Nov. 17, 2013
“We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are “news”; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and, therefore, largely ignored.”
~The Dalai Lama
On the journey of a U.S. military and diplomatic mission from Gangtok, India, to Lhasa, Tibet during World War II. The party journeys through Natu La and Kechu La passes, stops at the British trail station, Gyantse, reviews troops of Tropji Regiment and is ferried across the Brahmaputra River. Scenes of Tibetan natives, terrain, travel facilities, housing, a New Year religious festival, the Dalai Lama’s palaces in Lhasa, monasteries and other religious buildings.
By Hugo Gye
We may think of Edwardian women as being demure and withdrawn, but these astonishing mugshots show that this was far from being the case.
They depict 12 women who were arrested in 1903 and 1904 and subsequently brought before North Shields Police Court.
The vintage images are an important reminder that nostalgia about the past is not always accurate – and that previous ages were just as violent and unsettled as our own.
Mugshots: Mabel Smith, who was arrested for larceny in September 1903, in a picture released by Tyne & Wear Archives
Haunting: Susan Joice, who was arrested for larceny in August 1903, glowers at the police camera
Respectable: Susannah Adamson is surprisingly well-dressed for an alleged thief in her mugshot
All the female criminals were living in the North-East of England more than 100 years ago when they were picked up by police for attempting to steal other people’s property.
The 12 were all accused of either theft or larceny, a closely related crime which was abolished in England in 1969.
Most of the women appear surprisingly well-dressed, kitted out in formal-looking dresses as well as hats.
Young: Charlotte Adamson looks no older than 19 in her mugshot after being arrested for larceny
Contrast: Mary Scott (aka Wilson) was a middle-aged woman when she was arrested in December 1903
Hats: Annie Anderson shows how women’s fashions have changed in the 110 years since her arrest
Susannah Adamson, who was arrested for larceny in February 1904, seems particularly respectable in her elaborate outfit and feathered hat.
But other, like Catherine O’Brien, are covered in rough shaws which would have denoted poverty.
The women cover a wide range of ages, from those who are practically girls to criminals well into middle age.
Charlotte Branney and Mary A. Butts looked like teenagers when they were arrested for larceny, but Mary Scott (aka Wilson) appears to be at least 50 years old.
Upset: Sarah Patterson was accused of being a thief by police in North Shields in 1904
Poverty: Catherine O’Brien’s rough shawl suggests that she would have been comparably poor
Change: Alice Caush was another resident of North Shields, a traditional fishing town which was transformed by the Industrial Revolution into a centre of shipbuilding
The evocative mugshots come from the Tyne & Wear Archives, which has posted them online as part of its ongoing mission to share images of historic interest.
They were found in an album of photographs from North Shields Police Court, cataloguing those who had committed crime in the area.
The images ‘have really struck a chord with people’, according to a spokesman for the archives, who said that the haunting mugshots had captivated members of the public.
Innocent: But mugshots of women like Mary A. Butts are a reminder that Edwardian stereotypes are not always accurate
Evocative: The haunting collection has apparently struck a chord with the public
Dark: The images were released by the Tyne & Wear Archives because of their unique nature
At the turn of the century North Shields, which is eight miles east of Newcastle, was an important fishing town and shipyard.
It was also crucial to the industry of the North-East, leading to widespread urban poverty which might explain some of the crime documented in these photographs.
Citing “a variety of threats” to the spiritual leader’s life, the KASHAG or cabinet of the government in exile accused China of “making concrete plans to harm His Holiness by employing well-trained agents, particularly females”.
“Chinese intelligence agencies have stepped up their clandestine efforts to collect intelligence on the status of His Holiness’s health, as well as collecting physical samples of his blood, urine and hair,” it said in a statement.
“It is also learnt that they are exploring the possibility of harming him by using ultra-modern and highly sophisticated drugs and poisonous chemicals.” Dongchung Ngodup, minister of security in the cabinet told AFP the government was informed about these threats by sources inside Tibet.
“We have our own intelligence network in Tibet and we received these reports from our sources there,” he said.
He added that officials met with Indian agencies a few days ago to review the Dalai Lama’s security and upgrade safety measures at his temple complex in the north Indian hill town of Dharamshala.
Earlier this month the Dalai Lama told The Sunday Telegraph that he had been informed of a plot to assassinate him, using Tibetan women posing as devotees seeking his blessing.
In the interview, the Dalai Lama said he was told the Tibetan women would be wearing poisonous scarves and have poisonous hair.
“They were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch,” he said. But he added that there was “no possibility to cross-check, so I don’t know”.
China reacted angrily, with a foreign ministry spokesperson accusing him of “spreading false information, deceiving the world and confusing the public”.
Beijing routinely accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to split Tibet from the rest of China – a claim the Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies, saying he only seeks greater autonomy for the Himalayan region.
Many Tibetans in China complain of political and religious persecution under Chinese rule – which Beijing denies – and this resentment has been blamed for a spate of self-immolations in Tibetan-inhabited areas since last year.
CHICAGO — The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, said Wednesday he would not alter his non-violent quest for greater Tibetan autonomy, even after Beijing blamed him for inciting a wave of unrest.
A total of 34 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, are reported to have attempted to kill themselves by setting themselves on fire in China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas since the start of 2011 in protest at Chinese rule.
Many of the protesters — who criticize Beijing for what they see as repression of their culture — have reportedly died from severe burns.
Beijing has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations in a bid to split the vast Himalayan region from the rest of the nation, a charge he denies.
“Recently things become very, very difficult but our stand — no change,” the Dalai Lama told the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates.
“Independence, complete independence is unrealistic — out of (the) question,” the Dalai Lama said, saying his non-violent “Middle Way” of seeking change from Beijing still has the support of 90 percent of Tibetans.
“So we can continue,” he said in a press conference at the conclusion of the summit.
Tibet’s leadership-in-exile in India remains committed to “meaningful talk” with the Chinese government in order to establish “meaningful autonomy” for the Tibetan minority, he said.
The latest self-immolations by a pair of young Tibetan men occurred last week in the prefecture of Aba in a rugged area of Sichuan province, overseas Tibetan rights groups said.
China has imposed tight security to contain simmering discontent in Tibetan regions since 2008, when deadly rioting against Chinese rule broke out in Tibet’s capital Lhasa and spread to neighboring Tibetan-inhabited regions.
Many Tibetans in China complain of religious repression and a gradual erosion of their culture blamed on a growing influx of majority Han Chinese to their homeland.
China denies any repression and says it has improved the lives of Tibetans with investment in infrastructure, schools and housing and by spurring economic growth.
Twelve Nobel laureates including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu have urged China’s president to resume talks with the Dalai Lama, but the Buddhist monk said that up until now, negotiations had not been productive.
“Sometimes I describe totalitarian regimes as no ear, only mouth,” he told the summit with a laugh.
The Chinese officials “lecture us, never really listen” and are angry that “I am not acting like ‘yes minister’,” he said.
“Our approach failed to bring some concrete or positive result from the government, but the Chinese public, or Chinese intellectuals, or students who study in foreign countries — they are beginning to know the reality,” he said.
“That, I think, is a positive side, a significant result.”
The Dalai Lama also expressed the need for patience in the decades-long struggle.
“Sometimes people have the impression (this is) some crisis very recently happened,” he said.
“I meet some Chinese. They are frustrated. Very hostile. Then I tell them long stories… 60 years of stories. Then they understand, oh — the Tibetan issue is really a very, very complicated issue.”
A Tibetan protester has been treated for severe burns after setting himself on fire in a demonstration during the Chinese president’s visit to India.
The unidentified male protester sprinted for 50m through New Delhi today engulfed in flames as hundreds demonstrated against China’s rule over Tibet.
The protester carried out the self-immolation as he ran near the speakers at a rally near the Indian Parliament in the country’s capital.
Demo: The unnamed Tibetan man ran 50m outside the Indian parliament before collapsing today
He collapsed after around 50m as fellow protesters beat out the flames with Tibetan flags they were carrying.
The man was later treated for severe burns at a New Delhi hopital, one Tibetan organiser said.
He made the dramatic protest as Chinese President Hu Jintao prepared to arrive in India later this week for a summit meeting.
The Tibetan exile, who had been protesting at China’s continued ownership of Tibet, is being treated for severe burns at a New Delhi hospital
More than 600 protesters, carrying banners and posters, marched across New Delhi to a central plaza near the Indian Parliament to hold a protest meeting.
The Tibetan protest came as Chinese president Hu Jintao prepared to visit New Delhi for a summit meeting
Some carried posters saying ‘Tibet is burning’ and ‘Tibet is not part of China’.
At the protest venue a big poster featuring Mr Hu’s face with a bloody palm print on it said: ‘Hu Jin Tao is unwelcome’ at the summit.
As speakers addressed the crowd, the protester set himself ablaze and ran across the venue.
After witnessing the man set himself on fire, one onlooker, Tenzin Dorjee, said: ‘This is what China faces unless they give freedom to Tibet.’
At least 30 people in Tibet have set themselves on fire over the past year in protest at Chinese rule over their homeland.
The Dalai Lama has blamed China’s ‘ruthless policy’ for the self-immolations. China accuses the Dalai Lama of stirring up trouble.
China says Tibet has always been part of its territory. Tibetans say the Himalayan region was virtually independent for centuries.
Beijing has dismissed Tibetans, young and old, who have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule as criminals or suspicious people with a “very bad reputation”.
Despite extensive security, the government has failed to stop self-immolations, which have attracted attention and sympathy across the world. More than 20 monks, nuns, former clergy and ordinary people – including three in the last five days – have set themselves on fire in the past year, mostly in Aba county in south-western Sichuan province.
“Some of the suicides are committed by clerics returning to lay life, and they all have criminal records or suspicious activities. They have a very bad reputation in society,” said Wu Zegang, China‘s top official in Aba.
Authorities have sealed off Aba, making it impossible to verify details of the cases. Officials have suggested the acts were linked to personal issues, most recently claiming that a 20-year-old woman who set fire to herself in Gansu province on Saturday had lost “her courage for life and study” when her school performance suffered, after she hit her head on a radiator.
Wu said those who had set themselves on fire in Aba had shouted pro-independence slogans beforehand. He cited it as evidence that the self-immolations were “orchestrated and supported” by Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence forces.
The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, has praised the courage of those who engage in self-immolation but has said he does not encourage the protests. He blames Chinese repression of Tibetan culture and religion for the cases.
“I think China miscalculated in the late 90s, by exporting to eastern Tibetan areas aggressive anti-Dalai Lama policies they had been imposing for years in central Tibetan areas,” said Professor Robert Barnett, an expert on Tibet at Columbia University. “Since people began to protest the policy has been more hardline.”
The recent outbreakspate of self-immolations began with the death of Phuntsog, a young monk from Kirti monastery, last March. The response of authorities — surrounding the monastery and later sentencing monks including his brother and uncle for involvement with his death — appeared to exacerbate tensions.
Stephanie Brigden of Free Tibet said it was ludicrous to describe those who had self-immolated as criminals. She said it reflected the officials’ anxiety over failure to stop the burnings.
“In the last few months we have seen lots of efforts by China to criminalise them and even use the language of terrorism. I think it’s a result of the pressure China feels internally as well as externally.
“Local leaders have been told to maintain social stability; they know it is not within their capacity so their only strategy is to use rhetoric that criminalises people. They have responded with force and it’s not worked.”
Barnett says officials appear to be in an intellectual quandary with their Tibet policy, responding to complaints of excessive state interference with more interference.
The increasing reach of officials into monastery life is underlined by a new “six ones” policy for officials in new temple management committees being set up in the Tibet autonomous region. The six instructions include becoming close friends with at least one monk or nun and handling one problem so their families feel the warmth of the party and the government – but, at the same time, also building one file on each of them.
