Thursday, November 29, 2018

What happened to the native Tibetan people Mr Barenboim?


Norman Lebrecht reports that at his recent Sydney concert with the Staatskapelle Berlin Daniel Barenboim dedicated the performance to the memory of ‘native’ Australians. The conductor then went on to say "Any country in the world needs to account for its past before being able to be accepted into a society of nations".

Immediately prior to the Sydney concert Barenboim had given three performances with the Staatskapelle Berlin in Beijing. The following is an extract from a Washington Post article describing the genocide of the native Tibetan people by the Chinese government:

Institutions of government and education were systematically destroyed; the Buddhist religion was labeled a "disease to be eradicated"; nearly 1.2 million out of about 6 million died through armed conflict and famine; large numbers of Tibetan children were forcibly taken from their families and sent to Chinese orphanages for "reeducation." Research suggests that close to 1 million Tibetans tried to escape to India, Nepal, Bhutan or other regions of their country, but given the vast distances, lack of food in mountainous terrain and military invasion, most either surrendered to the Chinese or died in flight. In the end, only 110,000 Tibetans survived the journey over the Himalayas to join the Dalai Lama in India. The testimony of many of these refugees was gathered by the International Court of Justice and presented in its 1959 report "The question of Tibet and the Rule of Law."
I have searched Slipped Disc and elsewhere in vain for reports of Daniel Barenboim dedicating his concerts in Beijing to the native Tibetan people. It seems any country in the world needs to account for its past before being able to be accepted into a society of nations. Unless of course that nation has a potential classical music audience of 1.4 billion and a totalitarian government that welcomes self-serving and compliant celebrity musicians with open arms while still refusing to tolerate any dissent on its reprehensible treatment of the native Tibetan people.

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1 comment:

Pliable said...

And now, coincidentally, Norman changes his tune and amends his original article to link to this later post - https://slippedisc.com/2018/11/where-barenboim-gets-it-wrong/