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COVID-19: The Question That Tibet Needs To Ask – OpEd


It is now well realized by most section of the world community that Wuhan region in China is the originator of COVID 19. Several sections of media and many people around the world term COVID 19 as China virus or Wuhan virus.

China claims that COVID 19  did not originate from Wuhan but from Italy or USA or elsewhere. However, nobody is buying this propaganda campaign of China.

While there are 11 million people living in Wuhan and the virus spread from Wuhan to other parts of China also, China claims that  only less than 4000 people died due to virus infection in China .  People outside China do not believe this “China story” and think that many more people must have died in China. Chinese people living in China really do not know what is happening,  since media is heavily suppressed in China and individual liberty and freedom of speech is severely curtailed.

China has not released any information as to whether Tibet region, now unethically occupied by China, has been affected by COVID 19. It is said that cold regions are more receptive to the virus compared to the tropical regions and Tibet .being a cold region , could have faced the virus attack.

Since Tibet is under the iron curtain imposed by the Chinese government over the last several decades and no outsider can enter Tibet or leave Tibet without permission from Chinese government, no one really knows what is happening there and how many people in Tibet might have been infected by the virus.

Tibetan government in exile now functioning with headquarters in India and several offices abroad, particularly in USA. has the responsibility to monitor the happenings in Tibet to the extent possible, inspite of China’s vice like grip over Tibet.

It is necessary that the Tibetan government in exile should demand information from Chinese government about the extent of virus attack in Tibet and how was this handled by Chinese government and whether there have been any death in Tibet.

However, one can be certain that Chinese government would not reply and ignore this communication from Tibetan government in exile. Nevertheless, a communication demanding details should be sent by Tibetan government in exile to Chinese government.

Further, the Tibetan government in exile should ask for details from the World Health Organisation (WHO ) and WHO is morally duty bound to send its reply with details.. The ground reality is that the representatives of WHO have not been allowed to enter  Wuhan or any place in China to check and monitor the virus conditions. If WHO has no information about the virus attack in Tibet, let it say so.

Tibetan government in exile should also ask the United Nations Secretary General to ascertain the conditions in Tibet and obtain information from Chinese government and inform the Tibetan community now living all over the world.

It is high time that the Tibetan government in exile should make it’s presence felt all over the world  by expressing it’s concern about the conditions in Tibet due to  COVID 19  and let the world know about it’s concern. It should appeal to  the world community to apply pressure on Chinese government to reveal the conditions faced by Tibetans now living in China occupied Tibet.

 While Tibetans now live in many countries either as refugees or citizens, they have a duty to the motherland Tibet and obviously they are  concerned about the conditions of the Tibetans after the COVID 19 crisis. They must raise their voice in different forums and apply moral pressure on Chinese government and the world conscience to support the cause of Tibetans living in Chinese occupied Tibet.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “COVID-19: The Question That Tibet Needs To Ask – OpEd

  • April 17, 2020 at 7:31 am

    This is just another of the author’s strawman arguments used to clothe his accusation that China is a congenital liar. Simply put, Beijing does not recognize the Tibetan Government in Exile (actually, it is named the “Central Tibetan Administration” out of deference to Indian sensibilities). An official response from Beijing would convey a degree of international legitimacy on the CTA which China heretofore has been unprepared to even consider. The COVID 19 crisis does not change this fact. The Chinese Government however does recognize the Dalai Lama. Maybe if the Office of the Dalai Lama focuses its creative mind on this health issue something interesting might emerge.


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