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Heavy Self-Censorship in Blogs

This is an exchange of comments on identifiying, cataloguing, and using blogs on Tibetan websites. The piece appeared on the website: http://www.tibet123.com/tibbs/2007-3/5/19493126413.html, and was submitted by an anonymous translator on March 24, 2007.

November 11, 2006
Author:Thang dge ‘brug thar

Dearest cyber friends,
Nowadays internet technology is developing as fast as the summer rains; Tibetan blogs and those concerning Tibet are multiplying like mushrooms after the rain. This helps to advance both the spoken and written Tibetan languages. It also will help to spread the Tibetan language on the web and to develop web culture for Tibetan users. Not only will it enrich Tibetan culture, politics and economics by connecting them to those of the rest of the world and modernizing them toward the new century, but also it will encourage exchanges of views, concerns and Tibetan vocabularies between the three regions of Tibet. Thus, it goes without saying that this is wonderful news.

Among these are the blogs that youth have created on different subjects, and these blogs help individuals to exchange views with each other on open and secret matters. In reality, it is impossible for one person to know how many Tibetan blogs are out there and what they are. So, if the authors and their friends introduce the blogs, there will be a list. If authors of blogs and friends who know about blogs will provide lists, I will collect all the relevant information and share it with everybody. Also, I am thinking about creating a website that introduces Tibetan blogs.

March 5, 2007
Author: Rgod rgyal blo phun
Responds:

“Gen La, at the present time, there are two substantial Tibetan blogs in the web sphere. One is called Tibet Notes at http://www.tibettl.com, and this includes blogs by Tibetan youth. As you have stated, generally, these blogs are a step for Tibetan culture to enter the world, and in particular to provide a stage to develop existing Tibetan culture. Because of these blogs on the web, there are many contradictory contents and the styles of writing. However, I think these blogs are particularly helpful to young people for meeting new friends, learning from each other and exchanging views. So, I wish you success.”

March 14, 2007
Author: Thang dge ‘brug thar
Responds:

“Dear friend Lophun, you are right! We have to think carefully about the existence of these Tibetan blogs sites, whose life is as thin as horse’s tail hair, because these sites can disappear and reappear in a moment. Just yesterday, the Imperial Web Management Office (The Ministry of Culture) closed down this youth forum for while. I have heard they mentioned that some contents of blogs contradict government policy and violate regulations. So, in order to prolong the tenuous lifespan of the blogs, which we can’t live without, we have to think carefully about keeping these websites alive. If we don’t pay attention to these matters, we will not be able to meet here. Furthermore, the rate of survival of these blogs is decreasing. If gracious web masters had not made the regulators happy by promising that these won’t things won’t happen again, the website may have not appeared again this time. Thus, I hope that individuals on the most basic level will start paying attention to these matters. Or these may be the last words. I hope everybody agrees.”

March 16, 2007
Author: Rgan kya’i ‘drug lo
Responds:

“In general, saying that the fate of these websites, which are doing a great service for our nationalities, are equivalent to the fate of our nationalities may be seen as too exaggerated. However, because these websites are doing the best service for our nationalities, we can speculate about the fate of the nationalities from these websites without exaggeration. These are Tibetan intellectuals who are concerned about Tibet who are working hard to improve the cultural life and the spiritual civilization of our nationalities and putting their handprint on them through their involvement in these websites. As we can see, because of this, Tibetan websites have been increasing like the summer rains.

On the other hand, some bad people who are neither interested in acknowledging the present situation nor looking to the future are using these blogs to express whatever comes to mind and leaves their mouth like heroes throw punches at the sky. This may be becoming an obstruction to further development. Here are some examples.
First, some people are expressing views that are in violation of the laws. Please remember that these people are not heroes, but fools.
Second, some people are expressing things that are not accurate. These people don’t have analytical eyes.
Third, some people are insulting and arguing with each other and hurting other people’s self-esteem. Remember the web-sphere should be a peaceful public stage rather than like waving arguing (negative ) magazine(a turbulent, argumentative magazine).????
We need to pay attention to some areas. Our responsibilities are to hold the sword of fact in order to seek reality, rather than to speak loudly with useless words of pride. If you are sons who are really concerned about the fate of our nationalities and these blogs, you should put turn your back on the truth of theory and express the fact. People who died for truth have victory as heroes.”

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