March 9, 2009
Monks taken for 're-education' before Tibet uprising anniversary
Jane Macartney in Beijing
Police will take away more than 100 monks for political re-education today on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising that led to the flight of the Dalai Lama.
The rounding up of 109 monks from Lutsang monastery in Qinghai province, western China, is one of a series of extraordinary security measures being implemented to prevent restive Tibetans from commemorating the anniversary with protests against Chinese rule.
About a quarter of China’s territory, an area the size of Western Europe, has been closed off to foreigners. Thousands of troops and paramilitary police have been deployed in Tibetan-populated regions amid fears of a renewed outburst of the anti-Chinese violence that rocked the region a year ago. Winding mountain roads have been clogged for days with convoys of armoured military trucks and coaches bringing in reinforcements.
Two counties of western Sichuan province, where some of the biggest demonstrations erupted last year, have been virtually cut off already from the outside world. Their internet and mobile phone systems have been blocked. From tomorrow, mobile phone users in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, will find that they are virtually unable to communicate.
* Invisible Tibet: keep on blogging to the free world
* Defiant Tibetans mark New Year with mourning
A message sent out by the mobile telephone company in the city late last week notified subscribers that the system would be undergoing maintenance from March 10 to April 1. “Please forgive any inconvenience caused,” it said.
The authorities are fearful of a repeat of the unrest last year when Tibetans used text messages to communicate details of new demonstrations against Chinese rule in the vast and sparsely populated Himalayan region. Protests spread swiftly among distant Tibetan communities on a scale unseen since the 1959 uprising.
A Chinese-language website catering for Tibetans closed for repairs on Friday. The popular website featured news from China's state-run media and Government, as well as cultural and Buddhist content.
A military lockdown has been in place across Tibet for several weeks. The authorities clearly do not want to be taken by surprise, as they were on March 14 last year when hundreds of Tibetans rampaged through the streets of Lhasa, setting fire to shops and offices, hurling stones and attacking ethnic Han Chinese and Hui Muslim residents. The Government says that 22 people died before paramilitary police moved in to restore order many hours after the violence had erupted.
The Dalai Lama, from his base in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala where he has lived in exile for half a century, has said that as many as 200 people may have died in the ensuing crackdown. He has warned of a renewed explosion of violence.
So anxious is the Chinese Government that the Communist Party chief of Tibet, Zhang Qingli, has remained in Lhasa rather than attend the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the ceremonial parliament. A photograph of him on the official China Tibet News website showed him inspecting the city’s riot police and urging them to be vigilant in stopping plots by the “Dalai Lama clique” to split China.
Qinghai provincial officials did not say where the monks who took part in the 30-minute candle-light vigil on February 25 would be taken or for how long. It is common for government teams to enter Tibetan monasteries to carry out “patriotic education” in which lamas are required to pledge their allegiance to Beijing and to denounce the Dalai Lama.
The Government has mounted a propaganda campaign to defend Beijing’s administration of Tibet. This year the Government has announced the first “Serf Emancipation Day” for March 28 — the 50th anniversary of Beijing’s declaration of the end of the Dalai Lama’s administration.
50 years in exile
— The uprising began on March 10, when the Dalai Lama had been due to watch a play at the Chinese military barracks in Lhasa but had been told not to bring bodyguards
— Fearing an abduction, a 300,000-strong crowd surrounded their leader’s palace
— The People’s Liberation Army surrounded Lhasa and trained artillery guns on the palace
— On March 17 the Dalai Lama fled the city and crossed the Himalayas into India. The PLA reasserted control over Lhasa within days but took months to crush the uprising
— About 87,000 Tibetans died and a further 80,000 fled to neighbouring countries
Israel Plans Re-education Camps for Hilltop Youth. Translation: Watch Out Yesha--The State Will Take Your Children!
Wonderful. Now Israel has decided to fund “re- education camps” for nationalist youth? The “hilltop youth” I met all had very close families, and they weren’t involved in any “illegal” activity—other than opposing the government plans to give our land to the enemy. It seems that the Ministry of Social Affairs has now become something much more diabolical--something akin to The Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Colonies (Russian: Главное Управление Исправительно-Трудовых Лагерей и колоний).
Watch out, Yesha. They are planning to take your children and “re-educate” them to be good law-abiding "mainstream" youth. Yes, the government, in their infinite capacity to forward the good of the state over ideological (read "religious") value systems will take it upon themselves to "help" your children "overcome" their tendency to love Eretz Ysrael and replace that nagging need with something much more palatable, like full allegiance to the state.
They will learn to love the "palestinian" people and, in time, may become MKs for what is left of the country so they can give it away to our enemies with love and kisses!
It seems that too many in the government are trying to recreate the gulag--with the hilltop youth as their first prisoners of the "hot houses."
I'm sure the locations will be hidden, as to prevent any difficulties with parents trying to assert their parental rights. After all, what the state wants is better than what the parents want, right?
Welcome to the future of Israel. It is becoming more frightening by the moment.
Last update - 09:49 01/12/2008
Ministry to launch program to return alienated settler youths to mainstream fold
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent
The Social Affairs Ministry will soon begin an experimental program for dealing with youth and adolescents alienated from national-religious mainstream society, in an effort to address the phenomenon of "hilltop youth." A tender is about to be released to choose the operators of the program, slated to be released next month.
In the program's first stage, a number of "hothouses" will operate across the country, which will house youths aged 14-17, who have dropped out of school and/or lost contact with their families. The term hilltop youth is used to describe members of West Bank settlements, who commit acts of violence or vandalism against Palestinians or their property, or engage in other criminal activity.
Some of the youths have been contacted by the education and welfare establishments, and participation in the program will be contingent on their agreement. Other participants will be sent to the centers by courts or police after being convicted of breaking the law.
The tender identifies the program's target audience as youths from the national-religious community involved in dangerous activities such as loitering, crime, withdrawing from their families or religious communities, problems dealing with authority, emotional difficulties and more.
The program will incorporate a religious lifestyle, and treatment will include assessments by psychologists and social workers, support groups as well as enrichment and leisure activities. Depending on their needs, participants will remain at the centers between one to two years, during which they will also return to academic studies.
"The hilltop youth are a security threat. But they also pose a societal and educational danger that must be dealt with," said Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog. "The hilltop youth challenge the law, institutions, norms and values of a functioning society. This is a dangerous phenomenon within society, and within contemporary Zionism.
"Just as there are programs for criminal youths, there must be programs for hilltop youth, too. We need a process of rehabilitation, to run parallel to disciplinary and judicial processes," Herzog continued. "In the long term, a warm home and the proper framework can push the [appeal of the] hilltops aside."
Herzog called on the national-religious leadership to declare its support for the program. "This is the moment of truth. They have to decide whether they prefer to properly treat the youngsters and thereby avoid an inter-generational crisis over the cynical political use made of the hilltop youth."
The Social Affairs Ministry has for several years operated dormitories and other frameworks for alienated youth from secular, ultra-Orthodox and Arab backgrounds, but the new program marks the first attempt to reach out to such youths from the national-religious community.
Social Affairs Ministry director-general Nahum Itzkovich has earmarked NIS 5 million of the ministry's funds for the program, and will supervise its initial operation.
Posted by Michelle Nevada (Michelle_Nevada@yahoo.com) at 3:08 AM