Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

I got online today and was just checking out Google News, and came across this headline from The Times Online: Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama. Whoa, I thought that is really severe. I mean even for the Chinese. I mean how many divisions does the Dalai Lama have? None. And are any posed on the India -Tibet border. No. Really harsh stuff.

Here are a few of the relevant paragraphs:

" China’s new top official in Tibet has embarked on a fierce campaign to crush loyalty to the exiled Dalai Lama and to extinguish religious beliefs among government officials. Zhang Qingli, was appointed Communist Party secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in May. An ally of Hu Jintao, China’s President, Mr Zhang, 55, has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over this deeply Buddhist region.

In May Mr Zhang told senior party officials in the region that they were engaged in a “fight to the death” against the Dalai Lama. Since then he has implemented several new policies to try to erode the influence of the 71-year-old monk who China’s rulers believe is waging a covert campaign to win independence for his Himalayan homeland.

Ethnic Tibetan civil servants of all ranks, from the lowliest of government employees to senior officials, have been banned from attending any religious ceremony or from entering a temple or monastery. Previously only party members were required to be atheist, but many of them quietly retained their Buddhist beliefs

Ethnic Tibetan officials in Lhasa as well as in surrounding rural counties have been required to write criticisms of the Dalai Lama. Senior civil servants must produce 10,000-word essays while those in junior posts need only write 5,000-character condemnations. Even retired officials are not exempt."

This seems totally over the top to me. Readers who come across this might want to consider writing to the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. and asking them about the harshness of this rhetoric.

And further ask for clarification about who they are fighting to the death?
Is this the Tibetan people? Do the Tibetans have any religious rights anymore? Are there plans for extermination camps in Tibet? Or are there plans to fight a Tibetan army which no longer exists?

Here is an address to write to:

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
Chinese Embassy
2300 Connecticut Ave., NW,
Washington D.C. 20007

This rhetoric is unusually shrill and they should be called to account about it.

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