L K Advani inaugurates an exhibition on "Naxalism: A threat to the Unified nation of India"

13 07 2008

For Pictures of the Ehibition Click here

Those who of you couldnt make to
the exhibition, heres’s an online exhibition.

Below are the press release and the photographs of L K Advani’s visit to the
exhibition….

http://i-newswire.com/pr179064.html

http://picasaweb.google.com/vee4ru/NaxalismExhibition02

L K Advani today inaugurated an exhibition by FACT on “Naxalism: A threat to the Unified nation of India” at India Habitat centre Delhi. The Exhibition based is on the statistical and ground reports along with photographs. It is an impressive effort to bring to light the mindless violence in the name of Left wing ideology. Mr Advani after inaugurating the exhibition by lighting the lamp was impressed by the exhibition and remarked “this is a very dedicated effort and I appreciate the organisers FACT and its founder Francois Gautier” He also remarked in the visitors book ” violence can never be a solution to the existing problems or of the future and its efforts like those by Sri Sri Ravishankar and Art of Living that can make a difference”.

The exhibition will be screened until 14th july 2008, while this happens to be the second screening of the exhibition, the first one was held on the sidelines of the “South Asia Peace and Reconciliation conference” Oslo in Norway. This effort happens to be a one of its kind.

The exhibition travels through the pain and sufferings caused by the Left wing seperatism with ample help from Photographs and statistics. Blasted schools that rob the children of their future and childhood, blasted roads and destruction caused in the lives of the peasants whom the Maoists claim to be fighting for are all illustrations of a failed ideology through the gun. Investments in the stock markets by maoists, budgets scaling to crores for ammunition show the loss of ideology of the ‘saviours’ and puts them in question of their deeds by even their own supporters. The exhibition tries to portray and study the sociological and human rights impact from neutral perspective while giving a benefit of doubt for the arguments that “but they are fighting for people”, “but they have sacrificed their lives”, “but they are committed” and a whole lot of questions. The money and the caste conflicts in the naxal movement are by themselves answers to a lot of questions while maoism fights for a so called casteless society.

FACT a not for profit trust and has been working to highlight the mindless killings in the name of ideology and religion. Established in 2003 by Francois Gautier the French journalist, indologist and author living in India for the past 33 years. The recent Historical and Artistic exhibition on Aurangazeb by the organisation has run into trouble after Muslim fundamentalists createdtrouble in chennai.

Advertisements




Red banner of terrorism

9 07 2008

From Daily pioneer

Francois Gautier

Mao Tse-Tung and his Little Red Book may have been all but forgotten in China where the revolution has been overtaken by free market economics. But here in India, Maoists continue to spread their deadly tentacles through terror and intimidation

It is not often nowadays that one can praise the Government. But in the case of Maoism, one has to, for not only everything has been tried, from negotiation to coercion, but the Government is facing a deadly and ruthless enemy which does not hesitate to kill and maim, so sure that it is in the sincerity of its purpose.

In most of the world, Communism is practically dead. One cannot call China a Communist country anymore — indeed, there may not be a more ruthless capitalist nation in the world today. Even Cuba is slowly inching towards free trade.

In India though, not only is Communism alive, but it is flourishing. You will find Communist Governments in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. The present Congress Government, till the opportunist Mulayam Singh Yadav stepped in, owed its survival to the Communists.

Communists are often not corrupt, they live a simple life and are committed to their cause, which is not always true of other politicians. Unfortunately there is also a darker side: Indian Communists have totally aligned themselves with Lenin and Mao Tse-Tung, to the point that not only are they anti-spiritual, particularly targeting the Hindus, but often anti-Indian. They will never criticise China, for instance, and even support the Chinese in case of tensions between New Delhi and Beijing.

There is an even more dangerous aspect: It is when Communists take to arms, what we know as Maoism. The far Left movement, which is basically a Maoism-inspired armed struggle, began as a violent peasant uprising against landlords at Naxalbari village in West Bengal, on May 25, 1967 (hence the name Naxalism).

It is true that Naxalism and later Maoism may have risen out of a sense of injustice, seeing how there are still unforgivable disparities in certain parts of India which have suffered for centuries from caste discrimination, exploitation by landlords and the lethargy of the local administrative and political system.

