Agam's Gecko
Monday, March 31, 2008
This man was identified by a tourist as a police plant. Times Online reports that he appears as "Number 52" on China's most wanted Tibetans list.
Photo: supplied by Chinese embassies to foreign media

he saga of the Chinese government's media manipulation continues. The Chinese language exile media outlet, Epoch Times has more on the story reported here last Tuesday, including these photographic proofs of the government's apparent realisation that it had been caught.

Briefly to recap: An ethnic Chinese woman from Thailand (who wishes not to be identified, with good reason) was studying in Lhasa when the riots broke out on March 14. She happened to be friends with a policeman in Lhasa, and was at the police station on March 14. There she saw a man walk in with a long knife in his hand and wearing Tibetan clothes, along with some Tibetans who had been arrested. The man later changed out of the Tibetan clothes, and back into his police uniform.

Full scene before outing
The photo as seen worldwide, immediately following the riot on March 14.
Photo: supplied by Chinese embassies to foreign media
The next day, the Thai woman was expelled from Lhasa along with other foreigners. When she arrived in India, she noticed a BBC broadcast report showing the man's picture, and she recognised him from the police station. She then contacted a Tibetan organisation in India to tell them what she had seen. On March 17, a rally was held in Dharamsala (rallies have continued there every day since March 10), at which the photo -- provided to the media by the Chinese Embassy in Delhi -- was shown, identifying him as a undercover policeman.

Full scene before outing
The photo as distributed by Chinese authorities after the March 17 Dharamsala rally, when he was publicly outed.
Photo: from Chinese language CCP-friendly websites, and Xinhua
After this rally in Dharamsala, the man disappeared from photos of the riots. Video which showed him threatening people with his knife, was no longer broadcast on CCTV. The same photograph was distributed, but he had vanished from it. The photos are identical, except for the missing man.

The overseas Chinese broadcaster NTDTV has covered the reports of Chinese agents provocateurs involved in the riots, said to originate from the British monitoring service GCHQ (which we mentioned here on March 22). NTDTV broadcasts to Chinese communites around the world, and into China via free-to-air satellite signal.
The G2 Bulletin has just published an important update on the situation in Tibet. Britain's GCHQ monitors half the world from space. They have confirmed the Dalai Lama's claim that CCP agents are posed as monks, and triggered riots that have left hundreds of Tibetans dead or injured.

GCHQ analysts believe the Beijing leadership is behind the large riots as a way to provide an excuse to stamp out the simmering unrest in the region.

The same has been confirmed by British intelligence officers in Beijing.

Satellites orbiting the earth closely monitored the situation. The images they downloaded from the satellites provided confirmation the CCP used agent provocateurs to start riots.
Unfortunately, the G2 Bulletin is a subscription-only security briefing service. Any G2 subscribers want to spill the beans?

Click for full size
Soldiers appear to have been issued with monks' robes.
Photo: source currently unknown
And then we have this strange photograph, which is making the rounds over the past few days. I am informed by kind commenter Dava, that this image appeared on the back cover of TCHRD's annual report for 2003. This reproduction of the photo on a Buddhism-oriented website is given a caption to that very effect. However the downloadable pdf's of TCHRD annual reports (available for the past 12 years) do not include cover art (although the front covers are shown on the index).

The CCP's media manipulation can take many forms, as in this humorous revelation from the Tibetan government in exile. It seems that a Chinese website with links to the PRC government has reported an anti-Tibetan demonstration by Chinese students outside Tibet House in London. The problem is, no one saw anything!
The Office of Tibet, London, would like to categorically state that we are not aware of any such demonstration. If we had seen any Chinese demonstrators, instead of threatening them, we would have invited them for a cup of tea to discuss their grievances, in line with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's emphasis on dialogue and non-violence.
No staff of the Office of Tibet in London, nor anyone at the Kailash Centre (same location) saw any sign of demonstrations at the time in question (March 22). As demonstrators need a permit in London, checks were made at the local police station, just two blocks away from Tibet House. No such application was submitted. No protest took place as reported on the Chinese website, which claimed the students "held placards demanding fair media coverage of events in Tibet and stood their ground in the face of threats from the separatists".

Police told the Office of Tibet staff to contact them straight away if they had any problems. Their statement on the matter concludes thusly:
In the light of the above facts, we feel sorry for all those Chinese students who have been compelled to involve themselves in this so-called demonstrations. Such acts only expose to what length the official Chinese machinery would go to fabricate the truth about Tibet. Indulgence in such acts and lies will further tarnish the international image of China and the Chinese people.

We would therefore like to urge the Chinese authorities to put more effort to resolve the Tibet issue and to seek truth from facts rather then wasting resources in such gimmicks.
UPDATE: There is a slightly more innocent explanation for that last photo. I'm informed by the creator of the Buddhism website (link above) that during a film shoot, the monks of a monastery refused to perform as actors. The PLA then sent a bunch of soldiers to perform as monks!

Art imitating life?

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