Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Tibetan speaks out!

Introduction: The following statement is taken from the "comments" board of the anti-CNN website that was established to expose the fabrications of the Western media in its reporting on the issue of Tibet. It is written by a Tibetan who describes his treatment as a citizen of the People's Republic of China, and his dismay that several of his overseas relatives have joined the Dalai Lama clique and have made comments supporting Tibetan separatism. The statement has been translated into English and I have kept the translator's comments and notes within the body of the text.


I am a Tibetan Chinese, but I feel shamed by some of my compatriots!

I am from the Aba County in the Sichuan Province of China, and in my home county, most inhabitants are ethnically Tibetan, Qiang, or Han. I am a Tibetan. Should you have any doubt about my identity, please feel free to look me up by my identification: 51322219*****0473.

(Translator’s note: that identification is similar to social insurance number, so for security reasons the author does not publish the complete identification on a public forum.)

I would love to see some of my Tibetan kinfolks repent about their actions when they read this article.

How alluring is the concept of freedom! It is surely glorious and right to seek one's freedom. However, I do not understand why we have to seek this freedom when we already have it. The actions of some of my Tibetan kinfolks are bringing shame to our brother ethnicities, as well as our government. Yes, it is right for us to value our own history and our own beliefs to continue the majestic spirit of King Gesar. When I was at the Seda Buddhist College, I learned the full Epic of King Gesar from the scriptures, and King Gesar brought pride to all of us Tibetans and us Chinese. King Gesar is a hero, he has brought good lives to all of us, yet is H.H. the Dalai Lama capable of such? I would like to compare the accomplishment of our hero and the Chinese authority. I would not like to talk about the Dalai, because he shames me too much to make such comparison on his behalf. 1. We Tibetans are grateful. Senor, Zhuoda, and Dunzhu*, You often come to this forum, and it appears from your speeches that you have already forgotten the teachings of your parents: when you receive, you give back.

(*Translator’s Note: These are the names of the author’s relatives whom he is addressing. )

Do you still remember the stories the Dedideng Grandpa* told us? In case you forget, I shall remind you: he tells that we Tibetans are grateful.

(* Translator’s note: The author refers the Grandpa as A-Mi in his mother dialect.)

Grandpa said that when the Chinese took over Tibet, we Tibetans were truly liberated. We were no longer suppressed by those aristocrat slave owners, and we were no longer their slaves or serfs. The government gave us livestock and farms, and they even let us share the aristocrats' mansion!

Then the authority sent their troops to build us the road to Lhasa. They really did it, and Grandpa clearly recalled the horrendous hardship while building that road! They had to make their own gun powder to bomb the boulders, and on that day 17 people sacrificed their lives for us. They were buried by the fallen rocks.

The authority transported salt and tea for us, but they did not ask anything in return, and replied that it is given by the government. The villagers carried their own barley to feed the trucks, and said: “It is tough for the trucks to carry so much to us!”

Then the central government left two of those trucks for the village, and asked nothing in return. After the road was built, we could really go to Lhasa on automobiles!

Later on, we had a drought that strained the grass field, so the livestock did not gain enough fat. In the same year, the winter was exceptionally harsh, and countless livestock froze to death. We were hopeless, but right at the time, the authority informed us that the central government was sending us resources. We could not believe it initially, but in two days, the trucks truly brought us food, duvet, and all that we need. Our fathers performed the long prostration on the grass field out of appreciation: they were not thanking the heavens or the Dalai Lama. Instead, they were grateful for the aid from the government, and the support from the rest of China.

2. To the Separatists:

When it comes to the time of our generations, we have experienced the real progress brought by the central government.

Senor, could you please tell me who has installed electric lights to your home, and who has implemented the satellite TV receptor for you? Could you also tell me who has built the hospital for our village, and where the doctors are from? On whose budget do we have a free way, and who has built telephone system for our village? Who pays the tuition for our younger siblings, and who takes care of us during natural disasters? Do you recall that year of landslide? Your uncle's* house was destroyed, and who built him a new house? That is right, you are now distinguished because you study abroad, but do you recall Dr. Zhang from Sichuan University? He supports your studies, but what are you doing while you are abroad? What have you done to our country? Do you care about how your family and Dr. Zhang, your benefactor, thinks about you?

(*Translator’s note: here the author refers to his acquaintance’s uncle’s wife as Mi-er. Mi-er means mother’s brother’s wife in his language.)

Now that we also have the railway, do we still live under poverty? You know we are not impoverished, but Dalai Lama still leeches from us. His adherents sit in the temple, and are inaugurated as Living Buddha’s at his will. Yet all they do is to touch the foreheads of villagers, and our village folks become obliged to send piles and piles of hard earned money to their temple. The central government has helped us Tibetans so much, yet they do not even charge tax from us. They consider our situations difficult, so they cancelled our taxation. We give our money to the temple, and then we go to the government for financial aid. Did the government say anything? No, all they say is that: “We respect the religious feelings of every ethnicity.”

Those who want to separate Tibet from the rest of China, are you really suppressed? Who is slaughtering you? No body does that. Making up such stories will make you despicable to the entire humanity.

3. To International Friends:

I know you are friends with my brothers, and they suggest you to come to this forum, so I would like to a few words to you in the following passage.

In China, we Tibetans enjoy equal rights as every other ethnicity, and in addition we enjoy the minority welfare. I am sure you have heard rumors such as that the Tibetans are ethnically cleansed by the Chinese, or the Chinese government brutally suppresses the Tibetans’ protest. You may have also heard that all Tibetans are protesting for independence, or that the Chinese government does not support actual construction for Tibetans and all they do is for colonization. My friends, those rumors are simply what they are: rumors! Let me tell you what is happening in my homeland. I believe I have more authority to talk about my home than anyone else.

The central government has been supporting Tibet ever since it implemented the “Open Door Policy”, and the following are what I find to be some of its most substantial aid:

1. Tibet is one of the first minority regions where the central government cancels the taxation.

2. It is not true that Tibet lacks freedom. Tibet is one of the autonomous regions of China, and we Tibetans have been ruling Tibet with our own hands.

3. We also enjoy various aids from the central government. The central government gives national funding to encourage college graduates to come to Tibet, and help the construction in education, manufacturing etc.

4. The central government has built a railway for Tibet in order to help Tibet’s economical growth. Meanwhile, during natural disasters, the central government always aids the Tibetan people with all of its power.

I also want to make a few other points:

1. We Tibetans are not discriminated. The other ethnicities treat us as brothers, and we enjoy all the rights and welfare applicable to other Chinese citizens.

2. We Tibetans are truly grateful for the rest of China. It is not true that all Tibetans are protesting for independence. In my hometown, the population is 70% Tibetan, but there are only a few carry ambitious schemes. They are only one out of four thousand, and those people are scorned as trash in my hometown. My friends, you are educated, and freedom embracing individuals, please do not be fooled by those who are despised by even their own people.

3. We Tibetans are not impoverished: Tibet has a higher mean household income level than most of China. In my hometown, on average each household has 40 cattle and 100 goats. The average household’s profit from cattle, wool*, and medicine trade is approximately 100,000 RMB (14,271.44 USD**), while an average person has annual income of 20,000 RMB (2,854.289 USD). Yet because most people choose to donate much of their earning to the temples, they do not appear as well off as their income indicates.

(Translators Note: * The author suggests in the article that in his hometown, cattle wool is also traded in addition to traditional wool from lamb or goats. ** The currency exchange rate is quoted on April 11, 2008)

4. The Tibetans are not suppressed during the recent riot. The illegal protesters are constrained by the different levels of police according to international charter, and only the violent protesters who attack the officers are forcefully arrested. I wonder if the situation is treated any differently in your country. I believe my brothers will not deny the above statements, so please ask them for further clarification.

4. To the 14th Dalai:

Dalai, what have you done? You take our money from cattle trade, and now you are also trying to take away our happiness.

