches in serialised form. Also developments in the Free Tibet movement give them hope that not all is lost.

    So concerned was the Government of China with the prospect of rogue radio stations, that it built a ‘great wall of airwaves’ to block access to non-state controlled radio stations like Voice of America, Voice of Tibet and Radio Free Asia. Broadcasts on these frequencies are jammed by drowning the station in music, official broadcasts or just remain static. Just like the Tibetan struggle, this radio station continues to function despite all odds. No advertisements or other sources of revenues for VoT, just money that comes in from NGOs, but its broadcasts are eagerly lapped up by those who are living under Chinese control; that is what makes the effort worth it.

    China’s Problem Child
    When I first met Tenzin Tsundue on the streets of McLeodganj, he came across as a rockstar. Large mop of hair, red bandanna on the forehead, classic black frame specs, the only thing missing was the guitar. What set Tsundue apart was the fact that he did not sit around and mope about the fate of Tibet, he was actually doing something about it.

    I witnessed him address a protest rally against the visit of Hu Jintao, his voice hoarse from all the screaming that he had done. Obviously it had been days since he had his last proper sleep, yet there was a remarkable energy about him. Also around him was a retinue of policemen – not guarding him, rather guarding against him.

    While dissenters in China have traditionally disappeared without a trace, in India they are allowed to operate with a significant degree of freedom. Tsundue is a product of Chinese oppression and Indian permissiveness; born to parents who were fleeing Tibet, Tsundue studied in India and dared to go back to Tibet, where he was incarcerated and tortured before being deported.

    Over the years his relentless pursuit of a free Tibet has made him a darling of the exiled community. Not for nothing was he referred to as the ‘hope of the young Tibetans’. I spent my first evening in McLeodganj cocooned in a cybercafé, pouring over Tsundue’s past, trying to understand why the Indian state would want to guard a Tibetan dissenter day and night.

    One would not be wrong in saying that no single person has managed to embarrass the Chinese government over the Tibet question as much as ‘poet-warrior’ Tsundue. In 2002, he scaled fourteen floors of a five-star hotel in Mumbai, where the then Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji was giving a business presentation. Deftly evading the Indian police (and a beehive) Tsundue managed to climb to the floor, where the presentation was going on, and unfurled a massive ‘Free Tibet: China, Get Out’ banner. That antic got him the attention of every camera team on the ground, and every Chinese official in the building.

    Then as the police scrambled to get him, he unfurled the Tibetan national flag and shouted pro-Tibet slogans.

    In 2005 Tsundue did it again; this time the new Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, was at the receiving end. Tsundue managed to evade the preventive detention of the police, and managed to sneak himself into a 200-foot-high tower at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) – a full two days before Jiabao was to meet Indian scientists there. At the opportune time, Tsundue appeared in public and unfurled a ‘Free Tibet’ banner and threw pamphlets at bystanders, even shouting at Jiabao that he could not silence the Tibetans. Again all television cameras were opportunely present, allowing for the story to make international headlines.

    Of course, the Chinese were left flummoxed and red-faced; phones were worked and words exchanged. Needless to say that Tsundue’s stay at the police station this time was much longer and more tortuous. But the hardy Tibetan later told me that after Chinese hospitality, Indian jails were child’s play.

    It was Tsundue’s penchant to show up in unexpected places that forced the government to take abundant precaution during Hu Jintao’s visit in 2006. In fact weeks before the Chinese premier’s arrival, Tsundue’s movements were restricted to Dharamshala; cops were on rotational shifts, watching his every move, making sure that he was not out to embarrass the visiting dignitary.

    It’s not difficult to grasp why Tsundue had become one of the most visible faces, after the Dalai Lama, for the Tibetan community in exile. Though His Holiness commanded absolute respect and obedience from the community, there was increasing realisation that his way of working out things with the Chinese had come to naught. There had been a ‘softening’ of position by the Dalai Lama over the years; even when sustained attempts at gaining independence had met with humiliating failure. In 1988, His Highness chose not to oppose Chinese sovereignty over Tibet, and agreed to settle for a mirage called ‘genuine autonomy’ within China.

