How an exile defies China – Isabel Hilton
From The Guardian:
When the first cracks appeared in the concrete base and bridges of the Qinghai Tibet railway, just weeks after the carefully staged, triumphal opening on July 1 (the 85th birthday of the Chinese Communist party), they were not the only sign that all is not well with China’s policies in Tibet. The cracks seem to be the result of the unstable geology of the Tibetan plateau. Equally worrying to Beijing, shifts in Tibetan political geology have caused cracks in the official Chinese narrative of unity and harmony between Tibet and China.
There had been sporadic unrest for several months: in November last year the monks of Drepung monastery in central Tibet staged a sit-down demonstration against “patriotic education” – the government’s enforced propaganda campaign. The demonstration was echoed in other important monasteries in the region.
Then last January, in a religious address delivered in India, the exiled Dalai Lama called on Tibetans to stop wearing wildlife skins to save animals from extinction. The results were dramatic: from Lhasa to Gansu, Tibetans gathered for public fur burnings. Confronted with this evidence of his continuing influence, the government accused the Dalai Lama of promoting “social disorder” and responded, bizarrely, with a pro-fur campaign in which TV presenters were ordered to wear fur on air. [Full text]
See also “Dalai Lama visit irks China” from The Australian.