Wednesday, March 04, 2009

'Relaxed Atmosphere' in Tibet

A few days ago, Dirt Digger pointed out on this blog a news item from Xinhua about Tibet that spoke about N.Ram in the third person I quote a statement made therein:
“The reality is that Tibet is on the road of rapid economic development and the atmosphere there is relaxed, not tense at all,” he said [emphasis added].

Contrast that with this report in today’s New York Times:
…Now, the authorities have imposed an unofficial state of martial law on the vast highlands where ethnic Tibetans live, with thousands of troops occupying areas they fear could erupt in renewed rioting on a momentous anniversary next week. And Beijing is determined to keep foreigners from seeing the mass deployment.

…Tibetan regions, a sprawling, lightly populated swath of western China that measures about one-quarter of the country’s total territory, have become militarized zones. Sandbag outposts have been set up in the middle of towns, army convoys rumble along highways, and paramilitary officers search civilian cars. A curfew has been imposed on Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

“The Tibetan ethnic situation is very serious,” said a paramilitary officer after he stopped three foreigners on a snowy mountain road. “Tibetans are causing trouble. This is an extremely sensitive time.”

The young officer and his half-dozen colleagues at the checkpoint were members of the People’s Armed Police, the main Chinese paramilitary force. The officers said their unit was based in Beijing and had guarded the Bird’s Nest stadium during the Summer Olympics in August, but had been sent here last month. Their mission included keeping foreigners out of the area.

So this life under the military jackboot is the ‘relaxed’ atmosphere in Tibet that Mr.Ram is talking about. I am waiting for a refutation from the honorable Chief Editor about how the Western Press is utterly biased and only The Hindu speaks the (official) truth (with red blinkers) about how things are wonderful but for some mischief inspired by the West which, by the way, does not however exist except in their minds.

1 comment:

Dipu Shaw said...

The so called first hand report of N. Ram surprised me too. It is good that you have picked this up for debate