Letters to the editor

China’s media ban in Tibet must be lifted

I have been reading the recent letters to the editor following Linsen Li’s March 17 column on China’s brutality in Tibet. I am so saddened by the ignorance and more importantly the refusal of those Chinese students to face the facts. They are supposed to be the intellectuals, capable of reasoning and drawing their own thoughts, the cream of the crop coming to the United States to study. If this is the level of their reasoning, China’s future is in great jeopardy.

Anybody who is interested in knowing the actual situation in Tibet can do so easily online. Basic human rights, religious rights, cultural, economical, social and the conditions of so on could easily be understood with a little research.

These Chinese students are so quick to dismiss anything that goes the slightest against their government propaganda, as the evil West and Tibetan separatists trying to undermine China. It is comical to hear them say we are swayed by the evil West propaganda, while the Chinese government filters all information entering China: radio, television, telephone, Internet, you name it. Try typing in Tianamen Square on Google search engine in China and see what results you get. It is very important for the Chinese citizens to hold their own government accountable to them.

Tibet right now is under total lockdown, and all independent journalists and foreign nationals have been removed from Tibet. Many major newscasts have reported large convoys of Chinese military vehicles moving into Tibet. What is happening right now inside Tibet behind closed iron curtains is anybody’s guess.

This cannot go on any longer. China cannot totally isolate Tibet from the rest of the world and do as they please inside Tibet without any repercussions. China must allow unrestricted media access into Tibet.

Tseten Yeshi

Biology graduate student

Allow UN human rights commission to Tibet

I am impressed that the Kernel has continued to print a dialogue regarding the situation in Tibet that was sparked by Linsen Li’s column “West’s reaction to Tibet unrest reveals widespread hypocrisy.” The subsequent personal insights offered by Wenjun Zhu and Jue Bai offered a chance for reflection regarding media bias and points of view. All three of them claim that the Western media hypocritically and unfairly portrays China; however, it is the Chinese government that systematically denies access to an independent media and uses censorship to foster exactly the sort of ultra-nationalism seen in Li, Bai, and Zhu’s editorials.

The Chinese government routinely forbids entry of foreign, independent journalists into Tibet. As a result, the international community receives vastly different information from Chinese and Tibetan sources.

While Tibet’s exile movement claims that at least 130 Tibetans had been killed since the clashes began on March 10, officials in Beijing say that only 22 people have died. China also claims to have sufficient evidence to prove this incident was “organized, premeditated, and meticulously orchestrated by the Dalai clique,” yet they have not provided it.

Today, when Reporters Without Borders protested at the lighting of the Olympic torch in Athens, Chinese state television switched to a prerecorded scene, preventing Chinese people from witnessing the beginning of their Olympic games. Who are we to believe?

If China wants to block information, then we should assume that they have something to hide. When China prints only one-sided propaganda, then we should assume that this information is inaccurate. By blocking the free dissemination of information, China only makes ideological divides worse, forcing people to make judgments based on unverifiable evidence. The result of such censorship is unreasonable ultra-nationalism that hinders any chance of reform of the current Chinese power structure.

Several leading Chinese intellectuals recently released a petition entitled “Twelve suggestions for dealing with the Tibetan situation,” in which they call on their government to allow independent journalists and the United Nation’s Commission on Human Rights into Tibet. If Tibetans are members of a larger Chinese family, as Bai suggests, why not?

Steve Strock

Molecular biology technician