Interview at Radio Slovenija 1

Interview at the Radio Slovenia 1 with representative of the Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling and President of the Tibetan Support Group Slovenia at the Tibetan New Year (Losar) – 22nd of February 2012

Interview at the Radio Slovenija 1

 

Newspaper Dnevnik about our letter (exhibition in parliament)

The article in the newspaper Dnevnik about the letter of our Tibet Support Group regarding the exhibition in the National Assembly about the contemporary China.

The Slovene original of the article:

http://www.dnevnik.si/tiskane_izdaje/dnevnik/1042341543

“Fake propaganda in the heart of democracy”: Exhibition on contemporary China disturbed the human rights advocates

The exhibition on contemporary China, which was set in the National Assembly during the 60th anniversary of Chinese state, disturbed the human rights advocates

Slovenia, Tuesday, 2. 3. 2010

Text: Ranka Ivelja

Ljubljana – Photographs presented at exhibition Caleidoscope of China in the lobby of the China Kaleidoscope DZ, are showing various aspects of Chinese daily life: from space technology to care for people with special needs. Visitors can, among other things find out that after the Olympic Games in Beijing 8th of August was proclaimed a national day of fitness, that every 4th or 5 Chinese families has a child with special needs and that the handicapped people are given the growing care. They also wrote that cultural diversity brings inhabitants “great mental satisfaction” and that in China, where different religions coexist, “any religious activity of the clergy and believers is legally protected.”

Photo exhibition on contemporary Chinese life, which was yesterday opened in the lobby of the National Assembly in the presence of Chinese Ambassador in Slovenia Zhu Zhaolin, President of the National Assembly Pavel Gantar and the deputies upset human rights activists.

The Tibet Support Group even believe that the leadership of the National Assembly by allowing to put on this exhibition, agreed to the efforts of the Chinese state to mask the dark side of life in China, and hence accept the “false propaganda in the heart of Slovenian democracy”.

Since the beginning of the occupation of Tibet 60 years ago the Chinese have killed over a million people, destroyed more than 6,000 monasteries, thousands of people were put in jail. They violently repressed the protests during the Olympic Games in Beijing. Tibetans are systematically deprived of freedom of expression and association and religious freedom, (political) prisoners are beaten, tortured with electro-shocks, monks and nuns are forced in having sexual intercourses and thus in breach of their vows, wrote Boris Simončič in a letter to the President of the National Assembly Pavle Gantar on behalf of TSG. He also points out how the Chinese authorities are treating the Uyghur minority, how many death sentences they execute, how they are restricting the access to information and how inhumanly they are treating their workforce.

Gantar received the letter yesterday and will answer to it, while he already rejected the reproaches for newspaper Dnevnik. “This is an exhibition about the country, not about the political regime. The exhibition, prepared at the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of China, hasn’t got a critical note, which is understandable as it is prepared by the Chinese embassy in collaboration with a group of deputies for friendship with China,” he said and added that “with this exhibition the National Assembly is not taking a stand regarding Tibet, nor does it prejudices that the situation in Tibet is completely all right.” Miran Potrč who is not member of the group of friendship with the PRC (which is led by Samo Bevk, SD) explained the reasons for organizing this exhibition as follows: “We the deputies have to respect the efforts of Tibet, but the fact is also that China is a superpower with which we want to have the best possible relations … “

Boris Simončič is asking (himself) in the letter, will the Slovenian politicians wear the same smiling faces (as they did meeting the Chinese) when they meet with the Dalai Lama, who will visit Slovenia on the invitation of the Maribor Municipality, First Gymnasium and the University of Maribor, from 12 and 14 April. Our inquiry has shown that for now it is quite questionable, whether they will even meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel laureate. From the National Assembly they informed us that meeting with the Dalai Lama is for now not in the program of activities of the president Gantar. They also explained that the initiative for the exhibition came from the Chinese embassy and that they only coordinated organizational aspects of the exhibition with them (number of exhibited photographs is much smaller than proposed). We are still waiting for the official response to the question whether the Prime-minister will meet with the Dalai Lama, but unofficially we found out that the visit is not planned, but that it is still too early for the final answer.

In 2002 the Dalai Lama met with president of the state Milan Kučan, president of the National Assembly Borut Pahor and the Prime-minister Janez Drnovšek. But since then a lot of times passed. American president met the Dalai Lama last month despite the loud threats of the Chinese with freezing of the state-relations, yet he met him behind closed doors and without any journalists.

 

Letter to National Assembly and media

Slovene Tibet Support Group reacted with a public letter to the propagandistic exhibition, organized in the heart of the Slovene democracy, with which the Chinese authorities tried to cover the cruel truth on daily life in China (this happened a good month before the visit of the XIVth Dalai Lama in Slovenia).

