lørdag 25. januar 2020

China's Ambition to Control Tibet is Leaving Hundreds Incarcerated, Abused and Forgotten

«Sacred place on earth, heavenly land” is how Tibet is described in a video produced for China’s annual Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo, an event that aims to promote cultural exchanges between Tibet and other parts of the world. It portrays Tibet as a place of beauty, nature and culture; a Himalayan utopia where people live in peace and prosperity.

Those taken in by the romantic portrayal can spend their time in the capital city of Lhasa where the tourism business – which is heavily restricted – has been booming. The website for the Lhasa Paradise Hotel, which is operated by well-known British hotel chain InterContinental, tells visitors that they will be “mesmerised” by the “majestic views” of the Lhasa River and the city’s narrow streets.

It fails to mention the thousands of Tibetans who are currently languishing in prisons and detentions centres strewn across the region’s mountainous terrain – many accused of “crimes” such as flying the Tibetan flag, showing support for the Dalai Lama or speaking in support of their culture and language. The website also fails to mention that adjacent to the five-star luxury hotel is the Gutsa Detention Centre, which is so close that the “majestic views” may include the chance to see some of the country’s natives – bloody, broken and in shackles.