Saturday, April 19, 2008

it's not the people, it's the government

As the Western news media produces report after report on the vast consensus felt by the Chinese people in support of their government's policies on Tibet, this article from Phayul provides a glimpse of another viewpoint. It is also worth noting that those Chinese who might otherwise speak out in favor of Tibet risk arrest, imprisonment, torture and death, just as the Tibetans do.

China salaries overseas Chinese for anti-Tibetan protests
Phayul [Saturday, April 19, 2008 21:25]
By Phurbu Thinley

"The Global Human Rights Torch Relay, scheduled to pass through 37 countries, arrived in Minnesota State on April 16 on its America leg of the ongoing relay. [ . . . ] Upon reaching the University of Minnosota, Tenzin Namlha [ . . . ] was taken aback seeing an unusually large contingent of supposedly pro-China campaigners protesting side by side, apparently to disrupt the relay’s event. [ . . . ] What shocked Tenzin most was when a Chinese student carrying a pro-China banner approached him, in the midst of the event, and asked him how much he got to take part in it. [ . . . ]

" 'What happened is that there were lots of pro-Chinese, and one of them came to me and asks me how much I got,' Tenzin wrote in our usual online chat. 'He thought I might be one of them (Chinese). And then I asked him back (the same question) and he said he got 350 dollars (US) from the Chinese government to protest against us (Tibetans and human rights activists). He specifically told us that lots of students, almost all of them were paid to protest against Tibetans.'

"During his brief interaction with the outwardly frank Chinese student, Tenzin said he learned that pro-Chinese activists at the San Francisco leg of Olympic torch relay were all paid to protest against pro-Tibet campaigners. 'And it’s not just yesterday, they were paid to go to protest against us in San Francisco too. [ . . . ] So I asked him, "Why are you protesting, I mean do you have any idea about what’s going on?" [ . . . ] That Chinese guy told me he didn’t know what’s going on,' Tenzin wrote, saying he literally had to explain to his Chinese counterpart in 'detail' about what had been 'going on in Tibet' and that the Human Rights Torch Relay is 'not talking about Tibet at all.'

"According to Tenzin, on hearing the explanation, the bemused ‘Chinese guy’ later put his banner down to join Tibetans and other groups to denounce Chinese government of its human rights record. 'We were all talking about human rights in China and then he put his banner down and joined our group!' [ . . . ]

"When asked how they get money from Chinese Government, Tenzin said he was told by the Chinese stranger that one of the student’s or a group’s leaders would take money from Chinese embassy or consulates from respective locations and then pay them to individuals.

"Tenzin and other Tibetans later on the very same day went to Rochester, which is almost two hours drive from Minneapolis, to see the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to hear him speak. [ . . . ] Tenzin said he was again disturbed seeing many Chinese protesters, made up of mostly Chinese students studying at the University of Minnesota, outside the Mayo Clinic building, carrying Chinese flags and anti-Dalai Lama and anti-Tibetan banners.

"Meanwhile, Chinese Communist Party’s official mouth piece, Xinhua, which alone acts as the absolute source of Tibet related news in China, carried the Rochester incident story as: Chinese Americans protest against Dalai Lama's separatist activities. The story posted on Friday goes on to say: 'American Chinese and Chinese students across the United States have been voluntarily and spontaneously staging a series of peaceful protests against the Dalai Lama's separatist activities as he tours the country.' "

1 comment:

bobby fletcher said...

Little did you know that Falun Gong's faux torch relay is not grassroot. Rightwing "China hawks" in US Congress are linked to this event.

Susan Prager, the outreach director of HRTR, is also the communications director of "Friends of Falun Gong", a quasai-government non-profit founded by people linked to US Congress and the NED - it has injected over 6 million dollars in 5 years to various FLG groups to promot their intensely anti-Chinese political message.