But today Maoists are largely driven by the goal of capturing political power. For, Maoists are very clear about their objectives and they freely quote from Mao Tse-Tung: “It’s (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.”

Indeed, if one looks closely at Maoism today, one sees murder, rape, kidnappings, extortion, money laundering and human rights violations. As many as 16 of India’s 35 States and Union Territories are affected by Maoism. It affects 192 of India’s 604 districts. This prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare : “It would not be an exaggeration to say that the problem of Maoism is the single-biggest security challenge ever faced by our country.”

In the last 12 months, the Maoists have redoubled their effort to break up Indian society: On March 15, 2007, Maoists massacred 16 officers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, 39 Special Police Officers and injured 12 others at Rani Bodli village. On October 27, 2007, Armed Maoists massacred 17 people, including a former Jharkhand Chief Minister’s son at Chilkhari village of the State’s Giridih district. On December 16, 2007, in a daring jailbreak, 110 Maoists escaped from Dantewada Jail in Chhattisgarh. On February 8 this year in Orissa 300 rebels, including 100 women, gunned down six policemen at a police reserve which houses an armoury as well as others at a training school and two at Nayagarh police station in the heart of the district town. The Maoists also took away over 1,200 state-of-the art rifles and one lakh live bullets. It would seem that the Maoists are within striking distance of Orissa’s capital, Bhubaneswar, which is barely 100 km away.

Sometimes, the media says Maoist violence is on the wane. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Maoists have a ‘budget’ of Rs. 60 crore for carrying out its armed struggle during 2007-09. This money has been raised abroad by NGO’s abroad. Meanwhile, emboldened by the success of Nepal’s Maoists in virtually seizing power, Maoists in India have recently released a stunning declaration outlining their programme.

The Government has tried everything to contain the Maoists: Negotiation, counter-insurgency measures, and arming tribals. But with little result. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has now initiated a dialogue with Maoists to convince them that the gun is not the only solution.

His teachings and initiatives have transformed many villages in Maoist-hit areas of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. During his visits to Bihar, more than 100,000 youth from warring factions have taken a solemn vow to spread the message of non-violence.

Recently he initiated a much-needed Peace and Reconciliation conference in Oslo, Norway, to focus on internal armed conflicts in South Asia, particularly Maoism. Norway’s Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Members of European Parliament Erika Mann, Nirj Deva and Aud Kvalbein, the Deputy Mayor of Oslo, were among the prominent speakers.

The Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism FACT, while aware of the terrible inequalities that still exist in India and which provide a fertile ground for Maoism to spread, is mounting an exhibition on Maoism as a threat to national unity, at Habitat Centre, Palm Court Gallery, from July 8 to 13.

For any comments, queries or feedback, kindly mail us at pioneerletters@yahoo.co.in





New left still maintains the old heroes

7 07 2008

Wednesday June 18 2008 09:25 IST
Francois Gautier
From: Newindpress.com

WHEN we were young, our heroes were Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, or even Pol Pot. Of course, in time, we learnt about the crimes of Mao, who killed millions of his own people — Pol Pot, of course was even more of a monster. Stalin was not much better.

Thus, in most of the world, communism is practically dead. One cannot call China anymore a communist country —indeed, there may not be a more ruthless capitalistic nation today — and even Cuba is inching towards free trade. In India though, not only is communism not dead, it is flourishing ! You find communist governments in West Bengal, partly in Kerala or Tripura and the present Congress government owes its survival to the communists.

In a way, it is positive. You see a youth like Nandan, filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s son, who was a “Red Volunteer” at a recent CPI-M meet in Chennai. Or you come across an ardent communist like Dr Binayak Sen, now in jail. Communists often live a simple life and are committed. Witness the youthful leader Sitaram Yetchury.

Unfortunately, there is also a darker side : Indian communists have totally aligned themselves with Lenin and Mao, to the point that not only they are antispiritual, particularly targeting Hindus, but often anti-Indian. They will never criticise China and even take sides with the Chinese in case of tensions between Delhi and Beijing.

