China using opaque policy terms to tighten repression in Tibet: HRW

International rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report titled ‘Tibet: A Glossary of Repression’ highlights how China is using ‘opaque policy terms’ to tighten repression in Tibet.

“Orwell (English novelist) himself would be hard pressed to invent a better vocabulary of totalitarian management. But ultimately the message of the Chinese authorities’ terms for Tibetans is clear. Political nonconformity will be punished, severely,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW.

The organization reports Beijing’s use of opaque and vague policy terms to deter criticism of the party and persuade people, inside and outside Tibet, of party’s policies. It also observed that the special terms or ‘formulations’ are never properly explained in public and are mostly likely ‘fully comprehended’ only by those with access to internal documents.

The HRW’s glossary is divided into two sections, the first section deals with policy terms such as ‘social management’; ‘social rectification’; ‘comprehensive rectification’; ‘preventive control’; and ‘Three-dimensional preventive control System’ to achieve ‘long-term stability’.

The second section includes key ‘implementation terms’ to carry out ‘stability maintenance’ such as ‘no cracks, no shadows, no gaps left’; ‘eliminate unseen threats’; ‘nets in the sky, traps on the ground’; ‘every village a fortress, everyone a watchman’; ‘eliminate unseen threat’ and ‘fixing root and branch together’.

“Some sound benign or even have positive aspects, but generally they represent a profoundly repressive approach to governance in Tibet. Many of the terms indicate a desire for total social and thought control,” said the report.

It also highlights the implementation of ‘stability maintenance’ in the Tibetan region aimed at ‘preventing, controlling, or punishing social dissent and social disorder used across China’ and also as means to eradicate support for the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing considers as ‘Splittist’.

“Understanding terms like ‘social rectification’ makes Chinese authorities’ intentions in Tibet clear, that all life and daily behavior will be under surveillance, and any problematic conduct will be identified and swiftly punished,” Richardson said.

According to the organization, all these are aimed at their understanding of ‘long-term stability’ in the Tibet, which has seen numerous uprisings including the 2008 pan-Tibet protest and 150 self-immolations since 2009.

“It (long-term stability) sounds like a term that any government might use to describe a society free from conflict, violence and unrest. But in the Tibetan case, it has a more precise and more sinister meaning. It refers to the creation of a society in which there is no dissent,” the report said, adding that Beijing sees eradication of dissident idea as priority as they consider it as the root cause of instability.

Source: Phayul, 21 giu 17


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