Monday, 1 June 2009

Lost horizons - The suppression of a nation's soul

This was a comment left by Harbi at the Home of the Green Arrow, which I felt deserved its own post.

Fifty years ago the peaceful land of Tibet was taken over by a Marxist superstate. Since then millions of migrants have been resettled in Tibet so that now:

  • The Tibetans are a minority in their own country.
  • Their religion has been persecuted and temples destroyed/converted for other uses.
  • Symbols of Tibetan culture are banned.
  • The Tibetan language has been replaced in education.
  • Political dissent is ruthlessly crushed.
  • The beautiful and fragile natural environment of Tibet has been vandalised, looted and polluted.
  • Native Tibetans are discriminated against in employment.
  • Tibetan women are encouraged to have abortions to 'manage' the population.
Does anything sound familiar about this scenario?

Are the Tibetans "racist knuckle-draggers" for protesting about what's happened to them?


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alanorei said...

An excellent comparison, Sarah, thanks.

Another one emerges when you visit the German Underground Hospital in Jersey, now euphemistically called the Jersey War Tunnels.

This is what the exhibition shows.

After June 1940, when the Germans invaded the Channel Islands,

1. The German flag replaced any national or local flags.

2. Directives from a remote central power, i.e. Berlin, had to be implemented without question no matter how obscure, disadvantageous or stupid (at times they even confused the German occupiers).

3. German law superseded local law, of course. A continental army and police force (Gestapo) were in charge.

4. Jersey and the other CIs were severed from the British Isles and became part of the Channel Region.

5. Children in schools were forced to start learning the German language i.e. the occupiers weren't about to respect the established local identity in the form of local languages (English and Jersey French), which sounds familiar.

6. Everyone was forced to carry an ID card.

7. Some folk collaborated with the occupiers and even ratted on their neighbours (mainly to settle old scores) about clandestine radio sets etc., resulting in arrest of the accused, imprisonment and even death in concentration camps. (The island of Alderney became a concentration camp). We have foreign sympathisers now, of course.

8. Some young women took up with the occupying males, who bought them presents, including expensive leather shoulder bags. These women were known as "Jerry bags" but we have a similar phenomenon today, as you've indicated in earlier posts, e.g. the slatternly Chery Cole.

9. A large number of Jersey folk were forcibly removed from the island (and from other CIs) because they were born in England. This was a German reprisal for internment by the British of German civilians when the British occupied part of the Persian Gulf, I believe. The point is, the foreign occupation, whatever the reason, resulted in a large number of ex-pats (not all of whom returned).

10. The CIs suffered a huge influx of foreign forced labour from various parts of occupied Europe to work on the occupier's projects (e.g. the underground hospital, also fortifications against invasion). Again, whatever the reason, the occupation resulted in a huge and varied foreign influx.

Deja vu back to the future writ large, I think.

Victory came in May, 1945 and the CIs were returned to their rightful inhabitants. Things would never be the same again, of course but some important restorative work was done promptly when the Allied liberation forces landed at St Helier, Jersey:

"Colonel Robinson and I and our detachment marched ashore. We could not march very far in ranks because the crowd surged forward to embrace us. My task was to pull the Swastika down on Fort Regent and hoist the Union Jack" - Major Hugh Le Brocq, the first Jersey officer in the British Army to land with the liberation forces.

Wherever the most prominent EU swastika-golden garrotte obscenely flaunts itself above English soil, I think you should have Major Le Brocq's job, Sarah, when the time comes.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post!

fellist said...

Excellent comment by Harbi. It's worth adding that the Dalai Lama's solution is basically ethnic nationalist.

See here for example:

This creates an opportunity to introduce our nationalism to people who have been primed to be sympathetic to the Dalai Lama and the 'Free Tibet' movement and suspicious of us.

The British peoples and the Tibetans face similar challenges, the Dalai Lama and Nick Griffin propose similar solutions. How then to justify a different attitude to the two? It can't be done and that get's some of 'em thinking...