There is a riot this year! Dalai you tell us that we need freedom, we Tibetans need freedom, and that is why we need independence.

Your Holiness, I am referring to you by name* now. I believe you will see my article, because your adherents will show it to you. I would not like to discuss whether the Communist China is right or wrong here, instead I would like to give my analysis of the consequence of Tibet's independence.

(Translator’s Note: * In most traditions to the north east of the Himalayas, one only refers to people of equal or lower rank, generation, or social class by name. )

First of all, Tibet will face economical disaster after independence. You know that Tibet’s principal is from the trade of livestock, their by product, and medicine. Once Tibet declares independence, the rest of China will become politically hostile, and will stop its economical relationship with us. There are 2.62 million* people from Tibet and surrounding areas, yet we can no longer have cattle trade with Lanzhou, Chengdu etc. or with the rest of China proper. In that case who shall we trade with? Perhaps we can trade with India, but India itself is a major agricultural country. You also realize that China can easily employ its present power to force India to stop international relations with us. When that happens, Tibet will be the next Mongolia, and be sandwiched by two major powers without a port. Even if the United States wants to help us, it will not be able to do so directly. Without an economical backbone, will Tibet go back to the theocratic serfdom it used to be?

(Translator’s Note: the author has made a mistake here and quotes the population of Tibet to be 3,000,000. I have corrected it with reference to the 2000 population census. )

In addition to the economical disaster, Tibet also lacks the military power to defend itself. I am sure you are aware that Tibet does not have its own heavy industry, hence unable to construct its own military equipment. Without a reliable economy, what can we use to trade for weapons? Perhaps the U.S. will give us some weapons, but that is far from enough. When facing the tanks and airplanes of the People’s Libration Army, do you plan to defend the “state” with mere infantry? Without our own army, what should you employ to gain that independence? Will India give you aid? Do you recall your last visit to India, and the Indian Prime Minister’s response? He does not support the Tibetan Government in Exile, because he is unwilling to be hostile to China. Our neighbor Pakistan is in alliance with China, and it is extremely difficult to build an international relationship with it, while all the other neighboring countries are in alliance with Russia. Do you really think Russia would give up its relation with China to side with you?

Meanwhile, please do not over estimate the support you have from the Tibetan people. Do you really think that all Tibetans are united under your leadership? If so, you are mistaken. The Tibetans are capable to think for themselves, and to judge which party treats them better. The recent riot fully demonstrates the situation. Your have less than thousands* of loyalists in the entire Lhasa, and you hardly have any ten thousand* adherents in the entire Tibetan region. Let us take the upper bond, and assume that you have ten thousand supporters in Tibet. That will give you the support of one out of three hundred (1/300) Tibetans. If you take away the wage you pay those people, perhaps only 1000 will still be loyal to you, and that gives you the support of one out of three thousand (1/3000) Tibetans. There are rumors that you compare yourself as the Tibetans’ Mao Zedong, yet the brutal fact is that you do not have the people’s support Mao has had**.

(* Translators Note: in Chinese language, the terms like thousand and ten thousand are used as estimate like how in English language we use “hundreds” and “thousands”.
** Historical Note: It may appear impossible to the Western readers for Mao to have the support of the people, yet one needs to realize that without the people’s support it is impossible for the communist government to establish in China in the first place. The fact was that the capitalist government had the support from the U.S., while the communist government lacked analogous support from any external body. Some might claim USSR had supported the Chinese communist part, but the fact remains that the USSR itself was devastated after WII, while the U.S. mainland was literally untouched by the war. )

You are gradually losing on the religions frontier as well. It may appear that you still have the people’s support because your temple still receives donation, yet the fact is that only the older generation gives to your temple. It is advisable for you to count how many of the new generation donate to your temple, and there are not many. Most of the younger generation stops believing in you, because your international actions appear like a circus performance to us. Your Holiness, how much have you earned from that kind of international performance?! How should we believe in you when you lack the proper dignity of a Living Buddha, and when your actions bring shame on us?

(Translator’s note: While the Dalai Lama may be losing on the religious frontier, it does not mean the waning of Buddhism in Tibet. In fact, Tibetan Buddhism has several properly recognized spiritual leaders other than the Dalai Lama.)

In short, Your Holiness, Tibet lacks both the economical and the martial resources to be an independent nation. Further more, you lack the support of the Tibetan people, as well as the religious backing at home to be the leader of the independence movement. *

(This short conclusion is inserted by the translator to make the article more logically comprehensible.)

5. To My Cousins: Senor, Zhuoda, and Dunzhu*,

I would like to inform you that your actions are already violating the legislation, as well as the moral baseline. Despite that the government has laid no charge on you, we as your relatives will not forgive you this easily. If you keep up with your actions, I will be waiting for you in Chengdu, and I look forward to having a really serious discussion with you. Your parents have contacted me, saying that they have lost contact with you for more than a year, and they are concerned for your safety. I did not tell them that you have become adherents to the Dalai Clique, because I fear that they might kill you once they find out. Perhaps you can still contribute to the real progress of our country, but if you keep up with your action, you will be in physical danger from our relatives. I, your cousin, is not a coward, I am simply rational. I understand who is really fit to lead us Tibetans towards abundance.

You have changed your phone number, so I cannot contact you anymore. I know you often come to this forum, so I hope that after you read this article, you will stop your wrong doing. Please do stop. Other wise, our village folks will not forgive you, your parents will not tolerate you, and neither will your close friends. You have brought shame to all us Tibetans.

Nowadays whenever I see reports such as the “The Tibetans so and so”, or “The Tibetans Riot”, I feel like to find a corner and weep. I long to explain that we Tibetans are also one of the many Chinese ethnicities, but who would listen to me? All I can do is to explain to all my friends that we Tibetans are not anarchists as you may perceive us to be.

My cousins, my blood kin, please stop giving the others any more reasons to fear us like that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dalai Lama's supporters spread anti-China lies

When it comes to attacking China, there are no more fervent exponents of the cause than US conservatives.

For them, China is still “Red China” and the Chinese people are “ChiComs” (“Chinese Communists”).

These idiots still can’t move on from the Korean War when terms like these gained widespread currency in the Western world.

Nor are they beyond fabricating anti-China propaganda and using emails and blogs to ensure speedy and widespread circulation of their lies.

(In a previous post I referred to the lie circulated by email that a Chinese plane had been grounded in Frankfurt after arriving with safety belts holding part of the jet engine fan blades in place! See )

The latest rubbish comes in the wake of the violent attacks on the citizens of Lhasa by separatist Tibetan thugs in March, and the equally violent attempts by separatists and their supporters to extinguish the “holy flame” of the Olympic relay torch.

Let’s deal with the riots in Lhasa first.

The riots were instigated by supporters of the Dalai Lama and coordinated by the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement. The riots were characterized by their lack of support from most Tibetans residing in Lhasa. Only a handful of reactionary monks and their supporters took part, but by burning buildings (including a mosque) and randomly attacking passersby of Han and Hui nationality and causing the deaths of some of their victims, the rioters ensured world-wide coverage of their actions.

The violence and racism of the rioters immediately conflicted with the stereotypical Western belief that the Dalai Lama is a man of peace, and that his supporters are always the victims and never the perpetrators. Caught out by video footage showing the ferocity of the attackers, and further exposed by Western bloggers present in Lhasa who described the violence of the separatists, including that of monks, the Dalai Lama came out with the outrageous statement that agents of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the PLA, posing as monks, triggered the riots.

Not long afterwards, the notorious US right-wing activist Gordon Thomas filed a story on Canada Free Press, a conservative “news” website, that “Britain’s GCHQ, the government communications agency that electronically monitors half the world from space, has confirmed the claim” by the Dalai Lama that Chinese soldiers, posing as monks, had instigated the violence.

