By: Tsering Choephel
DHARAMSALA, 08 May: China’s misinformation campaign against the Dalai Lama is an act of attack not only on the person of Dalai Lama but on Tibetan culture and Buddhist Faith, says Tibetan Community of Australia New South Wales(NSW) Inc.
Defending the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the viral video which Tibetans and activists alike have said was perpetuated by Beijing, the statement issued by the group read, “China’s misinformation campaign against the Dalai Lama, a global icon of peace, is an attack on Tibetan culture and Buddhist faith, It is an attempt to undermine the Dalai Lama’s reputation and Tibetan’s long-fought struggle for human rights.”
The members of the Community made up mainly of former Tibetan political prisoners, today marched to the China Embassy in Sydney, Australia to shine a light on the threat of misinformation coming from China, that they say threatens “not only our fight for human rights but also to democracies worldwide, including here in Australia.”
The Tibetan group also alleged that this is “something the Chinese Government has attempted over many decades and accelerated with the recent attack on the Dalai Lama.”
The group further called out journalists across the world for their failure to authenticate and to understand the context of the event.
“Responsible journalists would have accurately portrayed the story by fact-checking and attempting to understand the event’s context. But what we saw was a gross misrepresentation of our culture and a malicious attack on the integrity of the Dalai Lama.”
They also expressed disappointment at Australian journalists for jumping on the bandwagon of click-bait news without seeking the perspective of Tibetans.
“We remain distraught that Australian journalists have not asked for our perspectives.”
The letter also charged “the Chinese Government operatives and trolls working relentlessly to drive and amplify this story, maximising views and outrage and distorting reality.”
Demanding truth and integrity from journalists, Tibetans gather at Martin Place at the heart of Sydney where several members of the Tibetan community shaved their heads bald and marched till the Chinese embassy while chanting prayers and slogans.
“I shaved my head to protest against China’s hand behind the doctored and tailored video to defame His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am also disappointed by the role media and some influential people played in spreading this doctored video without fact-checking,” Tsewang Yangphel, a Tibetan from Australia told Tibet Express.
The statement also contains a QR code of Jigme Urgen’s video on YouTube where he explains in detail the context behind the video and why and how the Chinese authorities and their cyber-bots work relentlessly to discredit and defame the Dalai Lama’s international fame and standing. Jigme Urgen is the first Tibetan-American president of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance.