Reports of continued repression in Tibet by the Chinese authorities have been distressing for Buddhists. Now a new report by the Washington based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) which claims the situation in Tibet could unfold into genocide has Buddhists in Syracuse feeling unusually sad. This report examines the impact on Tibetan culture of Chinese Communist Party rule in Tibet and has concluded that policies and practices targeting Tibetan culture and additional risk factors for serious instability in Tibet require a stronger response from the international community.
ICT has reported the Chinese authorities have engaged in a consistent effort over 60-plus years to replace authentic, organic Tibetan culture with a state-approved and controlled version which supports the ideological, political and economic objectives of the Chinese Communist Party. This effort has been pursued through intentional policies which are designed to fundamentally alter Tibetan culture in a manner that robs it of its essence and turns it into something which the Chinese authorities can manage.
Furthermore, Chinese Communist rule in Tibet has been seen to have exhibited a pattern of repression, relative liberalization, vigorous reassertion of cultural identity by Tibetans, and renewed repression. Also, Chinese policies and practices of cultural repression and destruction are so systematic and persistent in Tibet, and their effects are so serious, that they actually contain elements of cultural genocide. These elements of cultural genocide are viewed as precursors to conventional genocide, and should sensitize the international community to take aggressive action in the case of Tibet.
Mary Beth Markey, who is President of the International Campaign for Tibet, has said: “We feel strongly that the report makes a persuasive case that elements of cultural genocide are occurring in Tibet. As such, we are calling for stronger international efforts to address and reverse China’s culturally destructive policies and practices in Tibet. Broadly, we hope the report will be of value to the international discourse around genocide issues, and we welcome the constructive examination of arguments advanced in the report by genocide scholars, and a continuing discussion with country studies experts, human rights advocates, and others.” It is hoped raising awareness of this problem across the world will assist in generating initiatives to help put a stop to a possible genocide in Tibet.
Mandel News Service