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:

“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.