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Secret Lhasa footage shows oppression & cultural destruction PDF Print E-mail
[21 May 2013] International news channel France24 has released a report, shot in secret in Lhasa, which provides compelling evidence of the Chinese regime's ongoing oppression of the Tibetan people and destruction of Tibet's culture. Journalists have been banned from the Tibet Autonomous Region and many Tibetan regions incorporated into Chinese provinces for the majority of the last five years.

France24 logoFrance24 reporter Cyril Payen filmed in secret in Lhasa for seven days before smuggling his footage out. (The filming was in the past few weeks, but the exact date is not given.)  Released on 20 May, the four-minute report, in the words of France24, "lends weight to the complaints of the Dalai Lama and human rights organisations; culture in the process being destroyed, invasion by Chinese immigrants and opposition repressed."

(Warning: the video contains a short 5 second clip of a self-immolation at about 2:45)

In the narration over the footage, Cyril Payen says, "Arriving in Lhasa you enter an Orwellian world of surveillance, like a city under occupation. There are thousands of military and police, CCTV cameras, patrols inspections, spot searches. This is daily life now for Tibetans."

The report includes video footage from around the Barkhor, showing ongoing construction work of a new modern shopping plaza next to the Jokhang temple. This development, by the Chinese government, is destroying what little is left of the traditional Tibetan quarter of Lhasa. [Tibet Society will be issuing a campaign action on the destruction of traditional Lhasa soon.]

There are also interviews with several Tibetans (blurred to avoid identification) and a Chinese immigrant.

Asked if she has freedom, one young Tibetan female replies, "No, we don't have any freedoms or human rights today." She adds, "I consider that the Dalai Lama is like our sun. But we cannot say that. If we said that we would be put in jail."

The report also refers to the self-immolation protests, including a short clip of a self-immolation. At the end of the report, there is a five minute discussion with Nicholas Bequelin from Human Rights Watch Hong Kong about the current situation in Tibet.

Further reading: Report on France24 website

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