The year of the dragon began with the news that armed police were firing on protesters in Tibetan areas in Northern Sichuan. On Weibo, a netizen said he spotted a sniper on the roof of Jokhang Monastery (大昭寺) in Lhasa, Tibet; another expressed surprise at seeing “so many armed police” on streets of the same city who demanded her to delete pictures she took of them; and many more described seeing military vehicles full of soldiers moving on highways in Western and Northern Sichuan. Otherwise, there isn’t much talk about Tibetans, either the self-immolations or the violence, on Weibo due to censorship. On Twitter however, the news as well as the talks came in steadily from all directions. In this issue, I have several items on the subject and something else. Click date below item for link to the original.
As part of the “appreciation education” (感恩教育, where Tibetans must learn to appreciate the Party), the government has been campaigning to get a million national flags and leader-portraits into villages and temples:
- 贺延光/He Yanguang/(Photographer with China Youth Daily)/: My thoughts on flags and leader-portraits entering villages and temples: In the photo below that I took, Tibetans were on their knees worshiping Buddha, and behind the Buddha are leader-portraits. I saw this before in Syria where portraits of President Bashar al-Assad hung in Christian churches. Dictators thus occupy religious sites and we saw a lot of it during the Cultural Revolution. It is a farce and more, it is an offense.
- 1984to1776/(netizen)/: Force Tibetans to hang portraits of dead people, force Uighurs to shave off their beard, force Cantonese to speak Mandarin, and call Hong Kongers sons of bitches. Don’t you think a country like this should just disintegrate?
26 Jan via web
The following two items are from Woeser, a Tibetan writer living in Beijing. She tweets everything about Tibetans and Tibet, and has recently been summoned several times by the state security police to “have tea.” The last “tea appointment” occurred earlier this week:
- degewa唯色 /Woeser/: The tea is over. “Called to have tea” three times—one after another—in recent days. I was asked to stop talking. No interview by media, etc. Yes, it’s all about Tibetans’ self-immolation or being killed, etc.
25 Jan via web
- Every time after “having tea,” I feel like the person in this picture who screams and whose hands cover the ears and there are those two, behind….
25 Jan via web
- hesuoge（游精佑）/You Jingyou/(railway engineer and activist in Fuzhou)/: I was at my brother’s home this evening. We drank and I chatted with two clueless young men. The first item in CCTV’s Evening News (新闻联播) is about a Tibetan child who was treated for free for congenital heart disease. Then I told the two about Tibetan protesters storming police stations, self-immolations, and leader-portraits. They were very surprised to hear what I said.
Growing up in China in the 70s, we were fed with narratives where a noble “selflessness” was pitched against a human’s natural instinct and common sense. A lot of those stories later were revealed to be fabrication. When I saw the following item, I was like: They are still hard at this?
- remonwangxt变态辣椒 /rebel pepper/(well-known online cartoon satirist)/: Liu Yulian is a medical doctor who appeared on this year’s CCTV New Year gala as a national model for goodness. She might be a good doctor for patients, but for her own family, she is a criminal! When her first daughter was 11-months old, she tied the infant to a bed because she had to see patients and couldn’t take care of the baby. Later the baby died. With her second child, she did the same thing and tied her to a bed from when the child was 5 or 6-months old all the way to two years old, and once the child almost died of a 40° fever. What is the meaning of promoting a role model like this?
Finally, a guy’s quiet musing during the New Year holidays:
- If the American troops invade us, they should begin to land around midnight on the fourth day of the Chinese New Year. It’s a time when all you hear are firecrackers blasting off. Who would know a war is breaking out?