01/25/2008, 00.00
TIBET – CHINA
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Tibetan activist slams Communist propaganda as a tool for repression

by Nirmala Carvalho
Tenzin Choeying, head of ‘Students for a Free Tibet,’ talks to AsiaNews, commenting Hu Jintao’s latest speech to the party in which he calls for greater commitment to political propaganda ahead of this year’s Olympics. However, for Choeying the Games are a great opportunity to show the truth of what is happening in Tibet and China.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – Propaganda “has always been the main tool for the Chinese government” to show that is has reached its expected goals. The problem is that “propaganda is not only used to cover up lies, but also to hide China’s many human rights violations and repression of religious freedom,” said Tenzin Choeying, head of ‘Students for a Free Tibet’ as he spoke to AsiaNews about Chinese President Hu Jintao’s latest address to Communist Party officials.

Speaking before Chinese media officials, Mr Hu said that in this Olympic year, it was necessary to “perform well the task of outward propaganda, further exhibit and improve the nation's good image.” For Hu good propaganda “is fundamental to maintain “stability in a society increasingly divided by disparities between rich and poor, ethnic divisions and challenges to the party's once unquestioned authority.”

This attitude said Choeying “is typical of the Communist leadership. As the start of the Olympic Games approaches, not only do they want the world to accept their invasion of Tibet but also their many social injustices. How can China ever expect to be a respected player on the world stage when it admits using falsehoods and lies to appear better than it actually is”

To mask reality, the Chinese are resorting to childish means, said the activist. “In the Olympic village in Beijing, the Chinese government has made an ‘ethnic minority theme park’” with Tibetan dance troupes performing Tibetan dances. Within the theme park there is also a giant replica of a Tibetan monastery. This is part of their Communist propaganda, too. This human zoo is meant to show how much they love their minorities.”

Reality “is quite difference. As the Games come closer, anti-Tibetan repression goes up exponentially. Recently two elderly and well-respected Tibetan Buddhist monks died under mysterious circumstances. They were supposed to identify the new Dalai Lama. When the US Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tibetan leader, many monks and faithful were arrested back home for celebrating the event. Near monasteries police stations are being built so as to better monitor religious activities.”

All this “should tell the international community how it should view China. We Tibetans see the Olympics as a great opportunity to show the truth. What matters is whether the world cares to look at it.”

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