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<-Back to WTN Archives China cracks down on TV station that showed Tibetan flag (RFA)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Thursday, March 25, 2004



2. China cracks down on TV station that showed Tibetan flag (RFA)


Radio Free Asia

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2004-Chinese authorities have launched a political
re-education program at an official television station in the Tibetan
capital of Lhasa after it broadcast shots containing the Tibetan national
flag, which is banned under Chinese rule, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.

The offending footage was broadcast around 8 p.m. Feb. 21, the first day of
new year in the Tibetan calendar, by Lhasa-based Tibet TV3. It showed a
Tibetan man in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu with a huge Tibetan national
flag behind him. The program was titled "Wonders of the Earth," a source
familiar with the incident told RFA's Tibetan service.

Sources close to the incident say the footage was broadcast inadvertently
after a member of the news staff of Chinese ethnicity failed to identify the
flag in the background. The image was broadcast for just under five seconds.
A retired member of the television station staff spotted the flag and
reported to Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) television authorities that it
had been broadcast, sources said.

The program sparked an outcry among Chinese officials. The director of Tibet
TV3 were demoted but no one was detained. They were told to acknowledge
their mistake at a meeting at the TAR Department of Information and
Communication, sources said. Most of the junior staff at the station were
ethnic Han Chinese, working part-time. All staff must now undergo
re-education and write self-criticisms acknowledging their error.

One source said the program was originally made in China and later sent to
Tibet TV3, but no further details were available.

Tibet TV3's officials declined to comment when contacted by RFA.

Beijing has recently banned a book on Tibet in Chinese that touches on
sensitive religious issues, including how the exiled Dalai Lama is still
revered by Tibetans inside Tibet, a London-based rights group said reported.

"Notes on Tibet," written in Chinese by the Tibetan author Oser, was banned
late last year after Oser tried to get it published in the southern Chinese
province of Guangdong, where the political climate is usually more tolerant,
the Tibet Information Network said.

The book, a collection of 38 essays describing the author's encounters with
different people and places in Tibet, contained 10 essays considered
sufficiently contentious to warrant banning the book.

The author previously worked at the Chinese-language journal "Tibetan
Literature in Lhasa" but has fled the Tibetan capital over the controversy
surrounding her book. Censorship in Tibet is routinely practiced by the
Chinese Han-controlled government, which has ruled the region since it was
"peacefully liberated" by the People's Liberation Army in 1951.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's religious and political leader, fled Lhasa in 1959
after an unsuccessful revolt against Chinese rule. He is now the head of the
Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India.

RFA broadcasts news and information to Asian listeners who lack regular
access to full and balanced reporting in their domestic media. Through its
broadcasts and call-in programs, RFA aims to fill a critical gap in the
lives of people across Asia.

Created by Congress in 1994 and incorporated in 1996, RFA currently
broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Mandarin, the Wu
dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan (Uke, Amdo, and Kham), and Uyghur. It adheres
to the highest standards of journalism and aims to exemplify accuracy,
balance and fairness in its editorial content.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Governments statments UN Commision on Human Rights in Geneva
  2. China cracks down on TV station that showed Tibetan flag (RFA)
  3. A ten-day annual Tibetan opera festival starts in Dharamsala (ANI)
  4. Obituary of 'Tsemonling' Dawa (TIN)
  5. Tibetan Girl Becomes Australian under 10 Chess Champion (TN)



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