News and Views on Tibet

Propaganda galore: China marks “serfs emancipation day” in Tibet

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Serfs' Emancipation Day celebration at the square in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, March 28, 2022. (Photo/China News Service)

By Tenzin Lekdhen

DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 30: China on Monday marked “Serfs Emancipation Day”, celebrating what they remember of the 1959 events as the dissolution of the Kashag and the introduction of democratic reforms, which was followed by a decade cursed by the malediction of the Cultural Revolution. The event, first declared in January 2009 by the Chinese colonising regime, took place in front of the Potala Palace and was reportedly attended by more than “1000 people from all walks of life,” according to various Chinese state media.

The so-called ‘emancipation from serfdom’ has been called, by Jamyang Norbu in a note introducing a statement by Warren Smith, an “Orwellian commemoration,” that is specifically aimed to hammer down “the resurgence of Tibetan nationalism.” In the statement, Smith writes, “‘Democratic Reforms,’ by means of which the Tibetan serfs were supposedly emancipated, were not initiated until July…The fact that 28 March was chosen, rather than 2 July… indicates that Serf Emancipation Day [declared in 2009] is intended as counter-propaganda to the uprising of 2008.”

China’s elaborate plan to sinicize Tibet and its culture also attempts to colonise history. In line with the Orwellian attributes, China seems to have taken a page out of George Orwell’s totalitarian-dystopia book 1984; which notoriously reads, “who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Late Elliot Sperling, director of the Tibetan Studies program at Indiana University, on CCP’s Serfs Emancipation Day wrote, “[China] upped the ante in a struggle for the ownership of Tibet’s historical memory.” 

“China’s declaration of the ‘Serfs Emancipation Day’ and its count starting from 1959, now at 63, despite its introduction in 2009, is a direct attempt to subvert March 10.” Tenzin Tseten, a research fellow at Tibet Policy Institute, told Phayul.

Tsering Shakya, historian and associate professor at the University of British Columbia, described China’s Serf Liberation Day (‘Liberation’ and ‘Emancipation’ are often used interchangeably in the present context) as an archetypal trait of authoritarian regimes where “the failure of a client administration leaves performance as one of the few options available.”

2 Responses

  1. This Chinese commemoration only started in 2009 but the “serf emancipation” occurred in 1959? Sounds fishy to me. Sounds like an artificial creation of the CCP to counter March 10 Tibetan Uprising events around the world. And perhaps the CCP can explain why ordinary Tibetans are self-immolating to call for a free Tibet? Or why Tibetans are more loyal to HH the Dalai Lama than the CCP? China’s own imperial archives prove Tibet was never part of China before the CCP invasion. The truth can be buried but it can’t be erased. One day Tibet will be free from Chinese colonialism.

  2. Communist China should ponder over the genocide it has committed in Tibet rather than attempt to airbrush its murderous occupation. Murder of nearly two million Tibetans, the complete destruction and pillaging of Tibet’s six thousand monasteries and desecrating them by making them pigsties and toilets, making bon fires of Tibet’s centuries old holy texts and scrolls, imprisoning innocent Tibetans by the thousands to torture them and kill them in gulags and countless prisons across occupied Tibet are hardly “emancipation of serfs” but genocide of a free people! Just like mass murderer Putin fabricated a ruse that there were “Nazis” in Ukraine, mass murderer Mao fabricated a pretext to invade a sovereign nation that was Tibet. The so called “serfs” in independent Tibet is nothing more than a figment of imagination concocted by the evil CCP just like Putin’s “Nazi” fabrication in Ukraine!!!
    The evil CCP’s lies have been exposed by the Tibetans inside Tibet when the Dalai Lama’s Representatives were received with mass pouring of emotion and joyous applause where-ever they visited. The barricades that were created to hold the crowds back was broken by the sheer size and intensity of the crowds happiness to meet the delegates, demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that the Tibetan people have never forgotten their Leader, the Dalai Lama and His benign and legitimate Government! Every one, whether young or old were shedding tears to see the Dalai Lama’s Representatives and wanted to get blessings from them even though most of them were lay people. The Dalai Lama’s younger brother, Lobsang Samten was carried on their shoulders by the ecstatic gathering! They showed beyond a shadow of doubt that the Tibetan people yearn for their freedom they joyed before the monstrous Chinese communists invaded and occupied our nation.

    Since 2009, one hundred and fifty eight Tibetans have self-immolated calling for the independence of Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. No other nation has had so many martyrs who have sacrificed themselves with the most painful act of torching themselves! This shows the determination of the Tibetan people to free ourselves from the grotesque totalitarian dictatorship that has benighted Tibet for the last sixty three years.
    Communist China has plundered the extremely rich resources of Tibet such as huge reserves of copper, gold, silver, lithium, rare earth, timber and water. All the natural reserves were untouched until the Chinese occupation. Chinese invasion of Tibet is not “emancipation of serfs” but plundering and pillaging of our rich natural resources and oppression of the Tibetan people. Tibet’s great glacial rivers provide water for a billion people in Asia. It’s known as the “third water pole”. China has dammed these rivers to feed the Chinese people, leaving riparian nations high and dry in the Mekong delta. Tibet has wide savannas, teeming with wildlife but after the Chinese occupation, Tibet’s wild life was decimated and non-existent. China’s reckless destruction of Tibet’s ecosystem through mining and extraction of resources has had catastrophic impact on the lives of Tibetan people, flora and fauna and the weather patterns of the Tibetan plateau. The Prima-frost on the plateau is melting at an alarming rate while the blue turquoise lakes are fast drying up!
    They have systematically displaced the nomads of Tibet in order to grab their land to mine them and even holy mountains and holy sites are not spared in their greed! Those who protest at such brazen actions are disappeared, jailed, tortured and killed.
    Now, the evil CCP is in the process of emptying Tibet of Tibetans by transforming the Tibetans into Chinese by banning our language, religion, culture and identity. A sinister approach to destroy Tibetan identity is carried out by taking away children from their parents and forced to live in China’s colonial boarding schools and subjected to intense political indoctrination. Tibetans have been ripped apart from their religion, culture, language and our land. We are facing genocide and ethnic cleaning at the hands of communist China. Yet, the evil CCP has the audacity to fabricate a ruse and peddle propaganda to whitewash its atrocities in occupied Tibet. The Dalai Lama has said, “no matter how strong the evil wind blows, the flame of truth cannot be extinguished”!

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