There is an even more dangerous angle: when communism takes on an armed face. In India it is naxalism. The naxal movement, basically a Maoist-inspired armed struggle, began as a violent peasant uprising against the landlords at Naxalbari village in West Bengal on May 25, 1967. It is true that naxalism may have risen out a wounded sense of injustice, seeing how there are still unforgivable disparities in certain parts of India which have suffered for centuries from caste discrimination, exploitation by landlords and the lethargy of the administrative and political system.

However, the naxals are clear about their objectives. They freely quote from Mao: “Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.” Indeed, if one looks closely at naxalism today, one sees murder, rape, kidnap, extortion, money laundering and human rights violations.

Today, 16 of the 35 States and Union Territories have Maoists operating. This affects 192 of India’s 604 districts. In the last twelve months, naxalism has redoubled its efforts to break up Indian society. On March 15, 2007, Maoist rebels massacred 16 officers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, 39 Special Police Officers and injured 12 others at Rani Bodli village. On Oct 27, armed naxals massacred 17 people including a former Jharkhand chief minister’s son in Chilkhari village of the state’s Giridih district. On Dec 16, in a daring jailbreak, 110 naxalites escaped from Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada Jail. There are many other examples.

Sometimes, the press says that the menace is on the wane. Nothing could be further from the truth. The naxalites have a budget of Rs 60 crores for their armed struggle during 2007-09. This is raised abroad by NGO in countries like Norway, where there is some sympathy for them. Furthermore, emboldened by the Maoists in Nepal who have not only conquered the countryside, but come to government, Naxalites in India have recently released a stunning declaration:

* We pledge: To coordinate the people’s war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.

* To build a united front of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.

* To build a secret party apparatus impregnable to the enemy’s attacks.

* To build open and secret mass organisations among the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people.

* To build the people’s militia in all villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army). Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle as well as in the urban areas.

The Government of India has tried everything to contain the naxalites: negotiation, counter-insurgency, arming the tribals, but with little result. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation has started a dialogue with the naxalites to show that the gun is not only solution.

His teachings and initiatives have transformed many villages in the naxalite-dominated areas of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. During his visits to Bihar, more than 100,000 youths from warring factions such as Ranvir Sena, People’s War Group and Maoist Communist Centre vowed to spread the message of non-violence.

He also recently initiated a much needed peace and reconciliation conference in Oslo, Norway, on April 11, which focused on the internal armed conflicts of South Asia, particularly naxalism, and discussed possible solutions and means to solve them. Norway’s special envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Members of European Parliament Erika Mann, Nirj Deva and Aud Kvalbein, Deputy Mayor of Oslo were some of the prominent European speakers in the conference.

Finally we can only conclude by quoting Ajit Doval, Former Director, Intelligence Bureau : “Taking the trends of the last five years, we can build a model of the security scenario for the year 2010. Over 260 districts, nearly half of India, would be naxal-affected where the government’s writ hardly runs.”

Is the naxal dream of a Red Belt, from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh, become a reality? We hope not. For the ancient Indian way of life, the Dharma, offers other solutions.

The writer is the Editor-in-Chief of La Revue de l’Inde. He lives in India.





Upcomming events: World Refugee day and Naxalite exhibition

18 06 2008

1) FACT EXHIBITION IN PUNE (Kashmiri Pandits: World Refugee day)

2) FACT EXHIBITION IN DELHI (Naxalism: A threat to the Unified nation of India)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 – Monday, July 14, 2008
Venue : India Habitat Center, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
(Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps)

This World Refugee Day 2008 Would be a special occassion to remember, voice and address the concerns of the refugees in India especially the ones that are neglected. June 20th would be a special eve for the Kashmiri pandits this year as FACT INDIA in association with Hindu Janjagruti Samithi would organise an event complete with candle light procession an exhibition on the pandits and media awareness.

About the event
The events would be held in Pune and Delhi. The World Refugees day Programme would include ‘to raise voice against’ the closure of Wandhama massacre case.