Thomas claimed that GCHQ possessed proof in the form of satellite images and attached the photo below as evidence. Hundreds of thousands of hits were recorded on the Canada Free Press website before they pulled the article.

The problem was that the photo, while real, was of another time and place.

Chinese bloggers were the first to notice that the uniforms of the soldiers were an older style, replaced in 2005 by a uniform on which there is an arm badge and a chest insignia (see below) both missing in the photo.

That, and the fact that it was obviously not an intelligence signals satellite photo, sent people in search of its source, which turned out to be a file photo taken during production of Michelle Yeoh’s movie, The Touch, in Tibet in 2001. Chinese soldiers are often used as “extras” in films where large crowds or ancient armies are depicted. Somehow, the photo had reached Dharamsala, the Indian seat of the Dalai Lama’s “government-in-exile” in 2003, where it was used on the back cover of the annual report of the “Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy” (TCHRD).

This discovery was made by a Western Buddhist who was appalled at the dishonesty of conservatives in their attempt to discredit China. In fact, he contacted the TCHRD by email “asking them if they could identify the image. I then received this email this morning from Tashi Phuntsok at the TCHRD:

"The photo you are referring has nothing to do with the recent unrest in Lhasa. It was true that the photo was depicted in our 2003 TCHRD Annual report back cover. The photo was a part of filmshoot (A MOVIE) made in Tibet where Chinese armies wore the monk robes. We received the photos in 2003."

Notwithstanding all this evidence, and a further disclaimer of the photo’s credibility from the “International Campaign to Save Tibet”, the Falun Gong newspaper Epoch Times is still accusing the Chinese of dressing soldiers in monks robes and instigating the Lhasa riots, and conservative websites such as Big Lizards is questioning whether or not it is one and the same photo.
On this issue, I’d say game, set and match to China.

We now turn to the violence of the separatists during the Olympic torch run.

Of all the images captured during the run, none have been as appalling as that of the Tibetan separatist thug who tried to seize the torch in Paris from wheelchair athlete Jin Jing (below).

This photo demonstrated that the pro-Dalai Lama thugs who are bent on disrupting the Olympic torch relay are prepared to endanger athletes and bystanders in order to achieve their objectives.

Again, a major embarrassment for the Richard Geres of the world.

Flushed with the success of their “soldiers in monks clothing” lie, right-wing bloggers in Japan came up with a second photo (below) of the same man on his way to the site of the torch run and labelled it as proof “that our ‘protester’ friend is in fact -- a Chinese agent provacateur”.

They cited the fact that he was discovered in the company of his “true friends” – red flag carrying ChiComs!!! They even labelled the photo "Chinese Fake Tibetan With His Real Friends"!

The fact that he is conversing with no-one, that at least two others in the crowd (behind the left and right shoulders of the woman at the front) are also draped in “Tibetan” flags and that this was obviously a mixed group of Chinese supporters and supporters of Tibetan separatism on their way to the same location apparently escaped these thickheads.

This reactionary website and email campaign complements the same tactics used in the mainstream Western media which has time and again falsified accounts of events in Tibet and used photos of police action in Nepal as evidence of the “Chinese regime’s brutal crackdown in Tibet”.

They are a great education for people who seek to understand China and to promote the friendship of all peoples and nationalities.

As Chairman Mao said, “Seek truth from facts!”

Falun Gong: A Revelation

Falun Dafa is the organizational name of the Falun Gong movement. It has established websites in dozens of languages to help spread its message. The following information is from the Falun Dafa Australia website ( ).

People should check the various Falun Dafa websites, because there is a huge push by Falun Gong through the promotional activities of its front organizations in the media (Epoch Times newspaper, for one) and in cultural circles (such as the Divine Performing Arts troupe’s Chinese Spectacular which has just toured Australia).

For example, ACT Liberal Senator and former lawyer Gary Humphries is quoted in the latest ET (April 16-22, 2008) as saying of the Spectacular “The richness of the storyline makes it a very spectacular and rich show to watch. And I suspect that is also describes a side of Chinese culture which many Western theatergoers haven’t experienced in a long time.”

National Party MP Ian Rickuss also attended and described the show as “magnificent…it shows you some of the ancient history of China pre the communist domination. That’s why I found it very interesting….”

In Adelaide, Liberal Party Senator Simon Birmingham said he enjoyed the moral stories of the show, and that some valid human rights issues were highlighted. "There's some great stories in there, and some very good lessons..."

He also referred specifically to the scene depicting the "persecution" of Falun Gong, "Look, I think it highlights a valid issue, and certainly we've got to get the balance right between human rights issues in dealing with modern China, and trade and all of those other sorts of political issues that have to be dealt with."

The targeting of conservative politicians for favourable comment is a typical ploy of Falun Dafa. Far from being a movement of gentle Buddhist practitioners of qi gong, it is essentially a counter-revolutionary political movement that is using every trick in the book to get conservatives on side with its anti-communist political position.

Nowhere are these lengths taken to more ridiculous extreme that in attempts to interpret the Christian Bible’s Book of Revelations as a prophecy of doom for China’s Communist Party and Government.

This is a pathetic, and quite insidious attempt to cultivate the religious Right and Christian fundamentalists in the United States and elsewhere.

Li Zhan, in an article posted on Falun Dafa’s website maintains that “it is not difficult to recognise that the prophecies in the Book of Revelation centre around China and not the Middle East.”[1]

Lin Feng writes “It is obvious that the ‘red dragon’ refers to the Communist Party.”[2]

Li Zhan identifies the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin with the beast of Revelations in this remarkable passage:

“’Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.’ (Rev.13:18) ‘And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ (Rev 13:2) Based on the passages, we know that this beast is in China and happens to be in control of the Chinese Communist Party. This is no other than the current Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, Jiang Zemin. The Chinese Communist Party has given Jiang every one of these things.

“A Pureinsight article unveiled the secret behind “666.” The Chinese language is quite unique in that it puts emphasis on the strokes of characters. In Chinese, the two characters that make up the word “Communism” have six strokes each. The character “Jiang” also has six strokes. So this “666” represents the Chinese Communist regime headed by Jiang. The Jiang regime is the demon mentioned in the Book of Revelation whose number is “666.” Jiang is the head of the evil.”

Oh well, that must have heartened the Falun Gong movement whilst Jiang was President of China. He was elected in 1993 and resigned ten years later. Even before he retired, Falun Dafa had to try and reconcile the length of his career with the time set by Revelations. Again, according to Li Zhan, “It has been three years since Jiang Zemin’s despicable political group first started to persecute Falun Gong on July 20th of 1999. ‘And there was given unto him [the beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.’ (Rev.13:5) That is three and a half years. (We now know that, because of certain reasons, this length of time could change.) Therefore there is only a very limited time left. Humankind should treasure this remaining time that is incomparably precious.”

Got it? Revelations gave Jiang Zemin three and a half years to “persecute” Falun Gong adherents, but he outlasted that, so “for certain reasons, this length of time could change”! High credibility stuff, this! And while we’re at it, watch out…the end is nigh!!!!

This is the organisation whose crude misrepresentations of Chinese culture in the so-called Spectacular are lauded by uncritical audiences.

The crude anti-communism of the Spectacular is put inside colourful costumes and enacted by skilful performers, but the depictions of tortured Falun Gong practitioners and esoteric cosmic references are the message.

As Neil Roach, Ausdance Director told ET after the Canberra show: “I understand there is a very clear message with the show and I appreciate the way the message is being communicated to us as an intelligent audience”.

Neil, you’re probably a very nice bloke, but do you really think Jiang Zemin carried the mark of the beast in the character strokes used in writing his name?

And if that message is pretty dodgy, then the rest has little or no credibility either.

[1] Li Zhan, Some Insights on the Book of Revelation, )
[2] Lin Feng, Revelations from the Bible’s Book of Revelation, )

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Salute the Nepalese people's great victory!