“China’s strategy over the last 30 years of winning Tibetans over through generosity is running so closely to its other strategy of intimidating people who do not have the right views,” said Barnett.
Meanwhile, leaders from north-western Xinjiang region, which has experienced ethnic violence, vowed to attack what the Communist party secretary Zhang Chunxian called “rotten eggs and bad elements” in a briefing on Wednesday.
“When an event occurs, we resolutely smash it. When an incident occurs, we also smash it,” he had said.
CHENGDU, China — Sitting in a teahouse in Chengdu’s Tibetan quarter, a nervous young monk spoke of how police arrests of innocent people were adding to the climate of fear in China’s Tibetan-inhabited regions.
The Lama temple where the monk lives is a 15-hour drive away, high up on the Tibetan plateau in the southwestern province of Sichuan where rights groups say police have fired on demonstrators three times in the past week, killing at least three and leaving dozens wounded.
The 28-year-old, whose name is being withheld to protect him, was not in the areas where the killings took place and told AFP he learned of the shootings through friends.
But drinking milky Tibetan tea and fingering his prayer beads in the teahouse in Sichuan’s capital Chengdu, his nervousness betrayed the tense atmosphere in the restive province where a series of self-immolations had already prompted an increase in security.
“They have arrested many people who have done nothing. This has only increased the discontent,” he said.
“We love peace and we hope for peace,” the monk said, adding that mandatory “re-education” classes, often dominated by political and patriotic indoctrination, have been forced on his monastery.
The government has said two Tibetans were killed in clashes in the towns of Seda and Luhuo, with one shot dead by police who responded after a violent mob attacked them.
Another Tibeten protester was shot dead in Rangtang county, rights groups said Friday, but a local government official denied there had been a protest.
The unrest comes at a time of growing tensions in Tibetan-inhabited areas, where at least 16 people in less than a year — four this month alone — have set themselves on fire to protest against China’s rule.
Outside the teahouse, dozens of uniformed and plain clothes police were out on the streets, seeking to stop any conversations with locals.
Chinese authorities have stopped foreign journalists from going to the affected areas, making independent attempts to verify the situation there nearly impossible.
Several hours earlier, police detained two AFP journalists while trying to enter a town in Aba prefecture, where much of the recent anti-Chinese unrest has occurred.
“The region is inaccessible due to the mudslides,” police told the journalists before escorting them on the six-hour drive back to Chengdu.
The day before, the two journalists were stopped on another road leading into Tibetan-inhabited areas and forced to turn back “because of snow”.
In Chengdu, a huge modern city in the throes of an economic boom, Tibetans are a small minority among the population of 14 million, most of whom are ethnic Han Chinese.
But relations between the two communities are not openly discordant.
Suo Lang Wa Zhang, a 19-year-old Tibetan who lives in Chengdu, said she has many Han Chinese friends and does not rule out the possibility she could one day marry a non-Tibetan.
“Tibetans in rural areas do not have the same perspective on life that Tibetans in the cities have,” the young woman, who moved from Tibet, said.
She said she never wanted to see a repeat of the violent anti-Chinese riots that started in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in 2008 and spread to other regions.
Her friend San Dong Jin Mei, 20, a student in a business school, who unlike many older Tibetans speaks fluent Mandarin, appeared equally integrated.
“I hope to live a happy life and improve my standard of living,” she said.
The two women hope to one day return to Lhasa, a two-day train ride away.
But in Lhasa the police presence has also been stepped up in recent days, according to Free Tibet, a rights group that regularly denounces “cultural genocide” and suppression of civil liberties in China’s Tibetan-inhabited regions.
“Chinese authorities are using intimidation and surveillance of ordinary Tibetans to instill a culture of fear and stop people from speaking out,” said the group’s director, Stephanie Brigden.
Communist authorities in Beijing routinely deny such accusations, insisting that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom, while enormous efforts have been made to improve their well-being.
They blame the Dalai Lama — Tibet’s spiritual leader who fled China for India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule — for fomenting the unrest and trying to split Tibet from the rest of China, a claim he denies.