The break-up of the event for the day is like-

Wandhama massacre refers to the murder of Kashmiri Hindus in the town of Wandhama on the intervening night of 25th January 1998. It was one of the worst incidences of violence against Kashmiri Pandits being carried out by militants in Kashmir. It was an illustration of the Kashmir militant’s policy of ethnic cleansing . The victims, all of them Kashmiri Pandits, included four children, nine women and 10 men. The case is in a way a microcosm of the apathy of the Government towards the Pandits. Ideally the government should have asked a better investigating agency like a SIT/CID or even a CBI to pursue the case so that the killers could be identified and nabbed, had its own Police proved incompetent to do the job. But that was not to be. As always the Police simply closed the case and thought its responsibility is over.

1. FACT exhibition

Mrs Gayatri Chauhan, FACT representative in Maharashtra is holding an exhibition on 20th of June, Pune.

2. Press conference

Panelists will be invited from different fields, Police commissioner Pune, Editors of leading newspapers, NHRC representatives, Lawyers etc.

3. Candle light

A candle light procession with People gathered from all walks of life would be held at the exhibition as well as press conference will be taken to the saras bagh, where in candle light is to done.

The blogsite depicts the whole of story.http://kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com
rinkoo thusoo: 09250006232





CONFERENCE ON SOUTH ASIAN CONFLICTS UNDERLINES SPIRITUALITY AND PEACE AS THE WAYS FORWARD

13 04 2008

Oslo meet favours spreading awareness on Naxal threat
courtesy: zee news
Oslo, April 12: Bringing together top leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds, a conference on peace and reconciliation in South Asia here has favoured efforts to spread awareness in Europe on the problem of Naxalism faced by India and ways to resolve it.

The conference, which focused on the internal armed conflicts in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal, concluded yesterday calling upon all the stakeholders to opt for peaceful means and restraint while dealing with their respective situations.

“The problem of Naxalism has grown exponentially in the past few years. It is being identified by the Indian government as the single most dangerous internal security threat and affects nearly one-third of the total districts,” Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose `The Art of Living Foundation` organised the meet, said.

“It is very important that it comes to the notice of international community, especially European nations, who can further help us in dealing with it,” he said.

“Also, through this conference, we appeal to Sri Lankan government, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Buddhist monks in China, Chinese government, Myanmar regime…Everyone for peace and restraint, and to have a preference for coming to the table for resolution of issues,” the Indian spiritual guru said in his concluding remarks yesterday.

He insisted that in present circumstances, “spirituality” was the only option left for a credible, long-term solution to the problems.

Bureau Report

Attached Photo Captions:
Picture 1: Speakers, at the conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia, with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Lankan minister Thondaman, MDMK leader Vaiko, European parliament members Erika Mann and Nirj Deva are seen. The two-day conference, held in Oslo, ended on late evening, April 11, 2008.
Picture 2: (From L to R ) Mr. Khin Maung Win, Deputy Executive Director, Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway, Rt. Rev. Dr. Brahmanawatte Seevali Nayaka Thero, Deputy Secretary General, Sri Lanka Amarapura Mahanikaya, Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, Minister for Youth Empowerment & Socio-Economic Development, Sri Lanka, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ms. Erika Mann, Member of European Parliament, Mr. Vaiko, General Secretary, The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Tamil Nadu, India, Mr. Ramvichar Netam, Home Minister of Chhattisgarh, India at the at the two-day conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia, Oslo, which ended on late evening, April 11, 2008.
Picture 3: Hundreds of people participate in the peace march organised by the Art of Living Foundation in Oslo on April 10 as a prelude to the two-day Conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia.
Picture 4: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressing the two-day conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia in Oslo. The conference concluded on late evening, April 11, 2008




CONFERENCE ON SOUTH ASIAN CONFLICTS UNDERLINES SPIRITUALITY AND PEACE AS THE WAYS FORWARD

13 04 2008

Oslo meet favours spreading awareness on Naxal threat
courtesy: zee news
Oslo, April 12: Bringing together top leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds, a conference on peace and reconciliation in South Asia here has favoured efforts to spread awareness in Europe on the problem of Naxalism faced by India and ways to resolve it.

The conference, which focused on the internal armed conflicts in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Nepal, concluded yesterday calling upon all the stakeholders to opt for peaceful means and restraint while dealing with their respective situations.

“The problem of Naxalism has grown exponentially in the past few years. It is being identified by the Indian government as the single most dangerous internal security threat and affects nearly one-third of the total districts,” Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, whose `The Art of Living Foundation` organised the meet, said.

