Saturday, March 29, 2008

Frontline's Take on the Tibetan Crisis

Apparently, the Chindu's Tibet amnesia syndrome seems to have afflicted its sister publication Frontline. See John Cherian's article 'Trouble in Tibet' in today's issue. The heading reads

'Lhasa erupts in violence as Tibetan separatists clamour against the Olympic flame passing through the capital city of the autonomous region.'

Apparently there is a new twist now - dark hints are thrown that the CIA is responsible for it! This is what the first couple of paras have to say:

THE agenda had been clear for some time. The Tibetan exile groups based in India and in Western capitals were working overtime to put a spanner in the carefully orchestrated build-up to the Beijing Olympics to be held in October. The exile groups, which are led by their spiritual and political leader Dalai Lama, had vowed to not allow the Olympic flame to pass through Lhasa, the capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Small but rowdy groups of Tibetan protestors in New Delhi and other capitals were loudly talking about organising a march to Lhasa to highlight their demands. Almost on cue, Lhasa witnessed an orgy of violence.

The violence, which lasted a couple of days, started after the Chinese authorities arrested 60 monks on March 12. They were part of a volatile group staging a protest to commemorate the anniversary of the Central Intelligence Agency-backed insurrection against the Communist government in China in 1959.

Even Patrick French who has been fairly critical of Tibetan exile groups did not go this far. This is what he said in his op-ed in the NYT:

Protests have spread across the Tibetan plateau over the last two weeks, and at least 100 people have died. Anyone who finds it odd that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rushed to Dharamsala, India, to stand by the Dalai Lama’s side fails to realize that American politics provided an important spark for the demonstrations. Last October, when the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the Dalai Lama, monks in Tibet watched over the Internet and celebrated by setting off fireworks and throwing barley flour. They were quickly arrested.

It was for the release of these monks that demonstrators initially turned out this month. Their brave stand quickly metamorphosed into a protest by Lhasa residents who were angry that many economic advantages of the last 10 or 15 years had gone to Han Chinese and Hui Muslims. A young refugee whose family is still in Tibet told me this week of the medal, “People believed that the American government was genuinely considering the Tibet issue as a priority.”

I leave it to the reader to decide who is being truthful here. After this come two sections, one detailing the 'CIA conspiracy':

The CIA’s role in Tibet has been well documented. The CIA’s support for clandestine operations on behalf of the Dalai Lama was stopped only after the historic visit by President Richard Nixon to China in 1972. But covert cooperation between Western intelligence agencies and Tibetan separatist groups continues unabated (emphasis added). According to Gary Wilson, an American investigative journalist, the close coordination between the American intelligence agencies and the recent events is evident. He said that the main source of the reports about the activities of the so-called Tibetan liberation struggle and the recent events in Lhasa appearing in the Western media is an individual called John Ackerly. Ackerly happens to be the president of the International Campaign for Tibet. This group works in close coordination with the U.S. government, including the State Department and Congress. During the Cold War, Ackerly worked with “dissidents” in East Europe.

Who better to blame than the communists' favorite enemy of all times, the CIA? Food riots? Blame the CIA. Demand for freedom? Must be an American conspiracy. After all, how could people even dare demand such a thing but for evil American influence? How could anyone even suggest that the exalted representatives of the People's Republic could ever be wrong about anything? And what is the evidence on offer? Some diplomatic meetings preceding Nancy Pelosi's visit and news about the CIA's covert action during the Cold War! The Chinese probably forgot to lend Chindu the service of its spin doctors.

Then the talk shifts to 'China's resolve' and the blame to the British:

Tibet was occupied by British troops in 1907. This was the price it had to pay for being a pawn in the “Great Game” then going on between Czarist Russia and Imperial Britain. A weak China, itself under pressure from the imperialists, was powerless to act against the British occupiers. The Kuomintang government of General Chiang Kai-shek kept on protesting against the British about their occupation of Tibet. After liberation, Mao Zedong ordered the “liberation” of Tibet in 1950.

This is utter falsehood. Tibet had close relations with British India but was never occupied by the British. The truth is complicated and involves a long story that I will reserve for another time.

Anyway, Cherian assures the reader that there is nothing to worry.

Zhang Qingli has tried to allay the fears of minority groups. Prime Minister Wen has assured the Tibetan people that the government would continue to improve the region’s economy and strive to protect Tibetan culture.

When the fox is in charge of the hens, why worry? Eh?


Anonymous said...

This blog rocks as seen by the increasing number of comments! Nowadays I visit this blog right after browsing Chindu's lies! I have forwarded the URL to many of my friends.

Anonymous said...

How convenient that Chindu will blame everything happening in Tibet on the violent monks and the CIA.
The so-called violence against the school which was supposed to be created by the monks makes no sense. The large majority about 80% of the students were Tibetians.
Surely the CIA would've provided some information.
The last people to believe is the Chinese government who ran over their people with tanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm more concerned about China's very visible role in India than about CIA's alleged role in Tibet. If the UPA government has any brains, it will keep a tab on Chinese propaganda machinery within India, and that includes on N Ram and the increasingly extremist publications he is heading.

Anonymous said...

By the same logic, CIA should be instigating all the mischief in Kashmir. But, Chief will say that the Kashmiris (only Muslims, of course) are miserably alienated and hence anti-nationalist. Did CIA also play a key role in provoking the east-Pakis to fight for separation?

Frontline is behaving according to its name, i.e acting as Front for its Sino masters.

Pilid said...

Good points anonymous! The problem is that the Chinese proxies are in power in India now. So unfortunately even if the govt. keeps tabs on their activities which I am sure they do, they are unable to do anything to stop it for fear of the CPM. Hope the CPM gets booted out of power in the coming election.

Anonymous said...

China takes foreign diplomats to Lhasa

Apparently unhappy over New Delhi’s handling of issue, ignores Indian envoy
Chindu seems to make it appear as if it is a great opportunity lost. So what? After all, "India" is being routinely represented by our own Chief (almost an annual exercise, if we go by the recent report in the Economic Times) who seems to be immensely pleased with and educated by these guided tours.

Let us read further.

"China, which has been sensitive on the Tibet issue, had summoned Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao to the Foreign Office past midnight last week to convey concerns over the 'storming' of its embassy in New Delhi by a group of Tibetan protesters."

There are reports from many capitals about Tibetans agitating near/in front of Chinese embassies. However, only the Indian ambassador seems to have been subjected to this kind of Gestapo teratment. Shameless Chindu does not even have a word of concern (not even condemnation) for summoning a top diplomat (that too a woman) "past midnight". Imagine if this has happened in Washington or London how the Chief and his team would have reacted.

The fact this report has been relegated to a corner (page 18, in the print edition, March 29, 2008)itself shows the kind of esteem does this fellow have for his own country.

Dirt Digger said...

The Left Front gloats about winning a few seats and being control of the Government in 2004. In actuality, the largest gains were in places like Tamil Nadu where they piggybacked on DMK. If the UPA and NDA come to a tacit agreement in WB, that would stick a fork in the Left front side.