    Two decades down the line, there was no hope of that demand being met either. For years the Dalai Lama would frown upon anti-Chinese protests, his logic being that the community should appear conciliatory towards the other side as talks were being conducted.

    In a community where speaking against an elder is frowned upon, Tsundue took a road less taken, challenging the view point of His Holiness. The young rebel had nothing against the Dalai Lama, but demanded radical action for freedom. Initially there were not many who either thought like him or supported him.

    When I finally caught up with Tsundue for a recorded interview, he was leading a candlelight march down the streets of McLeodganj. We settled down next to a cluster of candles that had been lit in memory of their brethren killed in Tibet. I don’t know what burnt brighter – the flicker of the candle flames being reflected off his glasses, or his eyes with the gleam of rebellion.

    And he did speak like a rebel.

    ‘Look Akash,’ he began, ‘there aren’t many people who say that they don’t agree with His Holiness’s viewpoint. It’s a big thing to contest the opinion of the Dalai Lama, since he is Buddha for us. If India follows Gandhi, then Dalai Lama is more than Gandhi for us. Naturally, when he says that “autonomy” is the best solution, people believe that, they take a leap of faith and leave the decision to the Dalai Lama – specially the older generation. I, however, with due respect to His Holiness, defer in my viewpoint; there are many like me who believe in more vigorous action to free Tibet, no autonomy, only freedom.’

    ‘But why the demand of freedom when the Dalai Lama had compromised with the autonomy formula?’ I asked.

    ‘There has been a lot of debate over this question, but honestly there is a change in the thought process that is coming about. The younger lot is now tired of waiting. Look what “dialogue” has got us, only humiliation!’

    Clearly the firebrand independence fighter was reflecting the frustration of a community that had seen two-dozen rounds of talks with China – only to be strung up high and dry.

    Tsundue continued, ‘They promised autonomy before too and made us exiles; we can’t run the risk of making the same mistake again by asking for autonomy. When you are begging, your hand is stretched outwards. When you don’t get anything, your hand is still empty. When you demand for independence, you are being in control of the situation and you are taking matters into your own hands.’

    ‘But Tenzin,’ I interject, ‘the path you are following, you are not very far away from using violence as a means of gaining independence.’

    Tsundue looked hard at me, measuring his words before speaking. ‘There is no question of violence during His Holiness’s lifetime, he is too peace loving to allow for it and people will not galvanise without his call. But that makes it all the more important that this issue be sorted out in his lifetime. Because after him, there is no telling what will happen.’

    His cold hard stare said it, but I reiterated my point, ‘You’re saying that the movement can become violent in the future?’

    ‘Yes, if this issue is not sorted out and there is no direction after the Dalai Lama, there is a possibility that might happen.’

    It’s possible to relate to Tsundue’s passion, not only because of his daring acts or his emotions, but also because he pens them down with equal élan and ease. One of his numerous poems, called Betrayal, can be found as a much-watched clip on YouTube. In a couple of lines he tells you what urges him to revolt against the Chinese, and it’s difficult to fault him from straying from the Dalai Lama’s path of peace.

    My father died

    Defending our home

    Our village

    Our country

    I too wanted to fight

    But we are Buddhists

    People say that we should be

    Peaceful and Non-violent

    So I forgive our enemy

    But sometimes I feel

    I betrayed

    My father.

    - See more at: http://blog.tehelka.com/saranarthi-tibet-the-fight-for-a-lost-nation/#sthash.YWj5aFnL.dpuf
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
    maomao and W.G.Ewald like this.
  7. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I repeat that every morning. :rolleyes:
     
    Free Karma and Ray like this.
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Another Nobel Prize winner imprisoned by a totalitarian regime. That he holds to be. China more brutal and inhuman than the USSR is significant.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Running dog of the imperialist!

