His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering prayers during namaaz at a local Tibetan Muslim community mosque in Srinagar on July 14, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, August 15: The exile Tibetan administration has expressed concerns over the misuse of photographs showing Tibetans to provoke conflict between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.
Following reports of recent clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, certain sections of the media as well as social websites have portrayed photographs involving Tibetans to misinform the public
and to lead a hate campaign.
The recent ethnic clashes in the Indian northeastern state of Assam have raised further tensions.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration in a release yesterday said it was “deeply disturbed and concerned” over the circulation of a misleading photograph in some section of the media showing Tibetan monks.
The release noted that many websites in the Muslim countries, especially Pakistan have used a photograph of Tibetan monks standing in front of a pile of dead bodies in their reports on the clashes in Myanmar.
“This photo of Tibetan monks was actually taken during their relief work in Kyegudo (Yushul), eastern Tibet, after a devastating earthquake hit the region on 14 April 2010,” CTA clarified. “The Tibetan monks extended remarkable service in the rescue and relief operations at the time.”
The release said that a particular website in Pakistan which was carrying the picture removed it after CTA pointed out the factual and misleading error.
“But the photo is still in circulation, as some Muslims carrying the photo during their recent protest in Mumbai on 11 August 2012, appeared in Zee News, a leading news channel in India,” the exile Tibetan administration noted.
“We strongly appeal to the media across the world not to use this photo, which is being circulated by miscreants to provoke conflict between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.”
There have been increased concerns over the safety of Tibetans, especially in cities, after a Tibetan youth was stabbed in the south Indian city of Mysore yesterday evening.
Reports say that the youth in out of danger but the real motive of the attack, right in the centre of the city, is not fully known.
Police suspect the assailants may have attacked the Tibetan youth thinking that he is from northeast India.