Sydney – Tibetans in Sydney protested against the Chinese government's recent disinformation campaign against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They said, "China's disinformation campaign against the Dalai Lama, a global icon of peace, is an attack on Tibetan culture and the Buddhist faith. It is an attempt to undermine the reputation of the Dalai Lama and the long-standing struggle of Tibetans for human rights."
The Tibetan community in Australia NSW Inc organised a protest against the Chinese government's recent disinformation campaign against His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, at Martin Place Sydney, Australia on May 8, 2023. Hundreds of Tibetans gathered and some Tibetan men and women cut their hair to express their grief and sorrow and to continue to seek the truth about His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Afterwards, they started a peaceful rally to the Chinese embassy and protested in front of the embassy in Sydney.
They issued a statement and it stated, "China's misinformation campaign against the Dalai Lama, a global icon of peace, is an attack on Tibetan culture and Buddhist faith. It is an attempt to undermine the Dalai Lama's reputation and Tibetans' long-fought struggle for human rights. Something the Chinese Government has attempted over many decades and accelerated with the recent attack on the Dalai Lama."
"We are members of the Tibetan Community of SW and mostly former political prisoners from Tibet, here to shine a light on the threat misinformation, coming from China, poses not only to our fight for human rights but also to democracies worldwide, including here in Australia," the statement added.
The statement explained, “Recently, operatives of the Chinese Government launched an unprecedented misinformation campaign against the Dalai Lama by maliciously editing a video of his joyful interaction with a young boy in India.”
“Responsible journalists would have accurately portrayed the story by fact-checking and attempting to understand the event's context. But what we saw was a gross misrepresentation of our culture and a malicious attack on the integrity of the Dalai Lama. And the Chinese Government operatives and trolls working relentlessly to drive and amplify this story, maximising views and outrage and distorting reality,” it stated.
The Tibetans said, "We remain distraught that Australian journalists have not asked for our perspectives. Tibetan voices are silenced in the media due to China's propaganda, intimidation and influence operations. We are trying desperately to get the truth out about the human rights abuses in Chinese-occupied Tibet, including the removal of nearly a million Tibetan children into Chinese colonial boarding schools."
Seven members of the Tibetan community cut their hair during the demonstration as a peaceful protest to demand truth and integrity from journalists and to call for respect for all cultures. They said, "We cut our hair as a peaceful protest to demand truth and integrity from journalists and social media users and to call for respect for all cultures."