A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded. In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved. The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware. Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.
”I’ve already lived that life once before,” said Wangchuk, a 67-year-old former slave who was wearing his best clothes for his yearly pilgrimage to Shigatse, one of the holiest sites of Tibetan Buddhism. He said he worshiped the Dalai Lama, but added, “I may not be free under Chinese Communism, but I am better off than when I was a slave.”
Though the whole of Tibet is under the suzerainty of China, the government of the country is divided into two distinct administrations, the one under the rule of the Dalai lama of Lhasa, the other under local kings or chiefs, and comprising a number of ecclesiastical fiefs. Both are directed and controlled by the high Chinese officials residing at Lhasa, Sining Fu; and the capital of the Chinese province of Szechuen. Northeastern Tibet or Amdo, and also a portion of Khamdo, are under the supervision of a high official (Manchu) residing at Sining Fu in Kansuh, whose title is Imperial Controller-General of Koko Nor.
Bapa Phuntso Wangye alias 'Phunwang', one of the most important Tibetan revolutionary figures of the 20th century [was b]orn in 1922...In 1949, when communists took control over China, he merged his independent Tibetan Communist Party with Mao's Chinese Communist Party...In spite of his devotion to socialism and staunch faith in the Communist Party, Phunwang's persistent commitment to the welfare of Tibetans and strong advocacy for the interests of Tibetan nationality made him a suspect in the eyes of Han Chinese party colleagues. In 1958, he was secretly detained then imprisoned for 18 years in solitary confinement...
Devastation of Tibet under communist rule, is often described and explained in a dominant context of struggle between two opposing ideologies based on religion and atheistic communism but with Phunwang, Tibet as he describes 'Tibetan nationality' stands as a victim of 'Han majoritarianism' for which he claims there is no scope under Marxism. In 1979, in a conversation with a delegation sent by the Dalai Lama, Comrade Phuntso Wangye declared, "I was and am still a communist who believes in Marxism… I am a communist, true, but I was also in solitary confinement in a communist prison for as long as 18 years and suffered from both mental and physical torture" but then he does not blame party, at all, rather he says, "I was put into prison by people who executed the laws, broke the laws and violated party discipline and the laws of the country." Prominent Tibetans, of course in exile, accuse him of being a 'Red Tibetan' who led the 'Red Han' into Tibet and he, unhesitantly admits, "To be accurate, I led the People's Liberation Army. I was the Tibetan who guided the people, who in the words of Chairman Mao, were there to help the Tibetans - the brotherly Tibetans - to stand up, be the masters of their homes, reform themselves, and be engaged in construction to improve the living standards of the people and build a happy new society. But I never meant to lead the Han people into Tibet to establish rule over Tibetans by the Han people."
There is no doubt that story of 'Phunwang' gives wonderful perspectives and insights about Tibet's occupation by communist forces and what actually went wrong. "Phunwang sees China as a multiethnic state where large minorities like Tibetans constitutionally have the right to cultural, economic and a modicum of political autonomy, and should be considered equal in all ways to the Han (majority ethnic) Chinese. The issue for Phunwang is not that Tibetans demand to separate from China, but that they want the Han Chinese to treat them as equals. And it was to say this to people in China and throughout the world, that Phunwang took a great risk and gave me interviews over many years," says Melvyn Goldstein. He exposed Phunwang to the modern world by his wonderful biographical book on Phunwang A Tibetan Revolutionary: The Political Life and Times of Bapa Phuntso Wangye written with the help of Wiliiam Siebenschuh and Dawei Sherap...
It is indeed possible that such an initiative may have come from one group of Tibetans - senior party apparatchiks on the receiving end of internal criticism for their failure in 2008 to guarantee a loyal and docile populace. But this itself is telling of the nature of the Serf Liberation Day initiative: for in an authoritarian regime, the failure of a client administration leaves performance as one of the few options available. It is natural then that authoritarian regimes have a love of public displays of spectacle, engineered to perfection, in which the people are required to perform ceremonial displays of contentment...
...For local Tibetan officials, the intended message of Serf Liberation Day will be the delivery of public mass compliance to the leadership in Beijing. A choreographed spectacle - in which former "serfs" will tearfully recount the evils of the past while locals in their hundreds march past the leaders' podium, dressed in colourful costumes and dancing in unison - will both reinforce the party's narrative of 1959 and convey the contentment of Tibetans today. This will allow the Tibetan officials to produce the performances required to retain their posts, and the local people to fulfil the needs of the local leaders so that they can be allowed to maintain their livelihoods. As Joseph Conrad discerned in his evocation of the native predicament under European imperialism in Africa a century ago, the local subject learns to savour the "exalted trust" of the colonial master.
About four-fifths of them work to support one-fifth, who are shut up in lamaseries. What little land is not owned by the monks belongs either to the Dalai Lama or to about 150 noble families.
