Free Tibet statement regarding the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Autonomous Region

Monday, 7 September 2015

Free Tibet said:
 
The so-called Tibet Autonomous Region [1] only covers about half of Tibet - its very existence is a product of the ongoing propaganda effort to rewrite Tibetan history and define Tibetan identity according to China’s priorities. 
 
The statistics and assertions in this week’s 14,000 word doorstop white paper are neither verifiable or even the point [2]. Tibetans reject Beijing’s rule and the reality of life for Tibetans is found in prisons and protests, not blockbuster reports. Tibet is locked down: independent media, human rights organisations and diplomats can’t travel there freely and Tibetans themselves are boxed in by movement restrictions, censorship and a legal system equipped to punish any indication of Tibetan opposition.  If Tibet’s people have a good news story to tell, why doesn’t Beijing let them freely tell it or give the world’s media the opportunity to freely see it?  
 
The celebrations imposed on the people of Tibet to accompany the TAR’s 50th anniversary may be dressed up in 21st century PR but they belong in the era of Mao.
 
-ends-
 
Contact: Free Tibet media manager Alistair Currie 
Email: Alistair@freetibet.org
Office telephone: +44 (0)207 324 4605
 
 
Notes for editors
 
1.    The Tibet Autonomous Region was founded on 1 September 1965 but principal celebrations in Lhasa are taking place on 8 September http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/06/c_134595607.htm 
2.    The Information Office of the State Council issued the white paper Successful Practice of Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet on Sunday 6 September: http://www.ecns.cn/2015/09-06/179973.shtml (full report); http://english.cntv.cn/2015/09/06/VIDE1441530720624620.shtml (English China News Service news report on release of white paper)