The Nepalese people's great victory in the April 10 elections is an inspiration to all of us.

After a decade-long protracted armed struggle in the countryside, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) used the strength of people's support to contest the parliamentary elections.

Their two central demands were the election of a Constituent Assembly, and an end to the monarchy.

Foreign bourgeois observers are reported to be shocked by two things: the relatively smooth conduct of the elections and the sweeping victory to the CPN (Maoist).

However, Comrade Prachanda, leader of the CPN(M) has maintained all along that victory would belong to the people.Nepal is a poor and backward country ruled by a corrupt and unpopular US-backed King. By attending to the basic needs of the rural masses, and by explaining policies patiently to the urban classes, the CPN(M) has outmanoeuvred the reactionaries and neutralised the electoral appeal of the revisionists.

In his March 1927 "Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan", Chairman Mao Zedong wrote of the challenges facing political activists in China:

"The present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time, in China's central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry into their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticizing? Or to stand in their way and oppose them? Every Chinese is free to choose, but events will force you to make the choice quickly. "

The revisionists and reactionaries in Nepal made their choice, and it was not to march at the head of the Nepalese people and lead them to victory in the current stage of bourgeois democratic revolution. They were put to the test and rejected by the Nepalese masses.
The Nepalese revolution will now need the support of the world's people as the current victory is consolidated and fresh advances prepared. The Nepalese feudalists and their backers in Indian expansionist and US imperialist ruling circles will not be easily reconciled to their defeat in Nepal.

Salute the great victory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought encapsulated in the April 10 election!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sydney and Melbourne ralllies support Chinese national sovereignty

Rallies in support of China's national sovereignty and against media bias were called last weekend by groups such as the Australia-China Friendship Society and the New Asian Students Group, resulting in unexpectedly huge turnouts.

The rallies reflect the widespread and just indignation of Chinese and other peoples at the activities of the Tibetan separatist cliques and their reactionary support groups, such as Reporters Without Borders.

They express the disgust at the lies and distortions carried by the mainstream capitalist media on the issues of separatist violence in Lhasa and elsewhere, and the Chinese government's restoration of order in the affected parts of China.

Thousands of Chinese studying in, or citizens of, Australia turned out for the Sunday rallies in Melbourne and Sydney.

Unlike the disruptive activities of the separatists who have endangered athletes and members of the public involved in the Olympic torch runs, the peaceful expressions of support for China received little or no media coverage, highlighting the media's hostility to the People's Republic of China.

There was some coverage on Sunday evening's TV news, but one station minimised the significance of the rallies, saying that "several hundred people attended..." while the multicultural SBS station ended its news report with images of saintly Tibetan monks, ensuring that this was the visual image implanted on the audience and ensuring that the station's loyalties were clearly on display.

As for the print media, there was not one report that I could find in either of the Adelaide Advertiser, Melbourne Age, Melbourne Herald Sun or the Sydney Morning Herald, although I admit that in the case of the latter three papers, I only had access to their online editions.

Here is BBC footage of the Sydney rally. Other Youtube videos are now appearing that expose the Tibetan separatists and their CIA-NED financiers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Review: Merlinda Bobis, "The Solemn Lantern Maker"

Filipino writer Merlinda Bobis’ The Solemn Lantern Maker is a revealing novel of complex simplicity.

All of the issues it covers – poverty, US imperialist domination, land struggles, child prostitution, political corruption –are simple because the question of right and wrong can be so clearly defined and answered; at the same time, they are incredibly complex because of their interrelationship and the social scaffolding of ideologies based on ruling class ideas that obfuscate, conceal, prolong and deny.

Noland is a ten year old slum dweller who makes and sells paper lanterns. Six days before Christmas he and a friend witness a shooting and rescue an unconscious American woman. Noland and his reluctant mother – who senses trouble – care for the woman whilst the world goes crazy around them. Ignorant of the woman’s whereabouts, US officials conclude that she must be the victim of a terrorist kidnapping.

The subsequent narrative unfolds over the days leading to Christmas. The simplicity of the narrative structure – 112 episodes spread over 206 pages –belies the complex entanglement that wraps itself around both Noland and the woman he has rescued.

Caught up in the story are Noland’s friend, Elvis, who is pimped to foreign businessmen, but who nevertheless is able to look down on “street kids” because at least he can say he “works”; courageous journalist Eugene Costa, investigating corrupt Senator “Good Boy” Buracher; and US Colonel David Lane, still reeling from a tour of duty in Iraq.

This story has its own cinematic quality based on images of the stars and angels with which Noland has festooned his tiny dwelling place. Perhaps, like Babel, with which it shares a common thematic platform, it might one day be filmed.

At a launch of the book in Adelaide’s Imprints Bookshop recently, I asked Merlinda to sign her book for me.

“Just something short, like ‘For the unity of the peoples of the Philippines and Australia in their joint struggle against US imperialism and for world peace, national sovereignty, independence and socialism,’” I suggested, with only a little suggestion of humour.

But Merlinda knew why she had written her book, and what she wanted it to do, so she wrote “In solidarity against the master narrative – and let’s keep telling the small, human frame.”

(I’m reminded of the final verse of Guantanamera, the Jose Marti lines: “With the poor people of the earth, I want to share my fate; the small streams of the mountains, give me more pleasure than the sea.”)

Like Babel, the actions of a child in The Solemn Lantern Maker are taken to be a terrorist act because that is what the master narrators, the US imperialists and their henchmen, require in order to prolong their oppression and to deny liberation to the poor. Like Babel, the stories of the poor - the blank and stick figure frames of an unfinished cartoon - are the stories of the real world, and it is the author’s/artist’s job to reveal them and bring them to life.

The ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas of every class society. But the poor have their own voice despite their apparent muteness.

Merlinda’s book is part of that voice, and a contribution to injecting a different set of ideas, a new social consciousness, into our understanding of poverty and its associated evils.

It takes away another small part of the social scaffolding that holds imperialism in place.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tibetan separatists demand Dalai “step out of the way!”

Whilst they may be gloating over their disruption to the Olympic torch relay, the very success of the Lhasa riots and subsequent relay sabotage have exacerbated contradictions within the Dalai Lama’s clique.

Reference has been made in previous posts to the violent Tibetan Youth Congress and its creation, the Tibetan Peoples Uprising Movement.

Now, one of this faction’s main spokesmen, the writer Jamyang Norbu[1] (right) has openly called for the Dalai Lama and his senior advisors to “Step out of the way”.

What is the basis of these contradictions and why are they being played out now?

The Dalai Lama is spiritual leader of the Yellow Hat Sect (Gelugpa) of Tibetan Buddhism. After he absconded from Tibet, he also assumed temporal leadership as head of the so-called Tibetan “government-in-exile”.

Prior to his leaving Tibet, the CIA (formerly the Office of State Security) made overtures to some of the upper strata Tibetans who feared loss of privilege under Communist Party leadership, and began a program of providing finance to them and to the Dalai Lama.

Armed groups of Tibetan reactionaries dropped by the US into Tibet were quickly dealt with by the local people. Particularly after the smashing of feudalism and the liberation of the serfs after 1959, there were few takers for a restoration of the old system.

After initially approving of, and working with, the CIA and its trained thugs, the Dalai Lama’s evaluation of the situation led him to believe that a violent restoration of the old system was not achievable under the new conditions, and he embarked on a world-wide crusade to garner support for a non-violent movement for Tibetan “independence”.

This was the first crack in the unity within the émigré community.

By the 1970s, the Dalai had accumulated some strength in his position as a “simple monk” espousing a pacifist solution to the problems besetting the exiled upper stratum of Tibet. His cause had a certain appeal to Westerners who rejected their own governments’ violent actions throughout the world and who similarly rejected the consumer society and its values of accumulation and greed. Even certain celebrities began to attach themselves to the Dalai Lama, mirroring the attachment of four young Liverpudlians to an Indian yogi who had taught them to meditate.

