Friday, April 11, 2008

Tibet issue: fellow travellers' dismay at rotten reporting by Peoples' Daily of Chennai

Split in the secular camp over Tibet.The Hindu is under attack by its own MFW (most prefered writers) who were earlier promoted by the news paper- that includes, a Deputy Editor, an ex-secretary general to UN, and a book writer .


Tibet issue

The Hindu's bias in favour of the Chinese Government in its editorial on Tibet (March 28, 2008) is dismaying. The reasons behind the recent demonstrations by Tibetans are transparent. You speak of sustained growth, omitting the fact that Han Chinese control the economy, party and government. Impartial observers have documented the onslaught on natural resources, the repression of Buddhism, the enforced denunciations of the Dalai Lama. The subjugation of Tibet is most evident in re-settlement policy.

In 1952, Chairman Mao complained that there were "hardly any Han in Tibet." By 1953, there were 100,000 Chinese in the province of Qinghai, the renamed eastern Tibetan province of Amdo. In 1985, there were 2.5 million Chinese and 750,000 Tibetans in Qinghai. By the 2000 census, only 20 per cent of Qinghai's population was Tibetan.

This demographic engineering undermines the comparison you draw between Tibet and Kashmir. Right-wing groups in India have long demanded the re-settlement of the Kashmir Valley. However, Article 370 disallows non-state subjects from buying land; and it is to allay Kashmiri anxieties that New Delhi has not granted autonomy or separate statehood for Ladakh and Jammu.

Beijing's abusive denunciations of the Dalai Lama and its stonewalling of his proposals make it difficult to accept their sincerity. A just solution "within the framework of one China" is precisely what the Dalai Lama has pursued.

Sonia Jabbar, Ramachandra Guha, Mukul Kesavan, Madhu Sarin, Jyotirmaya Sharma, Dilip Simeon, Tenzin Sonam, & Shashi Tharoor

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