By Yew Lun Tian | Reuters
LHASA, China, 15 October 2020
Top officials in Chinese-administered Tibet on Thursday defended a vocational training programme that some critics have called coercive, and urged Tibetans not to “overdo” religion, during a briefing with foreign journalists on a rare visit to the region.
The transfer programme, which involves government-set quotas for labourers and includes a focus on ideological training, has riled rights groups and Tibetan activists outside China, who say it is coercive – an assertion China rejects.
The programme, aimed at lifting skills and incomes, has involved about 15 percent of Tibet’s population of 3.51 million. China is embarked on a multi-year plan to eradicate deep poverty by the end of 2020.
“There is no element of coercion,” Che Dhala, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said in response to a question on whether nomads are forced to participate in the training programmes, adding that people are trained in skills they want, such as driving or welding.
Che also said that Tibetans should not “overdo” religious consumption, and should follow the country’s ruling Party for a “happy life”.
Religion is a highly sensitive topic in Tibet, where the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, fled following a failed uprising against the Chinese administration in 1959.
“As long as they work hard to get rich, listen to the party, follow the party, and get down to doing things, their future will be more beautiful,” Che said during the briefing, where officials outlined poverty alleviation efforts.
“This kind of beautiful life needs to be achieved by correctly and rationally understanding religion. We hope that people will not overdo it, that is, religious consumption that exceeds the family’s capacity,” he said.
By the end of 2019, all 628,000 registered poor living in Tibet had been lifted out of poverty and their average annual income had risen to 9,328 yuan ($1,388), local officials said on Thursday. That compares with an average monthly salary of 10,000 yuan in Beijing.
Tibet is one of the most restricted and politically sensitive regions in the country, and foreign journalist visits are tightly controlled.
Asked about restrictions that bar foreigners from going to Tibet outside of government tours, Wu Yingjie, the Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said officials believed the region’s environment was too dangerous for foreigners to travel independently.
($1 = 6.7206 Chinese yuan)
For the last 70 years of brutal occupation, the CCP propaganda extolled the virtues of communist rule and how it brought “earth shaking progress” to Tibet. The ground reality was different. Successive Tibetan delegations in the 80s reported abject poverty in Tibet.
Even Hu Yaobang during a visit to Tibet confessed to the dire poverty that was prevalent at the time. However, the CCP continued it’s pompous claims of progress and alleged growth to deceive the world and hide its mismanagement and misrule.
Now, suddenly it turns out there is deep poverty. There is poverty but this is not about alleviation of poverty. It’s a cover for mass indoctrination of the Tibetan people from their religious belief to atheism.
Tibetans are a deeply religious people. They devote their life in the Dharma to achieve peace of mind and also work for the personal wellbeing beyond this life. It preserves our identity which the CCP wants to erase.
They want to destroy the Tibetan people’s belief system and replace it with Chinese belief in worshipping money as the God of all things and greed that is one of the most stark characteristics of the Chinese.
This is how the CCP is taking control of the minds of the Tibetan people because they couldn’t win the hearts of the Tibetans in 70 long years of occupation. They are now embarking on mapping the Tibetan mind with Chinese greed, cruelty, callousness and atheism.
This is a psychological deprivation and mental social engineering that is a crime against humanity. This is no different from the atrocities the Japanese committed in China. Tibetans are now used as “experimental materials” like Japanese did on the Chinese between 1932-1945. These Labour camps the CCP is setting up is reminiscent of the factories of death.