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Will Brutal repression by China in Tibet fail?
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B Raman | Date:05 Sep , 2012 2 Comments
B Raman
Former, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai & Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. He is the author of The Kaoboys of R&AW, A Terrorist State as a Frontline Ally,  INTELLIGENCE, PAST, PRESENT & FUTUREMumbai 26/11: A Day of Infamy and Terrorism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

The rumblings from the Tibetan areas of China continue. The more the Chinese suppress, the more the Tibetans protest. The more the Chinese demonise His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the more the Tibetans respect him. The more the Chinese flaunt the economic progress made by the Tibetan areas under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the more the Tibetans long for His Holiness.

The Chinese recently took the CPC appointed Panchen Lama, who normally lives in Beijing under heavy security, on his annual one month, CPC-sponsored exposure to the Tibetan people. He camped in Lhasa under the protection of the PLA and was taken round the various monasteries where the influence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues to be strong.

…the Chinese have been trying to prevent news of the sermons and activities of His Holiness from reaching the Tibetans in China.

The Chinese hopes that the Tibetan people would start venerating the CPC-sponsored Panchen Lama were belied.His presence in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and his visits to the monasteries were tom-tomed by the Party and Government-controlled media. There was hardly any excitement in the Tibetan areas.

News of the sermons and travels of His Holiness the Dalai Lama outside Tibet in his political and religious exile evoke greater interest and greater excitement among the Tibetans in the TAR, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan than the sermons and activities of the Panchen Lama.

In desperation, the Chinese have been trying to prevent news of the sermons and activities of His Holiness from reaching the Tibetans in China. They have stopped allowing the re-entry of Tibetans who go to Nepal and India to attend the religious meetings of His Holiness.They are trying to find out how news about the happenings in the Tibetan areas travel to the outside world almost the same day and is broadcast by Radio Free Asia, the radio station funded by the US State Department.

The Internet has been censored and blocked.Mobile telephone services have been vigorously controlled. The Tibetans have been denied access to social media networks.Despite this, news continues to trickle out and trickle in. There is a two-way trickle which the Chinese intelligence agencies have not been able to identify and stop.

The recent arrests in the Lhasa region were meant to stifle the Lhakar movement. The Chinese have not succeeded.

The chain of self-immolations continues—mostly in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan, but increasingly in Qinghai and Gansu too. The total number of fatal self-immolations since March of last year crossed 50 last week.The Chinese do not know how to stop it. Their intelligence agencies have not been able to profile Tibetans who are likely to commit self-immolation.

There has been no flow of intelligence from the Tibetan community about plans for self-immolation. Arrests and severe punishments to Tibetan bystanders who do not stop the self-immolation attempts have not worked.

There have been more raids and more arrests.The Kirti monastery of Sichuan, where the self-immolations started last year, was raided once again last week and the monk inmates subjected to intimidatoryquestioning.The Zilkar monastery in the Qinghai province was raided on September 1 and four of the monks there were taken away for custodial interrogation.

Reliable sources report that one question the Chinese security officials have been posing to every Tibetan interrogated by them is: How does the news travel to the Dalai Lama? How does the news travel from the Dalai Lama?

The Chinese are confused. Despite their denying the Tibetans easy access to modern means of communication,news continues to travel and travel fast. There have been reports of large-scale preventive arrests in the Lhasa region. The trouble has till now been confined to the Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu. The Tibetan areas of Sichuan continue to be the epicentre of the wave of self-immolations.

Despite their most brutal suppression, the Chinese have not been able to destroy the pride and hopes that continue to drive the movement.

Though the TAR has not yet been affected in a big way by the self-immolation movement,it is becoming the epi-centre of the Gandhian type satyagraha practised by the Lakhar movement, which is a Tibetan self-identity movement which tells the people: Be Tibetan,Eat Tibetan, Dress Tibetan, Speak Tibetan, Live Tibetan, venerate His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The recent arrests in the Lhasa region were meant to stifle the Lhakar movement. The Chinese have not succeeded.

There is a protest chakra going on in the Tibetan areas of China.The more the protests, the more the suppression.The more the suppression, the more the protests.

It is a new type of protest movement, the like of which Tibet has not seen before.Self-motivated, self-induced, self-driven with no identifiable leaders and organisational structure behind it. It is kept sustained not by anger but by the pride of the Tibetans in themselves, their culture, their religion, their traditions, their heritage, their guru.

Despite their most brutal suppression, the Chinese have not been able to destroy the pride and hopes that continue to drive the movement. Today, the odds seem heavily against the Tibetans.

So they did against Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s and against Nelson Mandela in the 1970s and the early 1980s. And then the odds turned in their favour.Brutal suppression failed to prevail.

Can history repeat itself in the Tibetan areas of China?

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2 thoughts on “Will Brutal repression by China in Tibet fail?

  1. Mr Raman must stop Imagining trouble where it doesnt exist. Instead, please pay attention to the Balkanisation of India- through Reservations/Quotas and Nepotism -taking place right before your eyes.
    You are an Old and a dying Man I read somewhere. So Instead of wasting your time and enegy ( which are already short ) in this kind of Espionage Masturbation, try to convince some of your useless and Apathetic colleagues in RAW to do something about the Political/Bureaucratic/Terrorist/Dynastic Mafia.

    Otherwise it will be like “Khud ka Ghar Sambhaal Nahi Sakte, Chale Duniya Jeetne”

    forget the Chinese. Look at India. That is what the West means when they request you Soviet era ( Breznev Era) Nuts to “Introspect” . ie Modernize your thinking toward your own people first – call it Internal Balancing or anything else.

    Your Country has been taken over by the Dynastic Feudal Terrorist Mafia, Your GDP has come down to 5% ( minus CAD, its around 1.5%) , You dont have any modern equipment to fight , your Country is facing a virtuially Perpetual Low Level Civil War in 40 % of the Land (due to these political Mafia who have looted the Country after the British left) …….. And you are still point fingers towards some rubbish incidents that took place in another country????

    Why are you so concerned about Self Immolations outside the country???
    Why did you people not interdict against the oppressors and Splittists in Delhi when the Bureaucratuc Mafia first divided the Hindus by Enforcing the (bogus)Mandal Ayog Recommendations??? If I recall Many Indian Students had Committed Self-Immolations then…. A Few died as well……
    Were you sleeping then? Or are human rights only present in Tibet, not in Delhi?

    I am sure this post will be deleted , and before long quietly Dusted under the Carpet….

    Afterall NO INDIAN ( because he is an “Indian” ) while fingerpointing others, would look at the three fingers pointing towards him…..

    • Observer, you are observing the wrong stuff. You should observe the no freedom of speech in china. You should observe the corruption in china at high political levels. Go observe how china steals and copies technology from other countries and then sells products made from this technology. Go observe the sweatshops called “factories” in china. Go observe the forced one child policy in china. You guys are brainwashed and cannot think for yourselves. Do you have the guts to criticize your own country? At least your post got published here. Is any posting of anything to do with politics or defence allowed in china? The answer is a big NO.
      India is a multicultural, multi-religious, multi-racial democracy and as such has it’s problems. China is an overwhelmingly one culture (too bad for the Muslim Uighurs and the Tibetans), authoritarian state with no basic freedoms. The chinese are getting a little too big for their boots, but the world has a way of putting such countries in their place. Your economic growth (with copied products) is due to western markets buying your cheap (questionable quality) products. This market can be shut off at any time by the west and your pile of cash will disappear overnight. As for fighting with India, there is only one way to find out. I can easily handle two chinamen with my bare hands.
      My advice to you is to shut the f&%k up and go eat a dog or snake or anything else that moves.

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