７·２６ 比如县发生反革命暴乱事件 上半年，一小撮坏人混入群众组织，利用宗教迷信，组织“白色神军”，大肆进行打、砸、抢，揪斗区乡干部。有的在公路沿线设卡拦车，破坏桥梁。砸烂道班十七个，抢去国营牧场马二百六十余匹，牛一千八百二十余头，羊五千九百二十余只，抢劫国家财产。七月二十六日，少数坏人策划并诱骗群众抢夺当地驻军武器弹药，打伤打死战士多人，抢劫烧杀达七天之久，抢走各种枪支十八支，六零炮二门，火箭筒二具，手榴弹五千余枚，以及一些炮弹、子弹等。八月一日，又煽动全县八个区、十二个乡的部分群众，向县机关和驻军发起攻击，并向县人民政府开炮。机关和驻军被迫开枪还击。
26 July: A counter-revolutionary violent incident broke out in Biru County. During the first six months of the year, a handful of bad persons had inveigled their way into the mass organisations and, by using religious superstition, had created a "White Army of the Spirit." This engaged in wanton assault on District and Township cadre, smashing, robbing and subjecting them to struggle. Some [of the insurgents] set up road-blocks on the highways and damaged bridges. Seventeen highway maintenance brigades were smashed up; 260+ head of horse, 1,820+ head of yak and 5,920+ sheep were stolen from a state-run pasturage and their was [other] plundering of state assets. On the July 26 the plots and cajoling of a small number of evil persons induced the masses to seize arms and ammunition from locally-stationed troops, with many soldier killed or inhured. The pillaging, burning and violence continued for as long as seven days; 18 guns of various types were stolen, also two mortars, two rocket launchers, more than 5,000 hand grenades as well as shells and ammunition. On August 1 they again incited a portion of the masses in eight districts and 12 townships across the county to launch an assault on the county authorities and troops stationed there; they also began shelling the county government [compound]. The county authorities and troops were compelled to return fire.
There’s no doubt that Tibet’s traditional society was hierarchical and backwards, replete with aristocratic estates and a bound peasantry. And there’s no doubt that Tibetans, whether in exile or in Tibet voice no desire to restore such a society. Many Tibetans will readily admit that the social structure was highly inegalitarian. But it was hardly the cartoonish, cruel “Hell-on-Earth” that Chinese propaganda has portrayed it to be. Lost in most discussions is an understanding that Tibet’s demographic circumstances (a small population in a relatively large land area) served to mitigate the extent of exploitation. The situation was quite the reverse of China’s in the early 20th century, where far too little land for the large population allowed for severe exploitation by landowners. China’s categorization of Tibetan society as feudal (technically, a problematic characterization) obscures the fact that this socially backwards society, lacking the population pressures found elsewhere, simply didn’t break down as it ought to have and continued functioning smoothly into the 20th century. Inegalitarian? Yes. Sometimes harsh? Yes. But Hell-on-Earth for the vast majority of Tibetans? No. Traditional Tibetan society was not without its cruelties (the punishments visited on some political victims were indeed brutal), but seen proportionally, they paled in comparison to what transpired in China in the same period. In modern times mass flight from Tibet actually only happened after Tibet’s annexation to the People’s Republic of China.
Tellingly, China often illustrates its Hell-on-Earth thesis with photographs and anecdotes derived from rather biased British imperial accounts of Tibet. That one might use such materials to create a similar narrative of decadent Chinese barbarism is no small irony; and such assertions can indeed be found in literature from the age of imperialism. A further irony is that for Tibetans today there is probably no period that registers in the historical memory as cruelly and as savagely as the one that started with democratic reforms in the 1950s (outside the present TAR) and continued through the depths of the Cultural Revolution. When the Dalai Lama’s first representatives returned to tour Tibet in 1979 cadres in Lhasa, believing their own propaganda, lectured the city’s residents about not venting anger at the visiting representatives of the cruel feudal past. What actually transpired was caught on film by the delegation and is still striking to watch: thousands of Tibetans descended on them in the center of Lhasa, recounting amidst tears how awful their lives had become in the intervening 20 years. These scenes stunned China’s leadership and for some, at least, made clear the depths to which Tibetan society had sunk since the era of “Feudal Serfdom.”
It’s hardly likely that most Tibetans, after all these decades, are ready to buy into the government-enforced description of their past; such ham-handed actions may well make many view the past as far rosier than it actually was. It is also unlikely to win over large foreign audiences beyond those who already are, or would like to be, convinced. Most likely, it will simply reinforce a Chinese sense of a mission civilatrice in Tibet. The colonial thinking and arrogance inherent in such missions when entertained by European powers in the past is obvious. And it is precisely the kind of attitude that will likely exacerbate friction in Tibet and—justifiably—lead Tibetans to view China’s presence in their land as of a sort with the colonialism of other nations.
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