Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 5 April 2008

New media and the protests in Tibet

Internet and cell phones played an important role in the recent demonstrations in Tibet to coordinate and to reach out to the world community.In 1959 a Tibetan uprising took place in Lhasa. We heard about it only weeks later. And there were almost no images. In 1987- 89, more protests occurred in Lhasa and some surrounding monasteries and villages. We heard about them almost immediately from tourists who were made to return to Nepal, by the Chinese government. And after days images of what had happened were available. Last month the protests occurred on an unprecedented scale . There were demonstrations in many places in Central Tibet.

But most Tibetan protests were in the Chinese provinces of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai. Even in Beijing and Lanzhou, Tibetan university students organized protests. How these demonstrations were not isolated events but wide spread, focused and seemingly coordinated ones? How Tibetans in India were so well-informed about incidents of violence by the Chinese police and army? The answers to them are simple: cell phones and internet. Because of technology, we do not have to rely only on the Chinese government controlled media. The monks' cell phones register for us. It is no surprise that the Chinese police is now searching and ransacking monasteries looking for internet connections and cell phones. For some recent video images and photos sent electrtonically from Tibet see Phayul.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frits Hesselink said...

I had to remove this comment as it just contained virus carrying spam. I heard many blogs about Tibet are under attack from Chinese hackers. This might be also the case here.