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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?"

Exiled Tibetans Wage Cyber Attack on China

June 24, 2008

sify.com (India)
June 23, 2008, 11:38

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) -- They might not have the guns and the
numbers to match the might of the world's biggest army in China, but
determined Tibetans living in exile in India and other parts of the
world are turning to the internet to wage a 'virtual' war against China.

Scores of Tibetan websites and links have come up in the last couple
of years to put forth demands of a 'free Tibet' and highlight the
alleged rights violations in Tibet. And it is not Tibetans alone who
are in the midst of this struggle.

They are being supported by hundreds of sympathisers across the
globe, many of them information technology (IT) specialists, and even
Indian friends.

The Tibetan government-in-exile here uses the internet as a potent
weapon to draw attention to the Tibetan cause and counter the Chinese
propaganda. While the exiled Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has
its own website (www.tibet.net), other arms of the Tibetan
establishment too rely heavily on the Internet.

The Tibetan Solidarity Committee (TSC), which came into being in
March to coordinate the Tibetan issue after violent anti-China
protests broke out in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, also has
its own website that is updated daily.

"The internet is a good weapon to have at times to counter Chinese
propaganda. But this is a short-term thing because the Chinese manage
to block Tibetan websites inside China. These websites cannot exist
inside Tibet or China for more than three-four days," points out the
exiled government's Prime Minister (Kalon Tripa) Samdhong Rinpoche.

"Using the internet to highlight the Tibetan cause is a good weapon
for us," Rinpoche told IANS.

Tibetan spiritual head the Dalai Lama has his own website
(www.dalailama.com) and so also the Karmapa Lama - the third highest
figure in Tibetan religious hierarchy.

In fact, a single website, www.tibetsites.com, provides links to
scores of Tibetan websites across the globe. These include websites
of the exiled government and its several agencies, Tibetan NGOs like
Tibetan Youth Congress, Friends of Tibet and Students for Free Tibet.

Some sites like www.phayul.com deal with news about Tibetans from
around the globe.

Tibetans living in this Himalayan abode of the Dalai Lama say the
world wide web (www) also helps them keep in touch with Tibetans
living in Tibet.

"Using the internet helps us to highlight information about what we
are doing. Many sympathisers of the Tibetan cause have got in touch
with us through the websites. This also helps in getting funding and
support," Lobsang, a Tibetan activist says as he scans websites at a
cyber-café in Mcleodganj - India's little Lhasa near here.

India is home to some 100,000 Tibetan exiles, many of whom fled their
homeland along with the Dalai Lama in 1959 following a failed
anti-China uprising. The Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala is
not recognised by any country.

In the last three years, efforts are being made by IT professionals
from abroad to set up the 'air jaldi' wi-fi network in and around
Mcleodganj and Dharamsala to provide wireless access to Tibetans and others.

NGOs are also running computer and technology centres around
Dharamsala to train Tibetan youth in computers, software and other
related technology.

Tibetans seek help of technology professionals to make sure that
their websites are not hacked by Chinese hackers. This has happened
several times in recent years and the CTA's website, www.tibet.net,
was also hacked three months ago.
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