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View Full Version : China expects Tibet to celebrate the Losar, or else .



megimoo
02-23-2009, 02:59 AM
-- The Chinese government has a New Year's greeting for Tibetans: Celebrate, or else.

The Tibetan New Year, or Losar, is normally the most festive holiday of the year, when Tibetans burn incense, make special dumplings and set off fireworks. But this year, Tibetans have declared a moratorium on celebrating their own holiday, saying they will instead observe a mourning period for people killed last year during protests against Chinese rule.


The 15-day holiday begins Wednesday, and as it approaches, tensions are rising. In the last few weeks, the Chinese government has closed large swaths of western China to foreign visitors -- not just Tibet itself, but parts of provinces with large Tibetan populations.

Nearly a year after the violent demonstrations reportedly left more than 120 dead, Tibetans are trying a novel technique for nonviolent protest. "Say No to Losar," as the campaign is called, was launched by Tibetan groups in Dharamsala, India, the Dalai Lama's home in exile.

"Instead of the usual celebrations marked by singing, dancing and other festivities, silence will be observed and butter lamps will be lit in the temples and homes to pray for the deceased," they announced in a statement last month.


The tactic appears to be driving Chinese authorities crazy. They're countering with their own campaign of forced merriment, organizing concerts, pageants, fireworks, horse races, archery competitions. They've declared a one-week public holiday beginning today in Tibet and are offering free admission to museums and parks.

The Communist Party in Tibet also gave vouchers worth $120 each to 37,000 low-income families to shop for the holidays.

To further tempt the 2.8 million Tibetans, state television will broadcast a four-hour gala with 800 performers Tuesday night.

AHeneen
02-23-2009, 03:07 AM
I could never understand why China wants Tibet...there's no natural resources or anything else of value. The only positive I can think of is tourism...but that has suffered under Chinese rule. China just needs to let them go.

FlaGator
02-23-2009, 08:24 AM
I could never understand why China wants Tibet...there's no natural resources or anything else of value. The only positive I can think of is tourism...but that has suffered under Chinese rule. China just needs to let them go.

It's a matter of appearing weak to other areas that may want to defect. Letting go of Tibet, the Chinese believe would encourage further uprisings else were. Also it is about control and propaganda. Same reason that they want Taiwan when it would be easier to just let them be, the want the world to think that they are one big, unified, merry, socialist country on its way to being a true communist utopia.