By Tejaswi Ravinder
New Delhi, October 28– China’s white paper doesn’t portray the reality in Tibet. The document is an attempt by the Asian giant to put itself in the good books of other nations.
The white paper titled, “Development and Progress of Tibet,” with six chapters covering the past six decades focuses on areas including economy, people’s livelihoods, political systems, cultural preservation, religious freedom and environmental protection.
It begins by digging into the history, describing the region prior to 1950, “as dark and backward as medieval Europe,” and blames Tibet’s poverty and economic stagnation on ‘feudal serfdom’. The report hence distorted the historical facts of the traditionally rich Tibet, whose unique civilization and culture are widely spread beyond the borders of Himalayas to Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar.
On the region’s current situation, it says, “Today’s Tibet is developing economically, making progress politically, has a flourishing culture, a harmonious society and a good environment; its people are happy and healthy.” But in reality, it is economically and socially behind, stuck in the hands of communist China.
Cultural genocide, underdeveloped infrastructure, government policies and exploitation of human rights by totalitarian China have done immense loss of life, culture and deterioration of the economy. Tibetan economy is mainly dependant on primary – agricultural sector and trade with neighboring countries as India. Under China’s rule, booms of privatization are far a dream for Tibetan Autonomous Region, also known as Xizang.
The emerging world power undermines the fundamental rights to freedom of religion, culture and expression in Tibet. This can be evidently known from the increasing number of self immolations by monks. According to a report by freetibet.org, more than a 100 monks self-immolated in the past one year alone. The captured nation has witnessed arrests of monks and civilians as political prisoners on the charges of “endangering state security” by authorities. In the white paper, China terms the exploitation and biased policies as a “victory of human justice”.
Tibetan plateau is rich with natural resources and raw materials which can create a strong secondary – industrial sector, but Chinese policies are favorable towards developing its own urban industries and foreign trade with the U.S. and other developed countries. From toys and games to electronic gadgets, everything is made in china. Forbes, a biweekly business magazine, reports that there is a good rise in the number of self-made billionaire entrepreneurs in China in the recent years, which it observes as “a sign that the government is loosening its grip on the economy, releasing the ingenuity and creativity of the Chinese people.”
The objectives of the 12th Five-Year Plan, for the years 2011-15, include mining, infrastructure construction and transportation in Tibet, for which the government provides financial support. But the ordinary Tibetans have no take in this, “the real beneficiaries are Chinese Government and Chinese immigrants,” comments the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
Tertiary sector, under the Chinese economic reform, has created very few jobs such as taxi-driving and hotel retail work. Jobs in hospitality, tourism, information technology are mostly filled by Chinese immigrants. According to freetibet.org, unemployed Tibetans risked detention, beating and imprisonment to stage public protests over their failure to find jobs earlier this year. The article says the demonstrators alleged “they were disadvantaged by officials using official power and prestige for private use and allocating jobs to people from outside their area.”
The Strategic Project to Develop the West, launched in the 1980s, encouraged the migration of Chinese into Tibet. As a result, by the end of 1990, Tibetans have become minority in their own land.
The document even blames global warming for ecological imbalance and environmental plagues in Tibet. But the harmful environmental practices sanctioned by the local authorities to increase GDP growth figures caused the damage. According to savetibet.og, the world’s largest and highest plateau is experiencing many hazardous environmental ills including destruction of wild life, deforestation, nuclear activities, diversification and hydroelectric projects.
The claims in the report by the dragon nation were criticized by the members of the UN Human Rights Council. Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, the U.S., the U.K. and Iceland raised their concerns on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. They recommended China to take necessary measures to ensure that the rights of Tibetans and other ethnic minorities are fully observed and protected.
New Zealand recommended China to resume a meaningful dialogue to address the interest of all communities in Tibet, while the U.S. submitted a question asking, “Will China resume unconditional direct dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives?”
But China rejected the concerns raised by UN Human Rights Council member states saying, “Some countries in their comments equated security actions to protect civilians as ethnic cleaning, and called certain criminals in China as human rights defenders. Normal judicial procedures were called political persecution. This is a typical case of politicizing human right. The best persons to know human rights in China are Chinese.”
Tibetans are snubbed by the authority of an insensible government, which lacks logic and coats the reality with its white lies and goes to any extent to defend itself. China needs to go for a reality check.
The land of sleeping giant, China, needs to revise the history lessons on Tibet, which was once a fairy land but now under the devil’s rule. The international community needs to tell Beijing that its claims have cut no ice.