Thursday, July 9, 2009

Uigher revolution .

Five prominent Tibetan NGO based in Dharamsala organized a candle light vigil in expression of solidarity with the Uigher Muslims. The Dalai Lama issued a statement "I am deeply saddend by the deterioting situation in Xijiang and more so for loss of lives. I pray for the victims of family" and His Holiness also urged Chinese government to exercise restrain in handling the situation. A few Tibetans took part in Uighers demonstartions to protest Chinese crackdown in Washignton D.C. One thing is strikingly missing , it is the exile Tibetan government. It is not hard to predicate why the exile government remained silent on the events in Xijiang. There is a possibility that the exile government is losing an important public relation strategy, for keeping mum. The world is monitoring the situations in Xiajiang with such interest and intensity, leading newspapers from the continents churned out an plethora of editorials and Op-ed and reports on this Muslim minority clash with Han majority. U.S lawmakers were gearing up for a resolution to condemn the Chinese repression on the protesters, and dare to stand up with Rabiya Kadeer who is labelled by the Chinese officials as "terrorist" or "inciter"Turkyi Prime Minister would rise the issue on UN security council. The UN general secretary was "alarmed" by the number of death. President Hu Jiato cut short of his G-8 summit, a huge lose of face and an opportunity to exercise China's influence on major world issues with its counterparts in Rome.
It does not end here. The event in Xijiang has a rippling effect. Its consequence will be far reaching. Who knows, it is the beginning of the end of a trynicall rull. A Madarine caller to RFA said " ... only when the Han and Uighers unit to fight against CCP, can the people be victorous".

The scope of the protest.
It is not overstating that the Sunday's protest was unprecedented to say the least. News trickled out the protest was initially started by college students who express solidarity for the Uigher victems of Gongdong toy factory. in an Youtube image, thousands of protesters marching with nothing visible their hands. The incident could have been more damaging and more bloody, have the local authorities failed to intervene . South China Morning post reported "Thousands of students detained at college" in an obvious move to prevent their roles in the waves of protest that rocked Xingiang. From Uramqi, the clash spiraled into neighourings cities Kashagar and others. unconfirmed sources put the death figure at 1000, mainly from police shooting and beaten. XingUighers overseas spared no time to vent their support for their brethren. In Turkey, hundreds of Uighers scuffled with police for demonstration in front of Chinese embassy. In Holland, 13 Uighers were charged for hurling stones at the Chinese embassy in a vent of their frustration and anger. "The week's events have catapulted Ms. Kadeer to a new level of global recognition" thus wrote in a byline article in Newyork Time.

Foreign media

What analysts term as a "media savvy", Chinese government this time allowed foreign media to cover the events except in a stage managed manner. Foreigon correspondents access to the Uighers neighbourhood were denied and interview with locals were closely watched by official prodigies. Did China really learn a lesson from their blackout media tactic in 2008 Tibet uprising and now allowing this seemingly semi free reporting by foreign journalist. An answer to this question from the Neyork times's Curry wrote "By allowing reporters immediate, if controlled , access, China wins some plaudits for its openness. These tour groups usually included a continents from country such as Nepal and Russia, where press is nominally free, but journalistic standard are rather flexible and relation with Chinese government are good. These journalists were relied on to produce a suitable number of "independent" stories in English and other languages parrot the the coverage in the Chinese State run press. In today's media world where search engine hits matter more than quality of writing, the Chinese are probably correct in calculating that the small number of predictably negative stories from the likes of the Newyork Times... are acceptable cost to achieve parity or even supremacy in the post protest online spine zone". However, even this is a fact , I would not complain of what irresponsible journalist report. The burden is on the individual journalist and their ethical consciousness. Truth will be revealed, and it can not be hidden.
what is the root causes ,
Chinese officials in Xingjiang pointed their fingers squarely on the frail exile Uigher world congress chairperson Rabeya Kadeer, and "outside influence". The later lashed out on the lacklustre response of the local authorities in Gongdong to the toy factory brawl, and the China's 6 decades of repression and marginalization of Turkey identity and culture, and of course communist propaganda against Uigher as a "enemy" of the state and "terrorist", that fueled the resentment against each other, and so the root cause of the this ethinic clash..

China's harmonous society undermined. The event unequivocally send a clear and loud message that the foundation of communist party and its stability has been shaken. And Hu's mantra of harmonous society were shattered. Hu Jintao would not skip the G-8 summit, if the situation was not that grave. The Chinese government is a obsessed with maintaining stability and this major social upheaval become a nightmare. They would leave no stone unturned to crack and restore calm and peace to the region as evidenced with massive reinforcement of troops. If not quelled and resolved this simmering tension between the ethnics and it has the potential to derail China's territorial integrity and topple the communist power. After all it was the ethnic conflicts in former Soviet union that lead to its downfall. Who will win, the Chinese government or the disadvantaged Uighur people? it sound a simple question, but there wont be a correct answer, only time will tell.
I dont know if the exile Tibetan government is making a strategic blunder by not issuing any statement on the events, so does the U.S government. Interestedly, a Chinese professor at Renmin University in Beijing, Shi Yinhong commented " China's foreign ministry officials are smart enough to know the fundamental difference between some human rights organizations, and congress and the us government". But do the Chinese officials make a distinctions between the Dalai lama, exile government, exile parliament and other NGO. It has been China's practise to heap all the blames on Dalai Lama for any "splittist"actions that any exile entities engage in. Or could it be exile government is still creating a conducive environment? and hoping against hope for a dialogue, which i say will be a whimsical dream.