Related post now added at Tibet protests . . . hope for Diego Garcians. . .?
This post has an updated link at What is happening in Tibet, 2:
Firstly, I deplore the human rights situation in China, and was dismayed that it was chosen to host the Olympics in the first place. But having had some contacts with a few Tibetans, and watching the way some of the Tibetan protests are portrayed in the news here, I cannot help but seek answers to a few questions before jumping on board the free Tibet movement. Certainly I would support an increase in human rights in Tibet, as anywhere in China, but independence or even quasi-independence protests are another matter.
Questions that keep coming to mind:
Are the monk-dominated images I see on TV footage representative of the identity of the main body of protesters in Tibet? If so, what is the role of the population who are not monks in the clashes with Chinese authorities?
When TV footage comes with a voice over saying that it is showing monks coming between Chinese troops and other protesters, then why am I unable to see much evidence of the other protesters, and even see some monks throwing rocks and bars at the troops?
When a leader of the protesters was interviewed on a BBC film clip recently, was he translated correctly when he appeared to say: “That’s why we (the monks) have ordered (sic) these demonstrations”?
Why do so many commentators seem to trace Tibetan history in their commentaries back no farther than the 1950’s? At best, I have read of the time Tibet was prised away from China during the time when nineteenth century foreign imperial powers were intent on weakening and breaking up China. Is there any significance in the 1950’s time-frame of historical recollection in the news media coinciding with early Cold War attempts by the U.S. to attempt to undermine the new government of China?
What is the actual evidence that the bulk of the lay population of Tibet is strongly opposed to being part of China? To what extent are the Tibetans at the “free Tibet” booths and stalls one often sees at festivals, fairs, etc, in the West truly representative of the average Tibetans “back home”?
How can one be sure that by supporting Tibetan independence one is not playing into the hands of a well funded attempt by the U.S. in their games with China?
This post has an updated link at What is happening in Tibet, 2
See also Human Rights in China