“It is very important that it comes to the notice of international community, especially European nations, who can further help us in dealing with it,” he said.

“Also, through this conference, we appeal to Sri Lankan government, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Buddhist monks in China, Chinese government, Myanmar regime…Everyone for peace and restraint, and to have a preference for coming to the table for resolution of issues,” the Indian spiritual guru said in his concluding remarks yesterday.

He insisted that in present circumstances, “spirituality” was the only option left for a credible, long-term solution to the problems.

Bureau Report

Attached Photo Captions:
Picture 1: Speakers, at the conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia, with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Lankan minister Thondaman, MDMK leader Vaiko, European parliament members Erika Mann and Nirj Deva are seen. The two-day conference, held in Oslo, ended on late evening, April 11, 2008.
Picture 2: (From L to R ) Mr. Khin Maung Win, Deputy Executive Director, Democratic Voice of Burma, Norway, Rt. Rev. Dr. Brahmanawatte Seevali Nayaka Thero, Deputy Secretary General, Sri Lanka Amarapura Mahanikaya, Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, Minister for Youth Empowerment & Socio-Economic Development, Sri Lanka, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ms. Erika Mann, Member of European Parliament, Mr. Vaiko, General Secretary, The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Tamil Nadu, India, Mr. Ramvichar Netam, Home Minister of Chhattisgarh, India at the at the two-day conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia, Oslo, which ended on late evening, April 11, 2008.
Picture 3: Hundreds of people participate in the peace march organised by the Art of Living Foundation in Oslo on April 10 as a prelude to the two-day Conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia.
Picture 4: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressing the two-day conference on Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia in Oslo. The conference concluded on late evening, April 11, 2008




Naxal Exhibition: Preview

8 04 2008
FACT India
Naxalism: A Threat to Unified India

Click here for a miniature view of the exhib
Opens :::
April 10th and 11th Oslo, during the Conference on Peace and Reconciliation http://www.sap2008.org/

Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, Kronprinsens gate 17, 0251 Oslo – Norway, http://www.ingeniorenesh

The Exhibition is a reflection of the Left wing insurgency in India, a blend of photographs, statistics and an analysis that forms the presentation of FACTS. The exhibition travels through the lives of the victims in Naxal infested states and present their lives as well as the lives of those valiant fighters both civilian and from the government. It is a fight against, the act of killing just because ideologies differ. The ideology of Intolerance and disharmony aided by violence, is taking a toll on the very same people, the ideology claims to be fighting for. Here we have been working on a series of issues on Naxalism and the havoc it has created over the years on the Indian populace and threat it poses to the unity of India.

“Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.” – Mao Tse-Tung

Well-educated Naxalites leaders have taken advantage of the dissatisfaction among the poor and uneducated population by offering them an alternative way to growth and development.

After fighting each other and splitting like an amoeba, today there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Mazumdar. Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the consolidated destructive form of the Leftwing extremism that has been creating more problems to the poor than fighting them on their behalf.

Maoist rebels have been attacking innocent villagers without reason and destroying public facilities like Hospitals, Schools, rail, road transport, power transmission and communication facilities which are crucial for the local communities. Armed naxals have denied the basic amenities to the poor and under privileged in the name of liberating them.

The Left wing terror has lead to massacre of politicians in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh apart from killing innocent civilians. Human rights violations have become a part of their daily routine with women being raped, children taken away as child soldiers and couriers while pushing interior areas into a humanitarian crisis and away from development. While their resolutions claim and boast of a free and egalitarian society the Left wing terror group has itself been plagued with caste differences and inequality.

In the name of “supporting oppressed nationalities” the communist terrorists now have developed nexus with extremist organizations in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and abroad. In the name of a “UF (United Front) of all secular forces” they have been trying to create divisions among Muslims, Christians and Sikhs. While many of the cadres have been deserting the party, frustrated and realizing what a hollow ideology of hate they have been blindly following, the terror perpetrators are hounding those who have left the so-called “movement”.

This Exhibition has been brought to you by FACT India through an extensive field study, and thanks to extensive media coverage of the problem and we would like to acknowledge the sources websites of Ministry of Home affairs and South Asia terrorism Portal.

