25 June, 2021

Tibet Diary

Former ambassador P. Stobdan's diary on a trip to Tibet.

Tibet Diary
Ticket to a Tale

This could happen! China inviting me—the long-time sceptic of the country’s policies—for a visit to Tibet! A four-day trip to Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture organised by China’s foreign ministry was probably meant for influencing perception, to ensure China’s “Tibet story” reaches the world outside. The full-time security detail never prevented us from walking out of the hotel to talk to ordinary Tibetans, despite our tightly packed day itineraries. The chalked routine was more of a leisure trip, exciting sightseeing tours to religious sites, herdsman dwellings, schools, hospitals, scenic spots, Tibetan delicacies et al.

The Walls look Fine

Our official briefs, as opaque as the Chinese internet firewalls, talked mainly about achievements in Tibet. But there was scope of some affable smoke passing through: a lone Lama of the Bon sect present at a meeting...

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