China reintroduce campaign that rewards Tibetans reporting on each other

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By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, APR 7: Chinese authorities in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) recently announced a campaign against rumour and misinformation which many have said is a ruse to further restrict freedom of expression among the advocates of Tibetan independence, reports RFA. Similar campaigns of this nature have been seen in the past inside occupied-Tibet.

China Tibet Online’s report on Apr. 1 stated that the 17-point “Squash Rumours and Reactionary Activities” campaign rewards people who tip off authorities of illegal activities. Tipsters can earn between 1,000 to 10,000 Yuan (10,000 to 1 Lakh rupees) for reporting on activities which are deemed illegal by the State such as distributing unauthorized publications, advocacy for autonomy in Tibet and any “misguidance” of religious followers through superstitious belief.

These strict regulatory measures also specifically discuss “those who advocate illegal activities like calling for Tibetan independence.” Special emphasis on the arrests for individuals demanding an independent Tibet will encourage surveillance within local communities across occupied-Tibet.

Tenzin Dalha, a researcher at the Tibet Policy Institute told RFA, “These so-called measures are nothing new. The Chinese authorities long ago implemented these policies to pave the way for easy crackdowns and control of the Tibetan people.

“By rewarding snitches, it sows a seed of discord among Tibetans themselves. Unlike anything that has come before, this [campaign] will create more resentment and distrust among Tibetans,” he said. Analysts are concerned that this will pave the way for creating an environment of fear and suspicion over anything related to the preservation of Tibetan religion and culture.

Similar campaigns were in effect in the year 2000 and again in September 2019. China has upped its surveillance mechanisms through the recent launch of the Health Code App to detect COVID-19 spread by personal information, and now by giving legalized rewards to tipsters for informing the authorities of any illegal activities.

One Response

  1. བོད་རེ་བའི་འཕུང་ རྒྱ་དྭོགས་པའི་འཕུང་ The Tibetans have been hoping some good will come out from the CCP ever since the time Tibet was forced to sign the infamous “17 point agreement” with China in May 1951. It was then hoped that rather than resist the threat of war, if we sign up even if it’s against our will, not only war can be averted but some good might come out by being a compliant partner with the CCP outfit. That stream of thought continues to this day. However, instead, what we see is more of the same. Repression, tyranny, unprecedented surveillance, cultural assimilation, religious persecution and racial vilification for the last sixty years. Terror campaigns dressed up as “democratic reforms” plunged Tibet into eternal misery when every family, monastery and estates were plundered and razed to the ground and the owners terrorised and murdered in cold blood in the thousands. It is a litany of genocidal exercise that has characterised Chinese occupation of Tibet. Perhaps, it is time after six decades of slavish deference, we should perhaps steel our spine to call spade a spade? No matter how much you think about it, the CCP’s ideology of anti-religion and the Tibetan people’s devotion to their faith is an unbridgeable contradiction. The CCP will not compromise on the destruction of Buddhism while the Tibetans will not compromise on their faith. The emotive issue of the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama highlights the contradiction in question. Therefore, they are incompatible. Ever since, the occupation, their number one priority was to completely wipe out Buddhism in Tibet. That’s why the monasteries and the Lamas were their first target. To this day, the policy continues with the destruction of Larung Gar and Yachen Gar and the expulsion of both monks and nuns from these learning centres. We must not live with a false sense of hope. Everybody should have hope but it must be based on logic and rationale. With the CCP pitting Tibetans against each other by the enticement of money and destroying the unity of our people and with that the hopes of a better future, is it realistic to believe that something good can come when a day will dawn for the CCP to have the grace to shower us with our goal? Look at Hong Kong! Their rights which were enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are whittled away. If Hong Kong is not spared of complete assimilation to Han China, where is the hope that Tibet will be spared? Make no mistakes, the ultimate goal of Xi and the CCP is complete absorption of Tibet into Han China without a trace and Tibetans moulded into Chinese as they have done to the Manchurians. If we want to stop this we have to act now instead of hoping against hope

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