Web Chat on Sky News

Julian @ Sky –  Good afternoon all, welcome to today’s Lunchtime
Debate.   After yesterday’s webchat with a Chinese government official we
get a very different perspective today.

A very warm welcome to Dechen Pemba, a British Tibetan deported from China 1
month ago
12:32
[Comment From Dechen]
hi
12:32
[Comment From joh]
Hello everyone .
12:33
Julian @ Sky –  Dechen, 1st question coming up from StolenMonkey
(top prize for username today!))
12:33
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
Do you believe the latest threat from islamic terrorists in China is just a
smokescreen to enable the Chinese Governemnt to crack down on free protest?
12:33
Dechen –  it certainly provides the chinese government with the
perfect excuse to crack down very hard, not unlike the US after 9/11
12:34
Julian @ Sky –  (sorry – still grappling with this bug that Dechen’s
names doesn’t show up)
12:35
Dechen –  however, i feel that the problems in Xinjiang and other
areas, such as Tibet, can be solved peacefully – its a question of their
will. endlessly cracking down wont achieve long term stability anywhere!
12:35
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
the more afraid a governemt can make a people the more laws they people will
allow the governemt to introduce in the name of anti terror measures . the
same here in the UK. peace is the only way we can achieve our goals
12:35
[Comment From Chris]
Get the Chinese out, RIGHT OUT
12:36
Dechen –  StolenMonkey, i agree with you completely.
12:36
Julian @ Sky –

StolenMonkey – are you Tibetan too?
12:37
Julian @ Sky –  Dechen – how would you describe the Chinese
authorities’ attitude to dissent?
12:37
[Comment From CM]
Haven’t done this webchat before, hope this question doesn’t interrupt/gets
through all the same.Do you feel that the expose of CNN as having cropped a
photo to show only soldiers and not just protesters at the time of the Tibet
unrest has hurt the credibility of the reporting of the issue, and as a
consequence the trust and support of the public?
12:37
Julian @ Sky –  Welcome CM – hope this won;t be your first time on
our daily 12.30pm webchats
12:37
Dechen –  the olympics have shown that the chinese government is
extremely paranoid and does not tolerate dissent in any form
12:38
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
no i am not Tibetan i am from Yorkshire in England
12:38
Dechen –  CM- you are right that there were some errors in
journalistic coverage of the unrest in tibet, such as photo captions etc
12:39
Dechen –  however, in news reporting that is not unheard of and i am
sure that they were not done deliberately
12:39
Dechen –  i dont think it hurt the credibilty of the issue
12:40
Dechen –  also, it was inevitable that news had to find image
sources outside of tibet as nothing was getting out save for chinese state
tv images…
12:40
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
i try to gather my news coverage from as many media angles as possible so as
not to colour my thoughts and be manipulated in anyway. always try to find
as many sides to a story as possible and then and only then can u make an
educated statement or opinion
12:40
[Comment From James, Leeds]
Could Shami Chakathingy from Liberty go to China to advise them – at least
she would then not be interfering over here!
12:41
Dechen –  StolenMonkey, thats exactly the kind of thing not possible
in china
12:42
[Comment From CM]
Apologies to the other poster for interrupting earlier. It’s good news that
it hasn’t hurt the credibility.
12:42
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
During previous Olympics games ahtletes have protested in various ways such
as black athletes wearing black gloves as a symbol of civil liberties fir
afro americans. what will be the reaction if say the winner of the 100m were
to wear a free tibet tshirt ????
12:43
Dechen –  it looks like the IOC as well as the Chinese government
are working overtime to avoid this free tibet t shirt kind of incident!
12:45
Julian @ Sky –