Meanwhile, rudimentary services were bringing an elementary level of schooling and health services to the Tibetan former serfs. Agricultural practices were changing following the breakup of the holdings of the landlords and monasteries (see figure below).

The Dalai Lama was still revered by many Tibetans, particularly those of his own Yellow Hat Sect, but there was a shared apprehension of what sacrifices would be required to establish an “independent” Tibet, and what advantages, if any, would flow from such a Tibet, separated from the socialist motherland and placed at the mercy of the capitalist and imperialist powers.

Again, an evaluation of these factors led to a change in tactics on the part of the Dalai Lama, and thus a further estrangement from the violent factions of the upper strata exile community.

The Dalai Lama decided to drop his demands for an “independent’ Tibet, and opted for his Middle Way of “autonomy” within China.

This enraged the Tibetan Youth Congress and people like prominent Tibetan author Jamyang Norbu, who was one of those who had been trained by the CIA. According to Norbu, “not all Tibetans are the Dalai Lama…I’ve met lamas who tell their followers that killing one Chinese is the karmic equivalent of building a thousand stupas”[2].

So a second grand fissure developed within the Dalai Lama-led clique of exiles.

There have been other developments over the years, such as efforts by the Dalai to ban the worship of Tibetan deities of which he disapproves. These have led to demonstrations against the Dalai by Tibetan exiles and to accusations that he has suppressed freedom of worship – hardly the image that he projects of himself and closer to the situation of the pot that calls others black!

The decision to award Beijing the 2008 Olympic Games has now pushed contradictions in the Dalai Lama’s camp to the point where his temporal leadership is being openly rejected.

Leading the way is the Tibetan Youth Congress, the Tibetan Women’s Association and three other right-wing groups that together created the Tibetan Peoples Uprising Movement at the beginning of this year.

It is these groups that have masterminded the riots in Lhasa and some other Tibetan communities in China, inciting small mobs of reactionaries to bash and kill ethnic Han and Hui (Muslim) Chinese.

Seeing his leadership being swept aside, the Dalai has urged these mobs to stop their violence, threatening to resign from his position as head of the “government-in-exile”, thereby removing the prestige of his position from their cause.

And despite the success of the right-wing and US-financed “Reporters Without Borders” and the TPUM in sabotaging the Olympic torch run, the Dalai Lama has stated that the Olympics should not be boycotted.

In fact, the Dalai Lama has even gone so far as to establish a Solidarity Committee under his “prime minister” Samdhong Rimpoche which has ordered Tibetans in exile to stop using the term “Free Tibet” or slogans like “China out of Tibet”.

It is for this reason that Jamyang Norbu on April 5, 2008 issued the demand that the “leaders in the exile government…Step out of the way” (Jamyang Norbu’s emphasis).

With the split in the exile community reaching these proportions, why has Beijing not accepted the (“I’m not a devil”) Dalai Lama’s offer to negotiate?

Well, the Chinese have not ruled it out, but there are a couple of little matters of principle that need to be sorted out first.

One is the Dalai Lama’s definition of Tibet as that part of China in which Tibetans live. It seems a reasonable matter for discussion on the surface, but China is a multinational country with more than 50 nationalities, and there has been migration and resettlement of many of these nationalities over the centuries. Consequently there are Tibetans now living in parts of present-day Yunnan, Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu Provinces. If a Tibetan Anschluss occurred, and these regions were incorporated into “Tibet”, then its size would easily be doubled. This is not a matter for the Dalai Lama to establish by proclamation.

Another is the Dalai Lama’s reckless approval of independence for Taiwan, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria. The Central Government will certainly reject calls for talks with the Dalai Lama (Kevin Rudd, please note!) while he has an agenda that encompasses such a grand destruction of Chinese territorial integrity.

Thirdly, there is the Dalai Lama’s position as head of the “government-in-exile”. Beijing cannot be expected to deal with the Dalai Lama whilst he occupies such a position. As head of the “government-in-exile” the Dalai Lama is responsible for the actions of such groups as the Tibetan Youth Congress even as they wriggle out from under his control. That is why Beijing still refers to their violent actions as the actions of the” Dalai clique”.

Fourthly, the Dalai Lama still espouses the view that “ours struggle is very much related to dharma. It is not purely a political freedom struggle.” He adds, “the lamas still have control over the people.”[3] The Dalai Lama is still clinging to a concept that most bourgeois states long ago rejected, namely the unity of church and state. He sometimes talks of a democratic future for an “autonomous” Tibet, but his real vision is based on the necessity for theocracy based on the supremacy of the divine laws of Buddhism (dharma).

Lastly, his closest associates have made it perfectly clear that “autonomy” is just a tactic, a means to an end, and that end is still the separation of “Greater Tibet” from China. The TYC and TPUM share this goal but are impatient for its realization and disagree with their spiritual leader over how it should be achieved.
The Chinese Communist Party has a principled stand on the question of Tibet.

The Dalai clique, on the other hand, is rent with division over how best to pursue the separatist agenda.

A formal split in their ranks is only a matter of time, and this – despite their apparent strength in disrupting the Olympic torch run –will weaken their cause irreversibly.

[1] See also his “Non-violence and Non-action” (Dec 27, 2007) at
[2] See Asiaweek magazine, Sept 11, 1988 ‘Fires of Frustration’

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The cult that is Falun Gong

According to reports from Canberra, supporters of Falungong will join the ranks of pro-Tibetan separatists likely to try to disrupt the passage of the Olympic torch when it arrives in Australia on April 24 2008.

What is Falungong and what are its objectives?

Falungong is an anti-communist cult built around a version of the traditional Chinese practice of qi gong.

Qi gong is the art of using breathing exercises and meditation to develop the body’s qi, or energy field, from dantian, a spot located halfway between the navel and the pubic area. Once generated, the qi flows through channels in the body called meridiens and can even be transmitted from one person to another by a skilled practitioner. It is used in this way in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Variations in the methods used to generate qi have given rise to different schools of qi gong, each with its own recognised master.

The master of the Falungong school of qi gong is Li Hongzhi. He has resided in the US for years now following a series of provocations which challenged the Chinese Communist Party to accept Falungong as a religion recognised by the state – on a par with Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Christianity and others[1].

Not only was this demand unacceptable to the Chinese government, but further investigation of Falungong revealed that it was developing as a cult with adherents displaying blind loyalty to Li Hongzhi whose teachings were bizarre departures from any rational approach to qi gong. Self-inflicted damage, mental instability and suicide were being reported among its followers.

Falungong, gaining in notoriety through its provocations and subsequent banning as a cult, became a magnet for socially disaffected and alienated Chinese.

It has also become popular with some in the West who are attracted to Eastern philosophies and practices, and all too keen to believe that the Chinese Communist Party is authoritarian and repressive because, amongst other things, it has banned this organization.

To what extent then does Falungong share the characteristics of a cult, namely, that its members are able to be manipulated emotionally, that they are prone to fear and easy to control, by a leader whose authority is absolute?

In May 2001, Asiaweek magazine, a subsidiary of Time magazine (well-known for its own anti-communist line and its fear-mongering in relation to China) carried out an investigation into Falungong. Whilst not going so far as to endorse the Chinese judgement that Falungong was a cult, Asiaweek nevertheless reported findings that support the characteristics of cults.

Firstly, in relation to the absolute authority of Li Hongzhi, it said “Li instructs practitioners to go over his books again and again, without evaluation.” Moreover, “all the followers I interviewed recognise Li as the sole master. In fact many followers’ homes display a picture of him surrounded by a halo. They do not question his teaching that humanity is so rotten it is in danger of annihilation in our lifetime, and that only faithful adherents can be saved.”

