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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan activist slams Communist propaganda as a tool for repression

January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008
Nirmala Carvalho

Tenzin Choeying, head of ‘Students for a Free Tibet,’ talks to AsiaNews,
commenting Hu Jintao’s latest speech to the party in which he calls for
greater commitment to political propaganda ahead of this year’s
Olympics. However, for Choeying the Games are a great opportunity to
show the truth of what is happening in Tibet and China.

Dharamsala, January 25: Propaganda “has always been the main tool for
the Chinese government” to show that is has reached its expected goals.
The problem is that “propaganda is not only used to cover up lies, but
also to hide China’s many human rights violations and repression of
religious freedom,” said Tenzin Choeying, head of ‘Students for a Free
Tibet’ as he spoke to AsiaNews about Chinese President Hu Jintao’s
latest address to Communist Party officials.

Speaking before Chinese media officials, Mr Hu said that in this Olympic
year, it was necessary to “perform well the task of outward propaganda,
further exhibit and improve the nation's good image.” For Hu good
propaganda “is fundamental to maintain “stability in a society
increasingly divided by disparities between rich and poor, ethnic
divisions and challenges to the party's once unquestioned authority.”

This attitude said Choeying “is typical of the Communist leadership. As
the start of the Olympic Games approaches, not only do they want the
world to accept their invasion of Tibet but also their many social
injustices. How can China ever expect to be a respected player on the
world stage when it admits using falsehoods and lies to appear better
than it actually is”

To mask reality, the Chinese are resorting to childish means, said the
activist. “In the Olympic village in Beijing, the Chinese government has
made an ‘ethnic minority theme park’” with Tibetan dance troupes
performing Tibetan dances. Within the theme park there is also a giant
replica of a Tibetan monastery. This is part of their Communist
propaganda, too. This human zoo is meant to show how much they love
their minorities.”

Reality “is quite difference. As the Games come closer, anti-Tibetan
repression goes up exponentially. Recently two elderly and
well-respected Tibetan Buddhist monks died under mysterious
circumstances. They were supposed to identify the new Dalai Lama. When
the US Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tibetan
leader, many monks and faithful were arrested back home for celebrating
the event. Near monasteries police stations are being built so as to
better monitor religious activities.”

All this “should tell the international community how it should view
China. We Tibetans see the Olympics as a great opportunity to show the
truth. What matters is whether the world cares to look at it.”

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