Tibet Insight No: 05/13


                                     TIBET INSIGHT


3G Base Station Opens in Motuo, Tibet

China Tibet Online, November 06, 2013

On the occasion of the opening of Motuo highway on October 31, the China Mobile Communication Corporation (CMCC) has­­­­­­ finished installing the 3G base station in Motuo County in the same day, which ended the history of satellite communications of Motuo mobile subscribers since 2004 and enabled 74 counties of Tibet to have access to 3G signals.

The CMCC Tibet Branch has increased the investment in the construction of communication infrastructure in Tibet. Thirty million yuan is planned to invest to improve communication infrastructure of Motuo with 23 base stations and 223-kilometer-optical cable linking Bome and Motuo.

World's Highest Wind Power Station Opens in Tibet

China Tibet Online, November 09, 2013

World's highest wind power station opens in Nagqu Prefecture, Northwest Tibet on October 31. Owned by the Tibet branch of National Grid, the Nagqu wind power station initiates 5 wind power plants at present. According to Xiao Jingzhi, engineer of this project, the Nagqu wind power station is the first of its kind in Tibet. It plans to build 33 wind power plants, with a total capacity of 49.5 MW.

China’s Mining Conditions Probe in Yushu, Tibet, Manipulated

Tibetan Review, November 11, 2013

China has sent journalists and researchers to investigate conditions in the Tibetan populate Dzatoe (Chinese: Zaduo) County of Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai Province, following reports of environmentally destructive mining in the area, but apparently only under the guidance or supervision of the local authorities. Some groups of reporters tried to visit the mines, but they were not taken to places where Chinese miners are actually extracting minerals.

The source, named as Konchog Dondrub, has said that county officials also prevented the group from speaking freely to area residents and never met with local Tibetans who had protested against Chinese mining at three sites in their area over August 15 and 16 earlier this year. It was not clear whether the investigators were sent in response to the major Tibetan protests at the three sites of Atoe, Dzachen, and Chidza. Meanwhile, three new village heads appointed by the local authorities in place of the three they had sacked for protesting against the police brutality during the violent suppression of the anti-mining protest have refused to take the job.


Motorcycle Team Set Up to Enhance Tibet's Border Administration

China Tibet Online, November 13, 2013

The Border Police Station of Shigatse Prefecture has set up a motorcycle team on November 8 in Sar Village of Dinggye County. According to China, motorcycle team has been set up to enhance the border administration of Tibet and to maintain the peace and stability along Tibet's border.

(Comments: Dinggye County is located at the Southern part of Shigatse and north of Sikkim, India.)



China’s State Media in Tibet Plays the Banned Tibetan National Anthem

Voice of America- Tibetan, November 07, 2013

While China has repeatedly rejected the Dalai Lama’s proposal for ‘genuine autonomy’ for a Tibet within the Chinese state, China’s state controlled television and  radio in Tibet surprised visitors to its newly launched website with a music video of the Tibetan  national anthem. The song, called ‘Gyalu’ in Tibetan is sung by exile Tibetans across the world but has traditionally been banned in Tibet for over 50 years. The national anthem video plays on the app download page of the state broadcaster.

The launch of the new app on October 29 was touted in state media with photographs of Meng Xiao Ling, the Party Propaganda Deputy Chief of the TAR inspecting it and apparently giving it the green light.

17 Tibetans Detained as Party Officials Greet Armed Forces

Canada Tibet Committee, November 10, 2013

Chinese authorities have detained 17 Tibetans in separate incidents following the outbreak of popular protests in Diru County, Nagchu Prefecture in TAR. The detentions took place in the backdrop of ongoing political re-education campaigns and repeated petitioning by local Tibetans for the release of noted Tibetan writer Tsultrim Gyaltsen and his friend, Yugyal, who were arrested and subsequently disappeared between the 11 and 12 October 2013 in Tengkhar Village. Local Tibetans have approached Township and County authorities many times demanding information on the whereabouts and the unconditional release of both men whose had not been heard for the past 26 days. On 3 November 2013, County and Township officials arrived at Tengkhar Village and ordered local Tibetans to attend a meeting where they were forced to participate in political education sessions.

TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo on New Propaganda and Control of Social Media Strategy

High Peaks Pure Earth, November 11, 2013

Chen Quanguo, the Party Secretary of TAR has published an article in a party journal called Qiushi (literally meaning Seeking Truth). The article is a commentary on a speech made by China’s President Xi Jinping on August 19, 2013 at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference.

Chen’s article also focuses on TAR where he stressed the need to prevent the influence and silence the voice of the Dalai Lama by preventing the distribution of the Dalai Lama’s images, speeches and tightening controls on media and the internet.

Chen’s article contains a considerable amount of information about his approaches to both traditional and new media. Officials would "make sure that the voice of the party is heard and seen everywhere in this vast 120 million square kilometer region," Chen wrote in the editorial.  He says, “we should always adhere to the principle of the Party’s controlling of the media, always persist in having politicians run newspapers, to be in charge of journals, radio stations, TV stations and news websites”. Chen states his intention to utilise the “vast Party and Youth League members to establish a contingent of websites commentators, who are politically reliable and who are good at using website language”.

(Comments: China has worked for decades to control the spread of information in Tibet, but some Tibetans remain able to access non-official sources of information including from exiles abroad by using radio, television and the internet.  But the party will attempt to stamp out access to such sources by creating party cells in some websites, confiscating satellite dishes and registering telephone and internet users by name, among a host of other measures mentioned in the article).

Tibetans Gather at Monastery in Golok after Self-Immolation of Young Monk

ICT, November 11, 2013

A  20 year old monk, named  Tsering Gyal, set fire to himself on 11th November in Pema (Chinese: Baima) County in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo) against the repressive policies of China. He was taken to a hospital and passed away a day later. He was the youngest of eight children in his family. His last words were prayers for His Holiness’s long life and urged the Tibetans to stay united, preserve Tibetan Language and religion.

Tsering Gyal was a monk from Akyong monastery, which follows the Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The self-immolation occurred as security was intensified in Beijing for an important Party meeting, the Third Party Plenum being held from November 9-12.

Tibetans Destroy Flagpole Stands

Dossier Tibet, November 14, 2013

Tibetans have destroyed flagpole stands erected to hoist Chinese flags as part of a growing campaign opposing forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state. The Chinese authorities had set up the flag stands in newly built community halls in several villages in Kardze County but the Tibetans have repeatedly demolished them. In some villages in Tunggo Township, the flag stands were demolished two or three times after Chinese government personnel came and rebuilt them to press a campaign of forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state and the ruling Chinese Communist Party. The local villages were forced to watch over the flags stands and sign documents assuring the safety of the structures.

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