At last night’s meeting of the Travel Club, at the Sangdee Gallery, Gabriella told us about her t trip to Tibet last April..
She travelled with her two children and her parents. They were there for over 3 weeks and they travelled by train into Tibet and travelled onto Kathmandu in Nepal.
“The Qinghai-Tibet Railwaystretches from the ancient city of Xining in Qingha Province to Lhasa. This stretch holds claim to being the highest railway ever constructed. It traverses unbelievably harsh terrain and utilized some of the most complex technology available to overcome particularly difficult constructional challenges, a combination of factors virtually never encountered in the history of railroads, either in China, or across the world.”
She said that the train trip was very long and not all that comfortable. Oxygen was provided, if
required, to help passengers cope with the high altitudes traversed.
At the outset she posed the question – Is what is happening in Tibet progress, or is it a form of cultural genocide. Of course there is no answer. The information and data coming from the Chinese government is very different to that provided by the Tibetan government in exile.
Gabriella said that that many permits were required to travel and a guide was compulsory. It is not possible to travel independently. Guide books are not permitted. Security was strict.
The talk was well illustrated with pictures. The over all impression was that of a harsh, cold, barren country. People are very religious and many carry prayer wheels. They wear very colourful clothing and decorate themselves with junky jewelery. Children were dirty, probably because of the lack of running water.
Grabiella made the following points concerning Tibet, Military Occupation, Limited religious freedom, No fredom of speech. Enviormental damage and exploited resources.
Here is a slide of Chinese propaganda.