Tibetan Scholars Issue Joint Statement, One Arrested
Tibetan Scholars Issue Joint Statement, One Arrested

A group of Tibetan scholars in a joint statement expressed concern for transparency in the distribution of earthquake relief funds. Shortly afterward, one of the cosigners has apparently been arrested.

The group from Xining City, Qinghai Province, included Tibetan scholars and writers, including Jamyang Kyi (singer and social critic), Tagyal (Tibetan studies), Lhamo Kyab (bilingual scholar), Tabo (professor), Sangdhor, Sanggyay Dhondap, Manlha Kyab (artist), and Mayche.

Their statement of April 22 also commemorated Yushu quake victims and alluded to the suffering of the Tibetan people who have had to endure the earthquake on top of the suppression, violence, and brutality imposed on them by the regime. There was also a statement regarding donations: “It is best to deliver donations with your own trusted personnel because no one knows for sure if there’s any place free of corruption or embezzlement.”

Dong Sai, a Tibetan language scholar and poet from Qinghai, told The Epoch Times that on April 23, the communist authorities arrested and charged Tagyal with the “crime of inciting subversion of the state,” or, as Tagyal's daugher was quoted on Radio Free Asia, “sedition to split the country.” Authorities also ransacked his home and confiscated two of his computers.

Dong Sai believes that Tagyal was arrested not only because of the joint statement. Tagyal recently published Break New Ground, a book that discusses unresolved issues between the Tibetans and the communist regime and current difficult situations the Tibetans are facing.

A Transparent Relief Fund

Two weeks have passed since the disastrous earthquake struck Yushu County in China’s Qinghai Province. Reports indicate that more than three billion yuan (US$439 million) have been appropriated for disaster relief. Much of the concern over the misuse of these relief funds stems from the excessive corruption and misuse of relief funds that occurred following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Dong Sai said he was well-acquainted with Qinghai, having lived there and worked in the system. “I know how relief funds and supplies are available at every level, yet little actually gets to the victims.“

He suggests strengthening supervision by the people to reduce corruption. He said, “The Internet is well-developed. Everyone is concerned about exactly how much has reached the victims. Let the authorities publish the data on-line for the public to review.”

Unresolved Questions

Dong Sai also brought up three unresolved questions relating to the Yushu earthquake.

First is the time issue. The Chinese military moved into the quake zone quickly. Was it because there were predictions? If there were predictions, why weren’t the public made aware of them to reduce the casualties and damages?

Second, western geologists measured the Yushu earthquake at a magnitude of 6.9, while China insisted it was 7.1. Dong Sai questions what exactly is hidden behind the difference?

Third, the officials have reported the death toll at around 2,000 people, while Yushu locals have claimed more than 10,000 have died. Which figure is more accurate?

Read the original Chinese article.

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