By Tenzin Sangmo
Mark and Charles sharing observation of their recent visit to Tibet at the LTWA's conference hall. PC- VoT
DHARAMSHALA, July 11: Australian filmmaker Mark Gould and his journalist and historian friend Charles Dodgson today said Lhasa has turned into a money-driven city like other big cities in China.
The duo who visited Tibet from June 8-28 this year presented their observation through photos and videos to a group consisting of several members of Tibetan parliamentarian-in-exile, members of Tibet Policy Institute (TPI) and the public at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA)
Their team of eight visited Potala Palace, Jokhang temple, Samye monastery and Jomo Langma (Mount Everest), all the while accompanied by Chinese minders and who kept them at pre-arranged accommodations.
They recounted that a set of monasteries they visited in Lhasa only had few monks, mostly older monks, and some Chinese monks. “There are high-cost renovations taking place everywhere of the religious centres, turning them into tourist centres,” added Gould.
A video of their conversation with young Tibetans circumambulating the Jokhang shows the Tibetan conveying the difficult plight of their families and absence of control over education or jobs.
The filmmaker noted that people were guarded about what they can and cannot say and what they can get away with saying.
Gould, who visited Lhasa after a decade, informed reporters that the Chinese government and businessmen, by building massive hotels, business hubs, and streets covered by bright banners have turned Lhasa into a money-driven city like other cities in China.
The speaker made note of the staggering population growth, a fivefold increase in the last decade.
“Many Chinese businessmen have moved to Lhasa owing to the incentives offered by the government for the Chinese businessmen there.”
With four Tibet related films so far, Gould is preparing a series of other presentation of his most recent visit to Tibet.