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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?"

Chinese tell of Tibet failures

May 23, 2009

John Garnaut, China Correspondent, Beijing
The Age
May 21, 2009

LAST year's Tibetan uprising was caused by two
decades of failed development policies that
marginalised Tibetans and created a "new
aristocracy" of corrupt and abusive government officials, Beijing scholars say.

Their report describes how Beijing's efforts to
pour rivers of money into Tibet since 1989 to
ensure "stability" have been spectacularly counter-productive.

It says private-sector jobs went to Han Chinese
from other provinces, and public money flowed
into the pockets of a new elite that
systematically portrayed community discontent as "separatism".

"They use every opportunity to play the
separatism card," says Phun Tshogs Dbang Rjyal, a
founder of the Communist Party in Tibet quoted in the report.

"And they will try hard to apportion
responsibility on 'overseas hostile forces'
because this is the way to consolidate their
interests and status and eventually bring them more power and resources."

The fieldwork was conducted by four Peking
University journalism students who went to Lhasa
and a Tibetan region of Gansu province last July.

The report was compiled and recently published on
the internet by Open Constitution Initiative, a
non-government organisation run by prominent
lawyers and intellectuals in Beijing.

The uprising that embroiled much of the Tibetan
plateau from March 14 last year is considered one
of the most serious challenges to Communist Party rule since 1949.

The report's existence defies a mammoth
Government propaganda and security blitz, which
Tibetan exile groups say has led to hundreds of
Tibetans being killed and thousands being incarcerated.

Propaganda authorities have blamed the violence
on Tibetan "criminals", "hostile foreign forces" and "the Dalai Lama clique".

Xu Zhiyong, a prominent human rights lawyer who
helped prepare the report, said he hoped it would
be picked up by the domestic media, but doubted
it would influence government officials.

Tibetans are nevertheless heartened that a
balanced account of the causes of last year's uprising can now exist in China.

"As a Tibetan I feel this report is very
important," said Tsering Woeser, a prominent
Tibetan poet in Beijing. "This is a rare and
treasured report under the current circumstances
of one-sided official propaganda."

The report details how Beijing's heavy security
and propaganda response further alienated Tibetans after the uprisings.

Monks, who Tibetans saw as "the divine clergy",
were subjected to "socialist patriotic
education". Even card-carrying Communist Party
members were treated as security threats because
of their ethnicity when visiting Beijing during last year's Olympic Games.

"Just because I was a Tibetan there was no hotels
allowed me in. This made me so angry," said a
Tibetan woman, Baima Jizhong, when quoted in the report.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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