FACT India is a Registered Trust. Contributions are welcome and donations are exempt under Section 80 G of the IT Act.

FACT India
41, Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003, India.

The world should stand beside Tibet

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/09/EDE11024F5.DTL

As a Tibetan, it is bittersweet to see Tibet on the front pages. The world is finally seeing Beijing’s repressive rule there, but the tragedy is that it has required such bloodshed. As Chinese forces now attempt to crush the protests, the crisis in Tibet has laid bare two important issues: the Tibetan people’s unresolved demands, and how these aspirations impact Tibet, the world and China itself.

For more than 50 years, Tibet has been a land of simmering resentment. Tibetans have various grievances, but the common thread is that Tibetans want what all nations want: to control their own lives, society and religion. Tibetans are not simply protesting specific policies; they are demanding their right to self-determination. It is no coincidence that in many protests, Tibetans are attacking symbols of state power, ripping down the Chinese flag and replacing it with the banned Tibetan one.

Unlike the demonstrations in the 1980s, the protests have spread far beyond the capital, Lhasa, to towns and villages across Tibet. Tibetan exiles are staging sympathy protests worldwide, including when Beijing’s Olympic torch comes through San Francisco today. These actions feed off one another, thanks to the Internet, digital cameras, cell phones and shortwave radio. This unity among Tibetans inside and outside Tibet represents a far stronger challenge to Chinese rule than before, and will give Tibetans renewed inspiration regardless of whether the protests in Tibet are temporarily suppressed.

For the international community, it is now impossible to accept Beijing’s narrative that Tibetans are happy as part of China. The economic growth that Beijing touts in Tibet is exposed as a synonym for Chinese colonization. The world now sees that, like East Timor and other former colonies, the Tibetan people’s demand for freedom may be temporarily repressed but is destined to boil over. The only question is whether the world will do anything to support these legitimate aspirations.

China’s self-absorbed myth that it “liberated” grateful Tibetans has also been shattered; its central narrative justifying Tibet’s place in its empire has vanished. Its policy of “Sinicizing” Tibet through immigration of Chinese settlers and vilifying His Holiness the Dalai Lama is just adding fuel to the fire. For the first time, Beijing has actually admitted that the Tibetan protests are widespread and conducted on a large scale.

Beijing has now resorted to a new propaganda tactic, casting Tibetans as violent criminals and Chinese as victims. This is largely because Beijing needed a domestic response to images seeping into China of Chinese forces attacking Tibetan protesters. State-controlled media are now broadcasting images of Tibetans attacking Chinese settlers; ignoring, of course, that the demonstrations in Lhasa were peaceful for days, and that most other Tibetan protests have been wholly nonviolent (the same cannot be said for Chinese forces, who used live ammunition against unarmed Tibetan protesters. The result of China’s new propaganda strategy has been to create an “us versus them” backlash among many Chinese vis-À-vis Tibetans. This is a reckless and potentially dangerous incitement of Chinese nationalism, but also has the effect of changing Chinese perceptions of Tibet. Tibetans are no longer portrayed as colorful if slightly backward “minorities.” Tibetans are now ungrateful colonial subjects in open rebellion. This is significant, because recognition of the difference between Tibetans and Chinese is the first step to recognition that Tibet is not China.

Looking forward, as with many colonized nations, there comes a tipping point when a sufficient number of people rise up and say “enough.” That point has been reached in Tibet. Ngawang Sangdrol, a Tibetan nun who became a political prisoner at age 12, once declared, “There is fire inside our bodies, but we dare not let the smoke out.” Now, the smoke has escaped, and for Tibetans in Tibet and across the Tibetan diaspora, there is a renewed push for freedom. And China? China will resist losing its colony, but then so did France with Algeria, Serbia with Kosovo, and Imperial Japan with Manchukuo.

The magnitude and vociferousness of the protests across Tibet demonstrate that Beijing cannot forever contain Tibetan demands for self-rule. Trying to do so only leads to instability. Through their courage and resilience in the face of a half-century of military occupation and religious and cultural oppression, Tibetans have made it abundantly clear that they want more than ever to determine their own future. The world should stand by their side.

