N.Ram, the red-flag waving editor of The Hindu and champion of the People's Liberation Army, just returned from a trip to Tibet and reports that the atmosphere was "relaxed". He added that there was no sign of strain or suppression there as people were filled with excitement and the atmosphere was festive. He also says, "The contrast between the old and the new is very powerful, demonstrating what the Chinese government and the system have done for Tibet.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that authorities have imposed an unofficial state of martial law on the vast highlands where ethnic Tibetans live, with thousands of troops occupying areas they fear could erupt in renewed rioting on a momentous anniversary next week. And Beijing is determined to keep foreigners from seeing the mass deployment.
The NY Times also reports that "many of China’s six million Tibetans chose not to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in order to mourn Tibetans who suffered during last year’s clashes", while Ram states “We witnessed fewer people in work places as they went back home to celebrate the New Year,” he noted. He added that there was no sign of strain or suppression there as people were filled with excitement and the atmosphere was festive.
Of course, as usual, The Hindu will dismiss all reports of dissent in China as more Western propaganda. Mr.Ram has been a traditional opponent of the right of Tibetans to self-determination and their long history of independence from China.
The Hindu's readers would appreciate it if Mr.Ram would visit the real Tibet instead of the Potemkin villages that the Chinese have setup for their favored journalists.