Secondly, it gave evidence of the emotional manipulation of followers. It reported that adherents renounce medicines and doctors, believing that Li’s principles and exercises will heal them and prevent illness. Following a call by Li for “disciples to step forward in the face of life and death” five followers set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in January 2001. Other instances were reported later.

Thirdly, it showed that followers were prone to fear from forces outside the cult: “For two hours we delved into a world of corrupted souls, prehistoric civilizations and looming alien possession…as we read each word aloud: ‘Anyone who uses a computer has already been coded by aliens. This is absolutely true. But our followers do not have this problem, because I’ve already cleared them’. (Said one follower) ‘Our master said the human body is perfect, and that’s why aliens want to conquer us’”.

Fourthly, the report showed the ease with which followers could be controlled: “Li clearly asserts his authority via a loose but highly effective organization.” “…contrary to its claims, the group is highly organised.”

The Chinese Government has amassed a huge amount of corroborating evidence which is available online, but I have drawn from the Asiaweek report because it cannot be dismissed as “Chinese propaganda”[2].

The last two cult characteristics I'll mention are taken directly from Li Hongzhi's own speech in new York on March 27, 1997 (see )

Li Hongzhi insists on his own omnipotence in these terms: "...although you can’t see me in person, as long as you practice cultivation, I’m actually right by your side. And as long as you practice cultivation, I can be responsible for you all the way to the end; what’s more, I’m looking after you every single moment. (Applause) Whoever doesn’t do it this way is doing the same as teaching an evil practice, doing bad things, and casually leaking heaven’s secrets."

In addition to controlling followers ("cultivators") through his omnipotence, Li Hongzhi proclaims their uniqueness, their special quality that separates them from humans: "as a cultivator you can’t confuse yourself with an everyday person. To put it a bit seriously, you’re no longer human. As I just said, humans have various emotions and desires, and live for emotion (qing). During the course of cultivation you are gradually taking these things more lightly and gradually letting go of them until you completely discard them. Humans live for these things, but you don’t. Could you be the same as a human? You aren’t the same."

But Falungong is more than just a cult based around a leader who believes in aliens.

Falungong’s potential to serve the interests of US imperialism because of its mass following and its opposition to Chinese authorities was soon noted by conservative US politicians and State Department funding conduit, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). One blogger who has consistently exposed Falungong’s activities, Bobby Fletcher of Seattle, has recently provided links to sources that show that over 6 million US dollars has gone to Falungong over a five year period (see ).

This explains the movement’s ability to finance a newspaper, Epoch Times, as well as a TV station (New Tang Dynasty Television) and a radio station.

Epoch Times is a full colour broadsheet that purports to be a straight source of news, much of it taken from regular news agencies, and some from its own staff of writers. It is published in large quantities and is distributed free in Chinese, English and other languages. It can be found in any shopping centre or public library.

Epoch Times carries little advertising, much of it “in house” promotions for causes associated with it own agenda (art exhibitions, cultural extravaganzas and the like). That agenda is obvious in the slanted coverage of matters relating to China. Nowhere is the link between the paper and Falungong spelt out, so the distorted reportage on China is slipped in between ordinary stories of world events, much like my mother used to mix up aspirin (bad taste) with condensed milk (good taste) to spoonfeed me when I had a headache.

One of its main tasks is to publicise anti-communist activities and views. Regularly re-hashed in the paper is the so-called “Nine Commentaries” on the Chinese Communist Party, a fabricated and distorted account of murder, assassination, bullying, intimidation and anything else that would scare a three year old on a windy night.

It also regularly updates figures on the numbers of people who have denounced and withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party. Here Falungong claims extraordinary success: withdrawals of membership went from 1 million in April 2005, to 2 million by the end of the year, to 8 million in February 2006, to a staggering 32.2 million by February 2008! By this time next year, and at that rate, the Party should have totally collapsed!

Epoch Times is also responsible for contemporary atrocity stories, one of which famously was featured as a TV documentary - the story of organ harvesting at Sunjiatun in Shenyang Province. The only problem was that this was a complete hoax. The analysis of the hoax, including denials of organ harvesting by US Congressional investigators, is told here ( and ).

So it comes as no surprise that Epoch Times/Falungong reports on the violent riots by a handful of separatist elements in Lhasa in March should be subject to major misrepresentation. The separatist riots were violent and targeted ordinary civilians. Problem: the success of the separatist movement is dependent on it being headed by a self-proclaimed pacifist. Remedy: fabricate a story that the rioters were Chinese disguised as Tibetans who, because communists use such devious strategies, wanted to create grounds for a “brutal crackdown”!

Don’t believe it? Here’s the Epoch Times report: and a rebuttal Epoch Times, however, still continues to publish stories that accuse the Chinese of being behind the riots for their own ulterior purposes!

My conclusion is pretty clear. Falungong is a US-financed cult led by a lunatic who is driven to oppose the Chinese government because it quite correctly banned his vehicle for domination of the gullible.

Of course, if you believe in the threat from aliens, are happy to be enslaved by a nut, if you’re prepared to swap time that could be spent serving the people for time spent trying to turn the swastika-shaped wheel below your belly button, then do so.

Capitalist countries guarantee that sort of freedom.


[2] See also for a Taiwanese writer’s account of nine days spent with Falun Dafa, and the Comments at the end of his post where there is an exchange about Li Hongzhi’s claim that the African country of Gabon is the location of a 2 billion year old nuclear reactor!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Reporters Without Borders and the anti-Olympic campaign

It's worthwhile knowing who is the key driver behind many of the protest actions happening in Europe, and what his allegiances are.

Here's an excerpt from Yahoonews the other night, regarding Paris: "Pro-Tibet activists have threatened demonstrations, saying they would not reveal their exact plans until Monday. The head of Reporters Without Borders, arrested in Greece last month for protesting during the flame-lighting ceremony there, said the group had altered its initial plans because of the heavy police turnout. Without giving away details, Robert Menard promised protests would nonetheless be "spectacular".

"Spectacular"? Depends on your point of view. Certainly dangerous to the athletes carrying the torch and to supporters of the torch run who lined the streets to watch it.

So, just who is Robert Menard, who initiated the original Olympic protest in Greece as well? And Reporters Without Borders? Here's a link which exposes him as an extreme right wing media stuntperson with strong US State Department ties, and a long history of anti-Castro activity: .

And here's another from ZNet, documenting his, and his organization's support for the CIA-backed coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002: .

And here's a site outlining Reporters Without Borders' continued backing for RCTV, the main TV station instrumental in that coup attempt:

It is a pity that this CIA and NED (National Endowment for Democracy)-paid right-wing ideologue isn't honest enough to set up a Reporters for Truth and start tackling the continual misinformation and disinformation and suppression of information epitomised by the Western media and its tired old anti-China campaigns.

Visit to see what Menard ignores as he does the dirty work of US imperialism, of the Bacardi company and its various "Free Cuba" emigre fronts, and of the reactionary Tibetan Youth Council and Tibetan Peoples Uprising Movement.

Support the Egyptian people against neo-liberalism

Funny how some things become “news” in the capitalist press, and some things don’t.

While Reporters Without Borders orchestrates its anti-China campaign of sabotaging the Olympic Torch run in various countries, the struggles of oppressed workers and peasants go unreported.

For example, when 30,000 workers turned out for a “wildcat” strike in Egypt on April 6 and were subject to a “brutal crackdown” by the reactionary neo-liberalist Mubarak regime during which hundreds were injured, hundreds arrested and two (a 9 year old girl and a 20 year old male) were killed, there was nary a whisper in any of the media here in Australia. The Egyptian central security forces used obelisk-gas grenades , gum bullets , electric-shock sticks and live bullets , resulting in hundreds of injuries amongst the demonstrators.

