[lit-ideas] Re: Tibet, The Cry of the Snow Lion

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 14:04:56 -0500

Andy: I came away thinking, that yes, the Chinese have every right to be enraged at the Japanese over Nan King, but they themselves are not doing much better in Tibet.

From another list, forwarded with permission:


What you will see, read, is what I got to know
first-hand, having just returned from India's refugee
center for newcomers making illegal exit, fleeing
China through passes bordering Nepal. I spent two
months, more than, in North India - and this is my
third time in a year (which means I am entitled to an
opinion). It all requires a study, these issues, of
course, and a consistency in concern and commitment to
human dignity - regardless of "comfort zones".

I've often been attacked back-channel for my views
regarding PR China and expat poets parading around as
as open-minded Allen Ginsburgs or subterranean
subversives amid clamp downs to free speech and basic
rights - as if we had no responsibility to anyone or
anything (that dog-eat-dog, to quote RC). As if
exploiting a dirty little situation were not, well,
wrong. Maybe one can objectively conclude that since
nothing's really permanent and fools are cradling
their own karma, no sense in pretending anything does
matter outside of ME.


Video footage that can be seen online of shootings of
Tibetans by Chinese border police on September 30
refutes official claims that the troops fired on the
group of Tibetans crossing the Nangpa Pass to Nepal
“in self-defence”.

The video footage, taken by a Romanian cameraman who
was at advance base camp on Mount Cho Oyo at the time
(www.protv.ro), depicts a line of Tibetans walking
uphill through the snow on the pass when a shot is
heard and one of the figures falls to the ground. The
video clearly depicts that the Tibetans had their
backs to the soldiers, were unarmed, and offered no
resistance. The nun, Kelsang Namtso, appears to have
been shot in the back.

In an unusual official account of the incident, China
said that Chinese frontier soldiers tried to persuade
the group of Tibetan “stowaways” to go home, but the
Tibetans refused and “attacked the soldiers”, who were
then “forced to defend themselves”. (People’s Daily,
October 13, and Xinhua, October 12). The Chinese
official account does acknowledge one death, but says
that it was from altitude sickness. On the same day
that the official account was released, Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao denied
knowledge of the incident.

Mary Beth Markey, Executive Director of the
International Campaign for Tibet, said: “The Chinese
Xinhua statement belongs in the realm of fiction given
the evidence confirmed in this powerful footage. It is
deplorable that the People’s Armed Police act as if
shooting Tibetans crossing into Nepal is a legitimate
expression of their authority. ICT demands a full
accounting by the Chinese government, and assurances
of the safety of the children now apparently in the
custody of the Chinese military.”

During the shooting, a mountaineer in the cameraman’s
group can be heard saying: “They are shooting them
like dogs.” Sergiu Matei, a cameraman from Romania who
was on his first climbing trip to Cho Oyu, west of
Mount Everest and near the border with Nepal, told ICT
that he and his group saw the line of Tibetans snaking
up the pass, and ten or more soldiers near advance
base camp opening fire. “We saw one person falling
down, and they didn’t get up. This must have been the
nun who died. We saw another person fall down too, but
later they got up - maybe this person was injured.”

Sergei Matei, who returned to Bucharest from the
Himalayas yesterday, also helped a Tibetan from one of
the groups escaping to Nepal across the Nangpa Pass
when he found him hidden in a toilet tent at advance
base camp. He said: “He was terrified and shaking. I
couldn’t think of what to say so I asked him if he was
going to see the Dalai Lama, and when he heard those
words he put his hands together in prayer. We hid him
in the mess tent for several hours and when it seemed
to be safe, I took him back onto the pass.”

A Czech climbing expedition leader, who also witnessed
the shooting, Josef Simunek, told ICT: “We felt as
though it was 20 years ago in our country in the
Communist time, when Czech soldiers killed Czech
citizens in their escape over the ‘Iron Curtain’.”


Alex Jorgensen

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