Dechen – on tolerating dissent etc – don;t you detect any change at all? a)
you weren’t roughed up in any way, b) we’ve managed to report on some
sensitive stories like Unwanted
http://news.sky.com/sky-news/app/flash/SkyvideoWrapper.swf?playerType=embedd
ed&type=sky_prod_v7&videoSourceID=1571883&flashVideoUrl=/feeds/skynews/lates
t/flash/p11217_unwanted.flv   and c) we were webchatting with a Chinese
government offical yesterday!
12:45
[Comment From CM]
I read 2 months ago that any athlete displaying a Tibetan flag, even in the
Olympic village, will be sent home.
12:45
[Comment From James, Leeds]
Dechen, are you able to advise us why you were deported?
12:46
Dechen –  ok well about tolerating dissent i think that the chinese
government hasnt changed at all, thats my feeling after having lived in
china and got a sense of the place
12:46
Dechen –  what the foreign media can report on is one thing, what
Chinese journalists report on is quite another
12:47
Dechen –  James, i was suddenly deported on 7th July from Beijing.
They didnt tell me why at the time, they said that i had “broken the law”
but wouldnt tell me any more than that.
12:47
[Comment From ray]
is it true that the Chinese are restricting internet access for the worlds
press now???? and wasnt it a condition of their bid that they would allow
unrestricted access
12:47
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
they can send the winner of the 100m event home after he waves the flag
getting his 100m gold medal . . will he care? the point will have been made
12:47
Dechen –  oh and even Hu Jintao went on a webchat – answered 3
pre-screened questions 😉
12:49
Dechen –  ray, up until a month ago – till i had to leave – internet
was severely restricted. not sure what it is like now but there has been
much in the press about sites that are still blocked. yeah, the media were
promised full freedom as far as i remember.
12:49
[Comment From James, Leeds]
Ah – a touch of Kafka then
12:50
Dechen –  james, very much so, especially when they told me that i
ought to know what i had done.
12:50
Julian @ Sky –  Re. censorship – yes you’re right Ray.
12:50
[Comment From CM]
There were many conditions for the Olympics, I don’t know of one that was
met. I’m not happy with China receiving the Olympics, but at the same time
it has brought unprecedented publicity for the time being to the Tibetan
struggle. What are your thoughts on that Dechen?
12:50
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
they were promised full access but sights such as amnesty international are
not accesable from the media village
12:50
[Comment From Alec]
do you think more assurances should beeen made to make sure there isnt a
reversal in all the changes china have made all be it very little
12:51
Dechen –  CM, the unrest in tibet starting from march this year was
an incredible cry for help from tibetans inside tibet, it is something
really very very significant
12:51
Dechen –  the media had many problems covering the full story, the
protests were mostly peaceful and were very very widespread
12:52
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
will the games make a difference ??
12:52
[Comment From James, Leeds]
I believe that all coverage will be 100% live rather than the normal time
delay for TV – maybe this won’t happen now…
12:52
[Comment From ray]
Can anyone explain why they actually got the games??? I mean their human
rights record is appalling and they dont allow freedom of speech or
information so what propelled the people in charge to let them host the
olympics???? Money or something……..it makes no sense to me. Its a
disgrace.
12:52
Dechen –  the tibetans inside tibet put tibet in the spotlight
12:52
[Comment From Tom, Newcastle]
Do you think that the terrorists will manage to interupt the olympics in any
way?
12:53
[Comment From Alec]
wouldnt the protest have been better placed during the olympics when the
world and its media where all looking upon china
12:53
Dechen –  i find it really hard to talk about “terrorists”. if the
chinese had their way, the whole world would be talking about Tibetans,
Uyghurs and Chinese dissidents as terrorists.
12:54
Julian @ Sky –  We have saying here in the newsroom – “one man’s
terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter’ – Terrorist is a word we must ne
very careful with
12:54
[Comment From CM]
Thank you for the chat Dechen, unfortunately I have to go now. Goodbye and
good luck.
12:54
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
as the old saying go’s one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter
12:55
Dechen –  Alec, March 10th is an historic day of Tibetan resistance
against Chinese rule. Also, them monks were demonstrating for basic rights
and freedoms, i doubt it was really targeted against the Olympics as sucn.
and it just started a wave as tibetans realised 2008 was a year in which
China would be in the spotlight.
12:55
Dechen –  CM, bye!
12:55
Julian @ Sky –  Dechen I have a question for you.   Do you think the
games will bring any improvement to China? (compare Moscow 1980 was the very
beginning..)
12:56
[Comment From Alec]
Dechen what if any are the chinese peoples real views on tibet do they
recognise tibet?
12:56
Dechen –  i am quite pessimistic about the outlook for China
post-Games
12:56
Julian @ Sky –  Go on,,
12:56
[Comment From Tom, Newcastle]
Yes, ok that is a very good Point! When do they begin on the televsion, i
hear it will be broadcast live on channel 1. Is this correct?
12:57
Dechen –  but thats mostly because i think about Tibet and the
situation of Tibetans and once the world’s spotlight has fallen away from
China – I am not sure we will be able to determine what is really going on
there. Crackdowns could be even worse.
12:57
Dechen –  At least Beijing has a few more tube lines though, they
are lovely!
12:58
Dechen –  much better than london!
12:58
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
the Chinese will call Tibetan dissidents terrorists as that is to them what
they are. they strike terror into the Heart of the Chinese state system. and
in my opinion rightly so .
12:58
[Comment From ray]
well i reckon there will be protests or a terrorist/freedom fighter attack.
This is their best opportunity now that the worlds press is there and they
will have to try to make the world aware as they wont get another chance
12:58
[Comment From StolenMonkey]
once the media turn away from tibet the hand will come down quickly and even
more brutal than before. news organisations must not be afraid to enter
tibet and report what is happening (take note SKY ! ! ! )
12:59
Julian @ Sky –  OK nearly 1pm and time to wrap up – Dechen – final
thought from you?
12:59
Dechen –  Alec, Chinese people really dont know much about Tibet. at
least they didnt. this year in March, they started to be afraid of tibetans.
the chinese state media portrayed tibetans in this terrorist kind of light,
ignoring the reality of the situation behind the protests.
1:00
[Comment From Tom, Newcastle]
Do think that they like the Label “terrorists”? I think this makes them feel
powerful, that they know people fear them and there actions>
1:00
Dechen –  Oh, thanks for the chat. Let’s hope China sees the light
and the need to peacefully solve its issues without hurting people.
1:01
Julian @ Sky –  Dechen – thank you so much for taking the time  to
chat with us.   Is there a website or 2 you can point in the direction of
anyone interested?
1:01
[Comment From Guest]
thank you for your time Dechen i hope the struggle will continue till it
success is revealed in a free democractic Tibet
1:01
Dechen –  sure, http://www.phayul.com is created by tibetans and is full of
tibet related news (and some gossip too).
1:02
Julian @ Sky –  Great stuff – good luck & stay in touch with us!

And thank to you all for taking part – same time tomorrow
1:02
[Comment From Alec]
thank you Dechen
1:02
[Comment From Tom, Newcastle]
Thank you for your response to my questions! Very Helpful!
1:02

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