Channel 4 goes undercover in Tibet

Undercover in Tibet is a Channel 4 Dispatches programme shown at 8 pm on Monday 31 March 2008.  A couple of brief clips from it can be seen on the internet.

I watched the programme "Undercover in Tibet" earlier this evening.  Tash Despa returned to Tibet after 11 years in exile.  Because of the Chinese regime in Tibet the filming had to be done secretly.  It was dangerous for those making it and for those Tibetans who were willing to describe their experiences.   

Early in the film the shooting at Nangpa La Pass was described (when Chinese soldiers shot Tibetan refugees who were crossing the Himalayas). The question was asked: why do so many people try to make such a difficult and dangerous journey to escape from Tibet, risking being arrested or shot and suffering from frostbite.  Why would they take such risks if life in Tibet was as rosy as it is painted by the Chinese government? The film showed some of the ways that the Chinese army and authorities prevent dissent in Tibet, using fear of arrest, execution or torture.  One of the Tibetans who bravely agreed to give evidence was a woman who had been forced to undergo sterilisation.

We should be grateful to the film-makers and to the Tibetans who agreed to be interviewed, also to Channel Four for giving us a view of what is going on in Tibet.   What do you think if you saw the programme?  Also what do you think of the Chinese Embassy in London's opinion that the programme is "not worthy of comment"? 

See another insight into Tibet by watching this Guardian video on a protest by Buddhist monks.  There were about 30 monks who made use of a visit by foreign journalists to give their side.  The subtitles on the video give translations of their protests, including: "Everything is fake" and "We want freedom!".

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