Truth Or Deception? “Chinese Soldiers Dressed As Tibetan Monks”

A Buddhist received via email a photo which shows Chinese soldiers holding monks’ clothes, allegedly to foment violent riots in Lhasa. He did research on the origin of the image. To his shock, the photo comes from a movie shoot. Palchen Chotsam tells the story in an article on his blog :

I received the following email thru a large Buddhist community’s email list. The article claims British intelligence has taken images, via satelitte, of Chinese soldiers dressed as Tibetans starting the recent violence in Lhasa, Tibet. The image that accompanied the article seemed somewhat familar to me… that and the fact that the image’s angle tells me that it could not have been taken from a satelitte raised my curiosity level and prompted me to look into the of these claims and image.

He then emailed Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy asking them if they could identify the image, and received an email response that says:

The photo you are referring has nothing to do with the recent unrest in Lhasa… The photo was a part of filmshoot (A MOVIE) made in Tibet where Chinese armies wore the monk robes. We received the photos in 2003.

Chotsam said that he is a member of the Buddhist community and devoted to the Tibetan lineage, but he deplored the practice of using a movie picture as evidence.

I do not believe that the Tibetans’ freedom from oppression (or anyone else’s) will come or should come at the cost of our own honesty. We should not participate in the same kind of disinformation and deceit as the Chinese government. Spreading untruthful rumors based on photographs of a theatrical film and calling it real is dishonest and will only create more suffering, not ease it. It will create more problems, not less.

He urged each individual to take responsibilities in distribute truthful information in this age of immediate global information.

The dissemination of incorrect or inaccurate information can have repercussions that reverberate around the world and become the cause of further confusion and suffering.

Below is the image that was widely circulated on the Internet, via Chotsam’s blog:
Chinese soldier dressed up as monks

April 19, 2008 7:03 PM
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