Archive for April 6th, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Tibetan Firewall

Reuters India reported on March 30 that foreign tourists would be “warmly welcome” to Tibet as of April 5. According to CRI, 500 foreign tourists travelling with about 200 groups are expected to visit Tibet before April 20 – maybe with, maybe without the need for special permission. Foreign reporters remain barred, according the New York Times of March 30.

So when there is news, it mostly comes from Chinese official media. Or from the blogosphere. When quoting Chinese media, one might as well quote the blogs.

Warning: Some of the following links contain disturbing footage.

A post about youtube videos which show people lying on the floor, beaten up by military police. Links to the videos are included in the post;  access from Germany is restricted to protect minors. Also included in the post is a story about a Tibet Mobile employee from Lhasa, named Tendar or 丹达, reportedly heavily beaten on June 14 and then refused medical care, until his condition had become irreversible, which led to his death on June 19.

Yesterday, another post said that authorities had stopped payment pensions to Tendar’s mother, and that her husband / Tendar’s stepfather had been arrested. His whereabout is said to be unknown, and he might be suspected of having made footage of his stepson’s ordeal public. The couple reportedly both worked for the Lhasa Cement Plant (拉萨水泥厂). A 西藏自治区拉萨水泥厂 can be found with a google search.

An unnamed TAR official, speaking to Xinhua, called videos showing military police beating up defenseless people a “lie”. “Technology experts found that video and audio was edited to piece together different places, times and people,” Xinhua said, quoting the official. Also according to the official, “Tendar died from a disease at home while awaiting trial”.

News from which side of the Tibetan firewall? I can’t verify. But as long as Tibet remains sealed off, I’m reading.

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