The textile workers in Mahalla Al-Kubra are in the forefront of the struggle of the poor masses of Egypt against rising prices and low wages, while more than one third of the population “survives” with less than 1 Euro per day. Last Sunday 6 April 2008 tens of thousands of demonstrators courageously faced the guns and the batons of the “anti-riot” forces and of paramilitary state gangs.

The Communist Party of Egypt has called upon all progressive, democratic, anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist forces to express in any way possible their solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Egyptian workers and popular masses. They have requested people throughout the world to consider the organization of protests and to send statements to the Egyptian government with copies to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and the Communist Party of Egypt.

Mr Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt:
Dr Ahmed Nazif, Prime Minister:
Ministry Of Interior:
Cabinet of Ministers – Fax: +202-2795-8048

Egyptian Organization for Human Rights:
Communist Party of Egypt:

Sample letter (cut and paste into emails as above):

Mr Hosni Mubarak,
President of Egypt

Dear Sir,

I am an Australian citizen with a deep appreciation of the outstanding contributions made by the people of Egypt to world civilisation.

I respectfully wish that the living standards and the rights and liberties of the Egyptian people will be further enhanced through their spirit of hard work and sacrifice.

I am, however, profoundly shocked at the news of the brutal suppression of the poor who took part in the April 6, 2008 rally in support of higher wages to combat rising prices.

I fully support the just and fair demands of Ghazl Almahalla workers and their right to choose the means to express their demands such as demonstrations and strikes.

The brutal suppression of the poor severely tarnishes Egypt’s reputation as the nation that stood up to the British and French imperialists in defence of sovereignty over the Suez Canal, and the nation that gave the world the wonder of the Great Pyramids.

Please free the arrested workers and address the issues that they have raised.

(Name and, if appropriate, organisation)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nepal: Victory is certain -Prachanda

Prachanda : 'Royal palace will be stormed if poll disruption attempted' [ April 3, 2008 ]

Nandalal Tiwari

CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda on Wednesday termed the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) as an ordeal for his party and the people and claimed that his party would win the election, as the people were eager to get through such a historic test.

Reiterating his commitment to accept people's verdict he cautioned the people to keep vigil and foil all anti-poll conspiracies as the feudal and reactionary forces were yet to emerge for a final battle to maintain their status and avert the changes.

He appealed to the international community to stand together with the aspiration of the Nepalese people for a drastic change and not to be apprehensive of his party's victory, as his party would maintain diplomatic relation with them all, even with the USA.

Prachanda directed party activists to exercise restraint to ensure that the polls could be held peacefully and the reactionary forces would have no pretext to attempt to disrupt it and the statusquoists to blame his party.

Addressing an election rally at the Open Air Theatre today the Maoist supremo said, "Given the nationwide wave of public support for our party it is inevitable that we will emerge victorious in the CA election if it is held in a free, fair and impartial manner."

Stating that his party was committed to institutionalise political revolution through peaceful means of election and form a new Nepal he warned of storming the Royal Palace if the feudal elements tried to meddle with the poll process and if there was treachery against new Nepal.

He stated that all forms of oppression and exploitation would end with the building of new Nepal, which would be a federal democratic republic. Within a few years, our country will be prosperous with proper utilisation of human and natural resources which we have, he said.

He assured that his party would not resort to arms but instead would urge people for peaceful action against any plots to defeat his party in the poll.

"It is impossible to go to the election and deny the result. The grapevine that we would not accept the poll outcome is not only baseless but a plot against us. We will accept the poll result, but the main point is the poll should be held in a free, fair and fearless manner," he pointed out.

Prachanda is contesting from Rolpa-2 and Kathmandu-10. Urging the civil servants to play a neutral role, he lamented over the reports carried by some media that only the Maoist activists were involved in the election clashes.

"Some media houses are bent on projecting tussles as if they were initiated by our cadres and ignoring the issue of our cadres being murdered in course of the poll. They have even showed indifference to the attempt made at assassinating me."

A criminal group with sophisticated weapons had tried to get into a Maoist mass meting in Siraha district few days back targeting Prachanda. YCL members were able to track them down and were hand them over to the police.

He came down heavily on Madhav Kumar Nepal, General Secretary of CPN-UML, for saying that the Nepal Army could be mobilised to control the Maoist party if it continued with extortion in course of poll campaign. "People are ashamed of Nepal for his sycophantic overtures towards the army generals." He urged the police and the army personnel to vote for his party claiming that it was the only champion for a new and prosperous Nepal.

The Maoist strongman also urged national and international poll observers to maintain independency and impartiality. "I have heard that some observation teams are planning to term the poll illegal if we win. The observers should make their say clear before the result comes out." Saying that the whole world was watching the Nepalese CA poll he blamed that India and the US were out to defeat his party whereas justice and equality loving people were wishing for its victory.

"I request the people to note that their rivals at the moment were not the NC and UML but India and US, who were out to defeat the Maoists and back the party of their choice to make it victorious in the CA," he said. "My appeal to the seven parties to form an electoral alliance was ignored by the NC and UML at the behest of such foreign powers."

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, another Maoist leader, asserted that only a new leadership, new thought could make a new Nepal and urged the people to make his party for implementing the agenda of New Nepal as only his party had the potential to change the country.

"Those who called us terrorist for demanding the CA poll, fixed the price of our heads for fighting for republic and called us separatists when we demanded for a federal system can never write the new constitution to implement these agendas," he blamed.

Khagendra Sangraula, a noted literary figure and columnist, urged the people to vote in support of a republican state and a change loving force. As an independent figure he urged the Maoist leadership to direct their cadres to exercise patience and stop all coercive activities if any and make a peaceful environment for the poll.

"I have come here to show whom I have selected to vote and urge you all to select one that is fighting for historic change," he said, adding, "There are good people even in NC and UML."

All 33 Maoist candidates for the poll, 15 for direct and 18 for proportional electoral system, from the Kathmandu valley were present in the mass gathering. Maoist leaders Pampha Bhusal, Barshaman Pun and Hisila Yami addressed the rally amidst songs and dances presented by different cultural groups of the party as well as renowned singer Ramesh, Shambhu Rai, and Jiten Rai. Former Nepalese ambassador to Japan, Dr. Bishnu Hari Nepal was welcomed into the Maoist party. Nepal was initially a supporter of CPN-UML.

(For regular updates on the Nepalese Revolution, see Red Star magazine online:

Howard Zinn and American Empire

Howard Zinn, progressive US author, has just released a new book in cartoon format, called A People's Hostory of American Empire. Howard Zinn is living proof of the fact that our enemy is the imperialism of the United States, not its people.

The following is an animated video using content from the book:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Construction Workers Rally to Fight WorkCover Cuts

Two thousand construction workers marched off Adelaide building sites today (April 1) to demand that the state Labor Government not proceed with proposed changes to the state’s workers compensation scheme.

The changes further expose the social-democratic Labor Party as a party of capitalism and a bed-fellow of the openly pro-business Liberal Party.

The role of the Labor Party is to use the electoral credibility of people with ties to the trade union movement to win office, and once having won office, to carry out attacks on working people that the Liberals could never get away with.

Talk to any member of the ALP who has been to a sub-branch meeting recently and they will tell you how their member of parliament (in many cases a former union secretary, president or activist) has assured them that “we don’t like doing this, but there’s no alternative”.

The “this” is slashing injured workers’ entitlements to ongoing financial support and to real attempts to get them back to work. The ostensible reason is to cut the scheme’s unfunded liability, but given the scheme’s main income stream is from employer levies which would reduce the unfunded liability, one has to ask why the government is proposing to reduce that levy. It doesn’t make sense. Or, it only makes sense if the state government is just an executive committee of the business community and it’s using the unfunded liability as an excuse for a direct reduction in costs for employers at the expense of reduced entitlements for injured workers.

Last year, the state budget delivered cuts of $337 million in payroll tax cuts to South Australian businesses. This year, their gift to the business community is the transfer of costs associated with WorkCover from employers to injured workers.

