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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibet Support Groups Lodge Complaint Against China's Tibet Exhibition in Japan

December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30 2009 @ 03:30 pm UTC

A representative of Tibet Support Group in Tokyo (L) submits a petition
to a museum director, voicing their concerns about a recent exhibition
on Tibet held in the capital, which they termed as Chinese government's
Tokyo: Responding to the biased "Tibet exhibition" organised by the
Chinese government in Tokyo, representatives of three major Tibet
Support groups in Japan visited the office of Tokyo Ueno Mori Museum on
24 December to file a petition signed by some six hundreds Japanese.

The director and his assistant received the petition. The content on the
petition urged the organisers of the exhibition, "Tibet - Treasure from
the Roof of the World", held at the museum should not to become
propaganda tools for Chinese government.

The Tibetan exhibition was held in Japan's major cities under the aegis
of Chinese government in collaboration with Japanese museums, media and
business establishments. It started in Tokyo in the month of September,
since then the exhibition was confronted with protests and
demonstrations from Tibet supporters on various scales.

Japanese supporters protested that the exhibition displays the Chinese
side of the Tibetan history and culture. It showed the Chinese
government as a benevolent protector of Tibetans' religion and culture.
The petition says some 1.2 million Tibetan died and around 6,000
monasteries were destroyed because of Chinese occupation of Tibet. In
light of these facts, it is unfortunate and unbecoming of Japanese
museum and business sectors to collaborate with the Chinese regime in
trying to justify the Chinese rule and oppression in Tibet.

The representatives of the support groups met Mr. Mizuno Seichi, the
director of the museum, and presented the petition signed by 600 people
and requested him to study the feeling of Japanese public concerning the

On being asked for his explanation, Mr. Mizuno said, "We are aware of
disturbances in Lhasa and Uighur, so we are careful about such things.
We have received many complaints and protest letters, but as a museum,
it is our work to display the goods of artistic value. In this case,
Tibetan Buddhist arts are great and we want to show these to our people.
If there are demand for arts of minorities like Tibet, Mongols and
Uighur, we would do it, and even China cannot object to this. I can't
say all the museums around the world have war booties, exhibition is
done to show whose and when aspects of the arts."

But Mr. Mizuno, however, disagreed with some organisers comment that
"Tibetan people does not exist, only Tibetan race exist". "This is
preposterous, Tibetan people does exist and they have great history," he

The supporters explained the organisers about the misleading aspects of
the exhibition. The representatives said if the exhibition is organised
with an objective to help the Tibetans, then sincere efforts need to be
made to rectify the explanations at the premises, give real historical
function of the Potala Palace and the events after Chinese occupation.
The museum has the responsibility of telling the truth instead of
covering it.

Many Japanese visitors appreciated the activities conducted by the
supporters at various level to disseminate authentic information about
Tibet, and to let the organisers know that Japanese public cannot be
misled by the Chinese government propaganda.

The signature campaign to protest the Tibet exhibition and to enlighten
the exhibition visitors was organised by Team Tibet, Non partisan
Association of monks and "We Love Free Tibet" groups. Geshe Palden and a
few other supporters joined to submit the petition.
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