Reports in western media on the March 14 riots in China's Tibet autonomous region were "false" and "manipulated", and the Dalai Lama is a "consummate politician" and "separatist political figure", says N. Ram, editor-in-chief of Indian daily The Hindu, in a recently published article.
A notable feature of recent Western media coverage of Tibet is "the way journalism feeds off the disinformation campaign" unleashed by the Dalai clique and the supporters of "Tibet independence", Ram says in the article.
Under the guise of responsible news reporting, those media published "the most exaggerated and fanciful accounts of events by pleading lack of onsite access," Ram say, terming it "news-speak for 'anything goes' for journalists on the other side of the ideological-political fence."
These practices are free from all rules of responsible and transparent sourcing and verification prescribed by codes of good journalistic practice, and innumerable books on journalistic ethics.
Under the banner of "human rights" and "freedom", various Western newspapers, news websites, news agencies, and television stations glorified the riots and disturbances, he says.
The reality is that the riots that broke out in Lhasa on March 14 and claimed the lives of 18 innocent civilians and a police officer, and left 382 people injured, including 241 police officers, were the handiwork of violent mobs, Ram points out.
"As the evidence on the nature of the riots has piled up, the realization has dawned that it was too much to expect any legitimate government of a major country to turn the other cheek to such savagery and such a breakdown of public order," he says.
Ground reality contradicts the Dalai Lama's charge of "cultural genocide" against China, says Ram.
Tibet has 1,700 monasteries and other Buddhist religious sites housing 46,000 monks and nuns, four mosques for 3,000 Muslims, and a Catholic church for its 700 Christians.
Further, the entire world has been witness to the efforts made by the Chinese government to protect the Potala Palace and other priceless heritage sites in the autonomous region.
The Tibetan language is flourishing, traditional Tibetan medicine is undergoing a renaissance and enjoys international cultstatus, and the strength and vitality of age-old tradition are observed in the daily lives of the Tibetan people, the senior journalist says.
A fair, objective, and balanced assessment, according to Ram, makes it absolutely clear that many developing and developed nations have done far worse by their ethnic minorities than China has done by the Tibetans.
The author found that a major focus of the propaganda campaign by the Dalai Lama, the remnants of his theocratic establishment, and his supporters abroad is the "democratic" character of "Tibet in exile."
"This is a bit rich coming from the spiritual and temporal head of feudal serfdom," says Ram.
"In fact, the 14th Dalai Lama is a consummate politician leading a movement that seeks to take 'Greater Tibet' away from the motherland – an anti-communist and separatist political figure, with external links," he says, "The Dalai Lama's track record bears out this assessment."
The author also mentions that in his major pronouncements, the Dalai Lama has proclaimed that "Tibet has been an independent nation from ancient times," that it has been a strategic "buffer state" in the heart of Asia guaranteeing the region's stability, and that it has never "conceded" its "sovereignty" to China.
His demand for the reconstitution of a "Greater Tibet" is indeed "a revival of the infamous British attempt in the early 20th century to constitute two zones, 'Outer Tibet' and 'Inner Tibet'," which aims to weaken China's sovereignty over both zones, Ram says in his article.
However, the kind of autonomy that the Dalai Lama demands "cannot possibly be accommodated within the Chinese Constitution," he notes.
"Acceptance of the demand for 'Greater Tibet' means breaking up the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan, doing ethnic re-engineering, if not 'cleansing', and causing enormous destabilization and damage to China's development and human rights," Ram points out.
(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2008)