The Labor Party, as it now badges itself, is “pro-growth, pro-business and pro-mining”. It is not “pro-worker” or “pro-job safety”.

Construction workers were left in no doubt about this as CFMEU secretary Martin O’Malley (right) addressed his members.

“You know what the sad thing is? These politicians aren’t covered by WorkCover. You might say that’s a sad thing, and it is, because they’ve got their own scheme, and they’re covered 24/7, and it goes on forever, and the sad thing is, do you know who pays for it? You fucking do! And these politicians are just bloody mongrels….This is a class war comrades!”

Before marching from Victoria Square to Parliament House, O’Malley introduced speakers John Camillo from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Jamie Newlyn from the Maritime Union of Australia, both of whom gave spirited speeches denouncing the Labor Government and the WorkCover Board.

Then O’Malley opened the meeting to any injured workers that wanted to share their stories.

“Anyone who wants to come up and say a few words, you’re more than welcome!”

And two did.

Jake, who had suffered an injury that had put him in hospital for 2 months and had kept him off the job for 14 months, was the first. A crane driver, he described the struggle to overcome the reluctance to return to work that he knew was dangerous, and the dispute he’d had over what the WorkCover Board had judged his average wage to have been. He said that while this matter was in dispute he was still getting paid – something that the proposed changes would put a stop to. He summed up the class basis for this attack on workers by saying that the proposed changes had been “discussed in hotels you and I can’t afford to go to over bottles of wine from countries that we’ll never go to.”

Another injured workers, Darryl, came forward and recounted how “all WorkCover seemed to do was harass the living daylights out of me”. He angrily detailed surveillance by WorkCover agents, and the ineptitude of the agency in losing forms and records relating to his case. He spelt out his attitude towards Labor, saying to enthusiastic applause, “Labor should relinquish their name Labor. I’m totally embarrassed at what they’re trying to do now. …they’re no better than the Liberals.”

He finished off by showing just how angry he was at the scheme and its privatised claims management system. “When I have injuries, I don’t report them anymore ‘cos I couldn’t take the pain of WorkCover. They’re a monkey on my back that I don’t want ever again. I returned a cheque for $48,000 to WorkCover just to get them off my back. I don’t want to see them or have anything to do with them ever again.”

Greens MP Mark Parnell and Independent Kris Hanna spoke after the march to Parliament House, but it was Andrea Madeley, mother of young worker who died in an industrial accident in 2004, and spokeswoman for Voice of Industrial Deaths (VOID), who stirred the emotions of the crowd before collapsing in tears soon after her speech.

Labor MPs Frances Bedford, Bob Sneath and John Gazzola attended the rally as a show of support, but former union officials such as Ministers Gail Gago (Nurses), Paul Caica (Firemens) and Jay Weatherill (Australian Workers Union) remained hidden and out of sight behind the walls of Cowards’ Castle.

Industrial Affairs Minister Michael Wright announced the same day a few minor amendments to the WorkCover proposals, including capping employer levies (for repeat employer “offenders”) at 7.5% instead of the proposed 15%.

He also said that instead of cutting injured workers payments to 80% after 13 weeks off the job, they would no be cut to 90% after 13 weeks and to 80% after 26 weeks. This means a teacher at the top of the teacher pay scale would now be $8,552.75 worse off after 12 months compared to the current system. The original changes would have meant they were worse off by $10,263.30.

This small concession to injured workers was not the “backflip” that the capitalist press made it out to be, but a continuation of the “backstab”, albeit that the knife is not pushed in so far so early.

The other announcement came from the Opposition Liberals who, having tried to ingratiate themselves with voters in working class electorates by saying that it was not necessary to slash injured workers entitlements in order to deal with the scheme’s unfunded liability, nevertheless came in behind the Labor government by saying that they would support the proposed changes in Parliament.

SA Unions Secretary Janet Giles (left) said the construction workers rally was just the first step, and that unions would never accept the changes being put forward by Labor.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Short-tailed grasswren another Arkaroola rarity

Arkaroola despoilers Marathon Resources have just released the results of recent drilling that shows an unexpected 100 metre expansion of uranium deposits at Mt Gee.

Unfortunately for them, the Australian bird-watching website Bird-aus has jumped on board the anti-mining cause, pointing out the dangers that mining would pose to the very rare short-tailed grasswren.

(Photo copyright G. Chapman)

When you add to the grasswren the threat posed to the yellow-footed rock wallaby and to various tree and plant species, then surely it's time for Premier "Mike the Miner" Rann to step in and put Maraton shareholders out of their misery by saying that there will be no mining in the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary.

The Bird-aus post follows:

"There is a mystical mountain in the remote North Flinders Ranges in South Australia known as Mount Gee It is an arid wilderness mountain within Arkaroola /Mount Painter Wilderness Sanctuary and is located in the heart of the spectacular igneous and metamorphic formations characteristic of the Northern Flinders.

Mount Gee is part of the geological area known as Mount Painter province, one of the most highly mineralized areas for its size on earth. Although the mineral diversity of the area is huge, the mineralisation is minimal and commercial mining has rarely occurred there except for a few small copper mines that failed early last century and the Mount Painter mine where limited amounts of uranium were extracted for the Manhattan Project during the Second World War.

The surface of Mount Gee comprises acid soils with outcrops of quartz crystal and granite. There are underground water chasms with crystal amethyst lined walls; deep underground formations that are known to breathe when atmospheric pressure systems pass. High on the mountain there are cliffs of rugged highly mineralised granite porphyry where prehistoric bat caves exist. The terrain is spectacular, rugged and remote, covered with woodlands of native pine, mallee and acacia interspersed with dense areas of triodia amongst which scattered clumps of xanthoria, cassia and eromophila shrublands thrive. This is one of the most delicate, beautiful and spectacular arid range areas that exist.

Importantly, this area is the centre of abundance; the heart of distribution for Short-tailed Grasswren Amytornis merrotsyi, a rare and restricted South Australian endemic bird and close to the site where it was discovered. Significantly the Mount Gee/ Mount Painter area is also the main Flinders Ranges breeding area for Little Woodswallow and Painted Finch and also where uncommon species such as Broad-tailed Thornbill and Redthroat are common. It is also a major habitat for Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby.

There is now a proposal to mine uranium on a vast scale at Mount Gee by a company known as Marathon Resources Ltd. Unfortunately there is no possibility that mining development could proceed in this area without causing massive destruction. The area and its wildlife is vulnerable to almost every impact of mining, (see 1 below) not to mention major damage that would occur to the visual amenity.

Destructive mineral exploration occurred here in the late 1960's and early 70's.
Exploration activity was halted by the SA Government then because of environmental concerns. This area is so delicate, it has never properly recovered from the onslaught of only 100 drill holes in 1972. (Significantly although traces of uranium were found, no worthwhile deposits were discovered)

Arkaroola was purchased as an under-developed pastoral property for the sole purpose of natural protection and conservation by Dr Reg Sprigg and his wife Griselda in 1968. Since then, with more than 40 years of competent management by the Sprigg family the area has remained well protected. The area and its wildlife is seriously threatened by this development proposal.

If you are interested in helping with this issue, please read and consider your response.

And how would I know any of this? Arkaroola was once my home too and where Pat and I raised our children. The natural values of this area and its importance to the nation far exceed any short term economic benefit from exploiting its mineral wealth.

Thank you

Ian May
St Helens Tasmania

1. Impacts from mining relate to threatening processes that vary according to species and location affected. As I see it, threatening processes from mining that will affect species occurring at Mt Gee include; regular human presence near vital habitat such and available water, disturbance, modification and pollution of natural water points, vibration, noise, road kill, major erosion, impeding water flows, downstream fines pollution of waterholes and watercourses, competition for naturally occurring level and open areas, blasting, chemical pollution, vegetation removal, major dust source, rubbish.