    I am sure that would resound in the Red Empire!
     
  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Once again, Ray, you prove yourself still living 30 years behind the time.
    Now, according to you guys and japanese, China iteslf is a imperialism, so we don't use that word anymore.
    The new title for this kind of people is "public concience" or "elite"
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am afraid even if we are behind by 30 years, you are in a time wrap.

    Please see the reason for China to be doing what it does.

    Check if this is not right

    1. You chaps and China are continually wanting to be recognized as a great Nation with a great civilisation and wanting to be continuously praised.

    2. Every time you all seem to be reacting with fear that whatever is said about China is a humiliation. That's is why you all go hammer and tongs to justify everything of China and when you can't you bring comparison with other nations, to show that they are no better, if not worse. In short you are continuously fearing humiliation!

    3. China has experienced humiliation in the past - the 100 Years of National Humiliation and you have built up fears around the idea of being mocked by peers. That is why you are all so sensitive to every issue discussed about China.

    4. China's overcompensation is common to avoid being humiliated and to establish a barrier between reality and what you in your imagination feel should be real!

    5. China and you chaps with inferiority complexes overcompensate by becoming aggressive, attempting to overcome their psychological distress by dominating.

    That is exactly what this thread and the posts are indicating.

    And it is also exhibited by most Chinese posters on the forum.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
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  12. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't know how these are related to my words? I just indicate the mistakes in your statement.
    Looks like you need psychologist more than me.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    If only you did not have the false Han arrogance and some humility and capability to see reality, you would have realised the loaded statement of yours.

    Please understand, we have become wise to all the cute and loaded statements that appear innocent spouted by the Chinese Govt, CCP and aggressive Chinese charged with 'new patriotism' because of 100 Year so Total Shame!

    I am aware that in China, free thinking requires a visit to the Laogai and their in house psychologists and brainwashers.

    I am fortunate to have been spared selling my soul and mind to those who think Laogai is the way to reform people! ;)

    By the way, what did Deng has to say about his stay in the Laogai?
     
  14. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Regular Member

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    China is doing the same thing to Tibet in the name of communism what the western powers did to China in the name of Christianity in 19th Century. It's going to come around to bite them back in future.
     
  15. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sorry, I didn't realise that pointing out the errors in your statement is Han arrogance.

    The errors in your statement is your errors, it gets nothing to do with Chinese govt. And it gets nothing to do with chinese shame, it is your shame: making some statements based on wrong informations.

    Sorry, I have to show my "Han arrogance" again:
    Deng was sent to Laogai not because he had free thinking or he expressed his free thinking. He got there simply because he lost the power struggle within political circle.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    One has no issues if errors are pointed out. in fact that would be helpful.

    bout not reading the writing on the wall and deliberately not stating facts or errors and yet trying to claim that errors are being pointed out, is abject arrogance.

    On the arrogance of the Han much has been said in this forum and so I will leave it at that.



    Errors?

    What errors?

    Your general statement is the real error since no errors have been mentioned.

    Your arrogance is misplaced Han arrogance.

    Deng and Chou wanted to open up the economy, while Mao firmly believed in the Communist path.And so it was against what Mao thought was right.. That meant dissidence and anti Party thought.

    Chou did not go to the Laogai since he was an important person but Deng was sent to be 'reformed through labour' - the euphemism for jail for those who do not think or agree as per the CCP.

    Even now. who are in the Laogai are those who oppose the CCP, Falin Gong, Christian who do not think as per the controlled Church and the Party and so on.

    The sum total is that those who do not conform to the Party's orders or thinking are sent to the Laogai. All are therefore political prisoners.

    When Mao was alive, Mao was the CCP. Deng opposed Mao. He was sent to the Laogail. As simple as that!
     

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