Nima R. Taylor Binara is a member of the board of directors of Tibet Justice Center, a not-for-profit organization based in Berkeley that advocates the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination. www.tibetjustice.org.

This article appeared on page B – 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Olympic Protests Focus On Tibet’s Struggle

Learn History Behind Tibet, China’s Troubled Relationship

POSTED: 4:37 pm CDT April 7, 2008
As the eyes of the world begin to turn to the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, the focus has been straying from the athletic competition.Controversy is swirling around the upcoming international event because of many facets of Chinese policies and politics. But one issue has risen to the forefront: Tibet.Protests and demonstrations have erupted in many countries across the world, speaking out against the cultural repression and violence that has revitalized Tibet’s struggle for independence from China.Tibet, also known by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is the second-largest province in China. TAR incorporates about half of historical Tibet, consisting of Ü-Tsang and western Kham, while the Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Counties are part of Quinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan. The borders roughly correspond with the actual zone of governmental control before 1959, when Tibet was self-governing.Tibet’s struggle for independence from China began centuries ago, when the Qing Dynasty put Amdo under Chinese rule in 1724. Four years later, eastern Kham was also incorporated into the neighboring Chinese provinces.However, Tibet as we know it today has been seeking independence from China for nearly a century. After the British invasion of Tibet ended in the early 1900s, Britain acknowledged China’s control over Tibet in the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907, by stating that it would “not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government.”

After World War I

After World War I and the decentralization of China’s government, Tibet enjoyed a brief period of self-governance wherein the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, ruled in peace until his death in 1933.Despite this apparent independence, neither the Republic of China nor the PRC ever renounced China’s sovereignty over Tibet and in 1950 the People’s Liberation Army invaded and crushed the ill-equipped Tibetan forces. After the Seventeen Point Agreement was signed in 1951, Tibet was officially incorporated into the PRC.Still, the Tibet outlined in the Seventeen Point Agreement was to be a highly autonomous region ruled by the Dalai Lama, and was confined to the modern borders known today. The rest of historical Tibet was subject to land redistribution, which resulted in the first of many rebellions from monks and Tibetan noblemen.

Rebellions, Protests And Unrest

Though the rebellion had outside support, including the help of the American CIA, it was crushed in 1959. Thousands of Tibetans were killed, and the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled to exile in India where he currently resides in Dharamsala.Today, Tibet is nominally governed by the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Government of Tibet in Exile, though due to recent unrest, China has tightened its central control.Peaceful protests began on March 10 when hundreds of monks from Drepung monastery called for an end to religious restrictions and the release of imprisoned monks. Protests spread rapidly throughout Tibetan populated areas, and concerns of human rights violations lit up across the globe as the Olympic torch makes its way to Beijing.The protests quickly escalated away from nonviolent displays of dissent and developed into riots, resulting in many arrests and deaths — exact numbers of which are unclear due to conflicting reports from China and the Government of Tibet in Exile.Beijing has blamed the Dalai Lama and his followers for inciting the ongoing violence as an attempt to sabotage the Olympics, an allegation the religious and political leader vehemently denies.The exiled spiritual leader has repeatedly condemned violence, and has pleaded with the international community to instigate an objective probe to discover what really may have happened when the Buddhist monks clashed with the Chinese forces.

An Olympic Boycott?

International powers certainly have shown an interest in the conflict. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated that he may boycott the opening ceremony if China continues to crackdown on Tibet, and Prince Charles has said that he would skip the Olympics altogether.Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress also drafted a house resolution calling on the PRC to end its arrests of nonviolent Tibetan protests, and its ongoing cultural, religious and economic repression in Tibet. Resolution 1077 calls on the Chinese government to begin dialogue with the Dalai Lama and find a long-term solution that will respect the human rights of Tibetans.China has voiced dissatisfaction over foreign discussions of the situation in Tibet during European Union foreign ministers’ discussion in Slovenia.”The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to the official Xinhua news agency.The Dalai Lama has expressed that he does not seek the separation of Tibet from China, and instead hopes for “meaningful self-rule” while remaining a part of China. The holy man has insisted that he is willing to work with Chinese authorities to achieve peace and stability in the region.

http://www.fact-india.com