Sunday, April 5, 2009

China and Tibet: Rejoice, damn you

China prepares to mark a dangerous anniversary in Tibet, amid claims of thuggery last year

IT’S official: “Tibet has moved from darkness to light, poverty to affluence, dictatorship to democracy and seclusion to opening up.” So proclaims the notice at an exhibition in Beijing marking the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s “democratic reforms”. To celebrate, officials in Tibet have designated Saturday March 28th as Serf Liberation Day. Lest anyone not share the mood of rejoicing, security will be tightened, dissidents kept behind bars and foreigners firmly steered away from the region.

With grim determination the authorities are trying to manufacture joy. The streets of Lhasa, Tibet's capital, have been bedecked with floral displays. The official media are replete with stories of happy Tibetans. In Beijing, the Tibet exhibition aims to show how the region has flourished since coming under Communist rule in 1959 after “centuries of slavery and suppression”. Pride of place goes to a diorama showing former serfs merrily chucking “feudal documents” into a crackling fire. ...


[Source: The Economist: News analysis - Posted by FreeAutoBlogger]

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