A Chinese ‘Tibetologist’ has dismissed an upcoming Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on China as “indiscreet” and “distorted”, Xinhua reports.
Zhang Yun, a researcher with the China Tibetology Research Center, responded in a signed article publicized on Xinhua Monday that the Chinese government has spared no efforts to promote Tibet’s socio-economic progress, improve its eco-environment, protect its ethnic culture, and improve its people’s well-being.
“China-related parts in the report turn a blind eye to facts, make indiscreet comments on the situation in Tibet, speak highly of crimes in Tibetan areas, and foment discord between the central government and Tibetan people,” the article said.
Zhang’s conclusion, that “HRW is looking at China through colored spectacles”, earned this scathing retort from HRW research Nicholas Bequelin:
— Nicholas Bequelin 林伟 (@Bequelin) February 4, 2013
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Tibetan groups, particularly the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA, also known as the ‘Tibet government in exile’), are beginning to question the effectiveness of self-immolations as a form of process, as the amount of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire since 2009 nears triple digits. In a slightly petulant statement, CTA leader Lobsang Sangay said:
“The world is paying attention, but not enough,” Mr. Sangay added. “There was a self-immolation in Tunisia which was labeled the catalyst for the Arab Spring. We’ve been committed to nonviolence for many decades. And how come we have been given less support than what we witnessed in the Arab world?”
Speaker of the Tibetan parliament, Penpa Tsering, is emblematic of the CTA’s utter lack of ideas when he says, on Chinese suppression of political protest:
“What are you left with?” Mr. Penpa asked. “The only thing you can do is sacrifice your life.”
The only thing you can do is sacrifice your life. While it’s important not to minimise the CPC’s role in creating the environment which leads to self-immolations, the failure of the CTA to condemn the pointless expenditure of (mostly very young, ill-educated) life on a form of protest which has not proved remotely effective, is itself incredibly reprehensible.