Tibetans use internet as weapon against China
(Himachal Pradesh), June 23 (IANS) They might not have the
guns and the numbers to match the might of the world's biggest
army in China, but determined Tibetans living in exile in
India and other parts of the world are turning to the internet
to wage a 'virtual' war against China.
of Tibetan websites and links have come up in the last couple
of years to put forth demands of a 'free Tibet' and highlight
the alleged rights violations in Tibet. And it is not Tibetans
alone who are in the midst of this struggle.
are being supported by hundreds of sympathisers across the
globe, many of them information technology (IT) specialists,
and even Indian friends.
Tibetan government-in-exile here uses the internet as a potent
weapon to draw attention to the Tibetan cause and counter
the Chinese propaganda. While the exiled Central Tibetan Administration
(CTA) has its own website (www.tibet.net),
other arms of the Tibetan establishment too rely heavily on
Tibetan Solidarity Committee (TSC), which came into being
in March to coordinate the Tibetan issue after violent anti-China
protests broke out in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics,
also has its own website that is updated daily.
internet is a good weapon to have at times to counter Chinese
propaganda. But this is a short-term thing because the Chinese
manage to block Tibetan websites inside China. These websites
cannot exist inside Tibet or China for more than three-four
days," points out the exiled government's Prime Minister
(Kalon Tripa) Samdhong Rinpoche.
the internet to highlight the Tibetan cause is a good weapon
for us," Rinpoche told IANS.
Tibetan spiritual head the Dalai Lama has his own website
and so also the Karmapa Lama - the third highest figure in
Tibetan religious hierarchy.
fact, a single website, www.tibetsites.com, provides links
to scores of Tibetan websites across the globe. These include
websites of the exiled government and its several agencies,
Tibetan NGOs like Tibetan Youth Congress, Friends of Tibet
and Students for Free Tibet.
sites like www.phayul.com deal with news about Tibetans from
around the globe.
Tibetans living in this Himalayan abode of the Dalai Lama
say the world wide web (www) also helps them keep in touch
with Tibetans living in Tibet.
the internet helps us to highlight information about what
we are doing. Many sympathisers of the Tibetan cause have
got in touch with us through the websites. This also helps
in getting funding and support," Lobsang, a Tibetan activist
says as he scans websites at a cyber-cafe in Mcleodganj -
India's little Lhasa near here.
is home to some 100,000 Tibetan exiles, many of whom fled
their homeland along with the Dalai Lama in 1959 following
a failed anti-China uprising. The Tibetan government-in-exile
in Dharamsala is not recognised by any country.
the last three years, efforts are being made by IT professionals
from abroad to set up the 'air jaldi' wi-fi network in and
around Mcleodganj and Dharamsala to provide wireless access
to Tibetans and others.
NGOs are also running computer and technology centres around
Dharamsala to train Tibetan youth in computers, software and
other related technology.
seek help of technology professionals to make sure that their
websites are not hacked by Chinese hackers. This has happened
several times in recent years and the CTA's website, www.tibet.net,
was also hacked three months ago.