In response to China's latest white paper on Tibet, the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration issued the following statement during a press conference on 18 July, 2011, in Dharamsala.
The ultimate judge of China's rule or misrule in Tibet should be the Tibetan people. Ever since the 17-Point Agreement, which was signed under duress in 1951 in Beijing, more than 60 years ago, the Tibetan people have made their judgment clear with their lives and limbs. Even after 60 years of China's invasion of Tibet and more than 50 years after Tibet came under the complete control of Beijing in the aftermath of the repression which crushed that year's popular uprising against Chinese rule, today large parts of Tibet are still under martial law, all but in name. The grim situation in Karze and Ngaba in eastern and northeastern Tibet is a clear judgment made by the Tibetan people of China's sixty years rule of Tibet.
Against this background, for the State Council, the Cabinet of the Chinese Communist government, to issue another white paper on Tibet on 11 July compels the Central Tibetan Administration to consider this document another whitewash of an ongoing and ugly reality. Such a white paper cannot stifle the voices of increasing number of monks, nuns, writers and students who demand greater freedom for Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his people.
Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping at a ribbon-cutting ceremony
at a new Chinese propaganda exhibit in Lhasa, July 2011
In fact, the latest white paper is an attempt to cover up the darkest period experienced by the Tibetan people after China's invasion of Tibet. Every vestige of the Tibetan identity is annihilated and more than 1.2 million Tibetans died as a direct result of China's rule of Tibet.
Another startling fact of the nature of China's white papers on Tibet is their frequency. In an open, plural society, no elected government is compelled to issue white papers so frequently. An educated electorate and free media enable people to make their judgment on the performance of their elected representatives during elections. This is not so with China. In the age of the Internet, the Chinese Communist authorities spend enormous resources to keep the Chinese people ignorant and the media muzzled. In view of this, no amount of cycled and recycled white papers can silence those brave Chinese voices that demand democracy in China and Tibetan voices that call for greater freedoms for the Tibetan people.
Another startling fact is that no other minorities in China have been inflicted with so many white papers as the Tibetan people.
Perhaps one reason for China to waste so much ink and paper on the Tibetans is to counter the enormous and growing sympathy the Tibetan struggle attracts within the international community, including amongst Chinese scholars, writers, public intellectuals and human rights activists in and outside China. The international community, as such, will not be fooled by China's white papers on Tibet.
The Central Tibetan Administration take this opportunity to inform Beijing that the day when the State Council feels that there is no need to issue white papers on Tibet is the day when the reality in Tibet conforms to official Chinese Communist rhetoric.
If the sentiments of the Tibetan people are respected and their aspirations incorporated into state policy, the Tibetan people on their own volition, with no nudging from the Chinese Communist Party, will present their own White Paper to Beijing. For China to deserve such a White Paper from the Tibetan people on its performance in Tibet, Beijing must let the Tibetan people to speak free. Stifling the voices of the Tibetan people in Tibet and using one giant megaphone to trumpet its propaganda to the world will fool no one. The resources and talent of official China can be gainfully used in other fields.
Later, the Central Tibetan Administration will issue a detailed response to the distortion of historical facts and other propaganda on Tibet presented in China's latest white paper.
July 18, 2011
Thubten Samphel, Secretary
Mobile: 98050 24973
Tenzin Phuntsok Atisha, Secretary
Mobile: 98050 22510
Lobsang Choedak, Press Officer
Mobile: 98822 32476