Photographs from the opening of the exhibition: http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=390&no_cache=1&show_sporocilo=2661&cHash=af106ace27http://www.sta.si/foto.php?id=169835, some of the photographs that were actually exhibited (choose “2010 Kalejdoskop Kitajske, 1. 3. 2010″ http://www.dz-rs.si/index.php?id=119&no_cache=1#).

***

Subject: Opening of the exhibition “A Kaleidoscope of China: Reflections of the Modern Chinese Lifestyle”

Dear president of the parliament dr. Gantar,

We noticed on the website of the Parliament that this Monday You will open an exhibition: A Kaleidoscope of China: Reflections of the Modern Chinese Lifestyle. It follows from the official biography that You were active in “social movements” prior to the fall of Communism and a founding member of the Committee for Human Rights. Based on these information we assume that you are sensitive to the issue of human rights. Probably also aware of what “Modern Chinese Lifestyle” encompasses, as well as the efforts of the Chinese authorities to hide the dark side of it and mask it with fake propaganda.

Since the occupation of Tibet started 60 years ago the Chinese have killed over a million people, destroyed more than 6,000 monasteries, thousands of people have been put in jails. After all, we shouldn’t forget the violent repression of protests during the Olympic games in Beijing. The freedom of expression and association and freedom of religion have been systematically restricted to the Tibetans. Just carrying a picture of the national Tibetan flag is enough that someone disappears in Chinese prisons, where there are plenty of political prisoners. (Political) prisoners are being tortured, not only by kicking and beating, but also with more “sophisticated” methods, for example with electric shocks applied to sensitive areas (genitals, mouth), by causing burns, exposure to extreme temperatures, forcing monks and nuns to have sexual intercourse and thereby breaching their vows, Tibetan women are prevented from giving birth to children with various medical measures (unhygienic forced sterilization, abortion), the sole utter of name of the XIVth Dalai Lama (the Tibetan religious and political leader) in public suffices to have a tongue torn out etc. Finally, Chinese authorities have been consistently destroying the rich Tibetan cultural heritage, they have been systematically inhabiting Han population in Tibet and systematic stealing Tibetan natural resources (ores etc.)

And this is not all: how the Chinese are treating the Uyghur minority, how many dead penalties do they execute (often in order to get hold of the body organs), how do they respect the rule of law, the democratic principles, how they are limiting access to information to all Chinese, how they are stealing intellectual property, how our workers are losing jobs on the globalised market due to the fact that Chinese work force is inhumanely treated and underpaid etc.

Somehow it seems that the exhibition will avoid showing all these “unpleasant” aspects of “the Chinese modern lifestyle”…

Will the representatives of Slovene state bow down to China, “diplomatically” avoid the “unpleasant” topics and facts like those mentioned above and eventually open a fake propaganda exhibition as organized by the authoritarian Chinese state in the very core of Slovene democracy? The XIVth Dalai Lama will come to Slovenia in a month and a half. Will the Slovene politicians meet Him with the same smiling faces as they met the Chinese?

Tibet Support Group Slovenia

 

TSG Leaflet

Here you can download leaflet of our association: leaflet

 

TSG on Chinese interference in freedom of expression in Slovenia

Recently an exhibition about the Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling was opened in the City Museum of Ljubljana. Buddhism is historically connected with Tibet, consequently also Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling is connected with it, especially through various humanitarian projects. Like this the Tibetan flag, which signifies this connection, is also displayed in the City Museum.

The stated by itself shouldn’t be anything unusual, especially in a democratic state like the Republic of Slovenia. That’s why we were very surprised, when we found out that the Embassy of the Public Republic of China protested at the Slovene Ministry for foreign affairs because of the displayed Tibetan flag.

It is outrageous that China, which is “famous” for systematic oppression of human rights on its (and occupied Tibetan) territory, is trying to enforce its totalitarian methods also in the European Union.

Tibetan flag will of course remain at the exhibition, and we appeal to all the visitors to express their support for the freedom of expression also in the book of impressions. Beside that we expect that the Slovene authorities will sharply condemn the Chinese attempts to interfere in our sovereignity.

This email is send by the Slovene Tibet Support Group (TSG), since among its members there are also followers of the Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling, and the latter doesn’t want to deal with this sort of “politicizing”, while TSG was formed exactly with the purpose to support the rights of the Tibetans. Beside this we would like to emphasize also that TSG is a relatively new association, not to be mistaken for Charity Association Tibet.

More on the exhibition: http://www.mestnimuzej.si/stran/index.php?mode=showevent&submode=singular&id=235

 

Creation of TSG

Creation of TSG.