Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Bob Parker Accused of Being Misinformed Over Tibet Fiasco

Sir Bob Parker Accused of Being “Naïve, Foolish And Misinformed” Over Tibet Fiasco

Former Christchurch mayor was ‘signed up’ to controversial statement without his knowledge and observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces

Sir Bob Parker has joined political figures from the UK, Japan and Ireland who were reported by Chinese state media to have supported a highly controversial position statement at the end of an international meeting they attended in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, this week (1). As the meeting was taking place, China’s security forces opened fire with live ammunition on peaceful protesters elsewhere in Tibet, seriously injuring at least ten (2). Sir Bob has subsequently repudiated the document, which he did not agree to, telling the BBC that he was "not happy to be included in a document that states some very powerful political perspectives” (3).

Regarding the conference, Sir Bob also told the BBC:
"I came here as a New Zealander with a unique opportunity to get into Tibet and see some of these unique communities with my own eyes. There seems to be a good degree of openness and happiness in the communities that I've been to.
"But I'm not a Tibet expert, I'm not a global politician, I'm just a citizen who had a chance to come to a very special part of the world to see some of these things with my own eyes." (3)
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, director of Free Tibet, said:
“We welcome Sir Bob Parker’s statement repudiating the so-called consensus but as he was enjoying China’s hospitality, peaceful Tibetan protesters were being shot by China’s security forces. The statement issued at the end of this event shows that the whole thing was an exercise in propaganda which Western participants blindly or willingly allowed themselves to become part of. Sir Bob was naïve and foolish in taking at face value an invitation from the State Council Information Office of China to attend a meeting about the country it occupies and brutally oppresses: such invitations belong in the bin, not on the mantelpiece.”

Following the forum, participants were taken on a visit to Linzhi prefecture (Nyingtri, in Tibetan), a picturesque part of southern Tibet where China has invested in building “model villages” to attract tourists (4). It appears that Sir Bob’s comments to the BBC were made during that visit.

Ms Byrne-Rosengren continues:

“Events like this constitute a key part of China’s international charm offensive on occupied-Tibet. Unfortunately, Sir Bob appears to have been taken in by the slick presentation and carefully stage-managed tour around China’s Tibetan Disneyland. A politician of Sir Bob’s experience has little excuse for getting himself into this situation and apparently failing to acquaint himself with the full facts.”


The Fourth Forum on Development of Tibet, organised by the State Council Information Office of China and the Tibetan regional government, was attended by over 100 participants from 30 countries and issued at its conclusion the “Lhasa consensus” (5), which included the following points:

Participants unanimously agree that what they have actually seen in Tibet differs radically from what the 14th Dalai and the Dalai clique have said. The Dalai clique's statements on Tibet are distorted and incorrect. Many Western media reports are biased and have led to much misunderstanding (emphasis added)

Participants notice that Tibet enjoys sound economic growth, social harmony, deep-rooted Tibetan culture and beautiful natural scenery, and the people enjoy a happy life.

Participants notice that ordinary people in Tibet are satisfied with their well-off lives, good education, sound medical care, housing and various social securities. All ethnic groups in Tibet have full confidence and motivation for building a better future.

In contrast to the picture painted of economic development in Tibet at the forum, the UN Economic, Cultural and Social Rights committee recently issued a report detailing child malnutrition in Tibet and unemployment among Tibetans as a result of Chinese immigration (6). Tibetans are economically marginalised in Tibet and much of China’s infrastructure investment in the region is designed to facilitate the extraction and export of Tibet’s natural resources, including copper, gold and lithium.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On Where Greece Goes From Here

As one candid British commentator tried to come to grips with why his confident prediction of a “Yes” vote in Greece has failed so resoundingly, he said that he’d made that prediction from his own viewpoint – as someone with savings to protect. But most Greek people, he suddenly realised, didn’t have that concern anymore after five years of austerity. Duh. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cabinet Presser: EQC Reform, Greece & Surplus Stimulation

Prime Minister John key discussed proposals for reform of the EQC act and the Greek economic crisis at a press conference in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB/NZSIS: Intelligence And Security Reviewers Seek Public’s Views

“We are seeking public submissions to help us determine what issues to focus on during the review,” says Sir Michael Cullen. “We want to hear your views on what the GCSB and NZSIS should be doing to protect New Zealand and how they should do it.” More>>

Education: Schools Funded To Trial Innovative Approaches

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the successful applicants for a new $10 million fund to encourage innovative teaching practices. “I’m delighted with the quality of the 39 projects that have won funding in the first round of the Teacher-led Innovation Fund worth a total of about $2.6 million,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Generation Zero: Skypath Granted Resource Consent

Generation Zero is delighted and relieved that the ‘Skypath’ walking and cycling addition to the Harbour Bridge has been granted resource consent. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Two New Auckland Special Housing Areas

Two new greenfield Special Housing Areas (SHAs) that will provide up to 1800 new homes in Auckland have been announced today by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Len Brown. More>>

ALSO:

Royals: The Prince Of Wales And Duchess Of Cornwall To Visit

Prime Minister John Key welcomes today’s announcement that the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November. This will be the second joint visit for Their Royal Highnesses to New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Tracey Martin Replaced: Ron Mark Is New New Zealand First Deputy Leader

Clayton Mitchell was the successful candidate for the Associate Whip position. Winston Peters was re-elected as Leader by the Caucus. Ron Mark was elected as the Deputy Leader with effect from 10am, Friday, 3rd July. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild Rebrand: "Regenerate Christchurch" To Replace CERA

The regeneration of Christchurch will be the city’s focus for the next five years as local leadership progressively takes control of the rebuild, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news