CNN and anti-cnn.com

Recently, the riot in Tibet has been widely reported. Most of the western media criticize Chinese government for using military power to crack down the peaceful demonstration of the monks. On the internet, a group of Chinese set up a website of anti-cnn.com, where they displayed pictures, videos, and anecdotal descriptions of the "truth" of the Tibetan riot, and accused CNN and other media as faking materials to support their biased views.

This is understandable, both the attitudes of western media and those Chinese living abroad. However, it may not be cautious to support either side of views without further consideration.

One of the biggest problems the Chinese communist administration has is the lack of free speech. Western media are not allowed to visit Lhasa and interview from various sides. In the Chinese media, the same voice repeats that the riot is caused by a few gangsters supported by Dalai Lama. Without giving the possibility to others to investigate the truth, and with its long history of faking the news report, the "truth" spoken from the Xinhua agency, the central medium of China, seems dubious and weak.

And everyone is biased. It is not a good idea to accuse others as "biased", because that may be the accuser’s own bias. CNN is biased of course, Der Spiegal is biased of course, and the ones who set up anti-cnn.com are biased of course. The problem of CNN, if what the anti-cnn.com says is true, is that CNN used faked pictures and videos, or edited them to change their meanings.

Anti-cnn.com may be right in this issue, that the riot in Tibet was caused by Tibetan monks and was supported by Dalai Lama. I tend to second their opinion, as I have read about Chinese history and the Buddhism in Tibet. I think the Chinese government did not want to have such a riot before the Olympics in Beijing, while some Tibetan people caught this chance to ask for independence which was obviously unacceptable for the government. Just like the boxer’s riot happened in China more than one century ago, these kind of conflicts are almost inevitable. Tibet has been a part of China for centuries, but it has de facto independence all the time until the army of Republic of China came into that area.  Most Tibetan people are deeply religious, almost illiterate, and live in poverty. From 1980s, other Chinese people, mainly of Han ethnic group, flooded into Tibet. The economy of Tibet boomed, yet due to their skills, education, tradition, beliefs and attitudes, most Tibetan people have got disproportional share of the wealth, though I am sure they have benefited from their tourism business, and from the minority policy from the government (something like affirmation action). People like these tend to see their sufferings, and produce hatred toward the dominating group. When time comes, they go to the street. It is just like the 1992 Rodney King riot, and the boxer’s riot in China.

But that is not the point. The point is, everyone is biased, and only with free speech that the biases of different people or media can be neutralized. They don’t realize this.The communist party in China does not know the rule of the game in the western society. They want people to believe what say is the truth. The results, as can seen in western media, is the opposite.

I don’t know what will be the next. I understand that people may have various political requests, including request for independence.But I really don’t want anything like the riot. Freedom of speech may be a more urgent issue in China, and may help more people, including Tibetan. The criticism of Chinese communist party on the Tibet issue will continue, unless more and more independent voices can be heard and finally the truth emerges.

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