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[Paperclips-discuss] 'I Witnessed the Massacre in Tibet' [Video Links In
[Paperclips-discuss] 'I Witnessed the Massacre in Tibet' [Video Links Included]
Mon, 4 Dec 2006 02:30:31 +1100
'I Witnessed the Massacre in Tibet' [Video Links Included]
Oct 31, 2006
Pierre Maina being interviewed. (The Epoch Times)
COPENHAGENPierre Maina sat in a restaurant at Copenhagen Airport. He gently
fiddled with his coffee cup as he searched for the words to describe his Tibet
trip. "We went to Tibet on August 27 and retuned to Denmark on October 12. This
was my first time going to China and joining a mountain climbing tour in
Forty-seven-year-old Maina is the doctor in charge of surgery at the Slagelse
Sygehus Hospital in Denmark, as well as a member of the Mountaineering
Association. The association has 400 mountaineering fans from around the world
with most of the members being from western European countries. Two months ago,
Pierre and three other Danish mountaineers fans joined the fall mountaineering
trip organized by the association. They planned to climb Cho Oyu Mountain in
Tibet, which has an elevation of 8,000 meters.
Cho Oyu is located in the central part of the Himalayas, 20 km west of Mount
Everest. It is the sixth highest summit in the world with an elevation of 8,201
According to Maina, this mountaineering trip left an indelible mark on his
psyche. Our conversation begins from this permanently snow-covered Cho Oyu
The mountain climbers had already been staying in this high, cold area for more
than a month, during which time they overcame countless problems and severe
tests. They finally reached the final camp before the summit. They settled down
and prepared to climb to the top. Maina was having troubles with altitude
sickness. Therefore, when the other three Danes and the rest of the group
to the summit, Pierre had no choice but to stay and rest at the camp, which was
at an elevation of about 5800 meters.
"Our tent is not far from the Chinese border with Tibet and Nepal. It is called
the Nangpa La Pass. Every day we can see some Tibetans transporting some goods
across the border, and the majority of them went to Namche Bazar in Nepal to
sell their goods. However, on that morning, everything changed!" said Maina.
"On Saturday morning, September 30, I was sleeping in the tent and suddenly was
woken up by the sounds of shooting. At first I didn't realize that the sounds
were gunshots, as I never heard shooting before. After five to ten minutes I
changed into my clothes and walked out of my tent. The first thing I saw is
some 50 meters from our tent, some Tibetans tried to run fast, and they all
seemed like children. Many Chinese soldiers began shooting at them. I saw the
person at the very front of this group shot and fall down," Maina recalled.
Maina didn't know what happened at that time, so he walked to another tent of
the encampment. Their cook, two Tibetans and five Nepalis were there. Through
their introduction, he then knew that a group of Tibetans was trying to across
the border to go to India to find their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for
shelter. In order to stop them, the Chinese border guards shot them. "They told
me that Tibetans are usually not allowed to cross the border, and they cannot
obtain permission to leave Tibet. Only a few Tibetans are allowed to sell goods
Maina, after witnessing the shooting, was so shocked that he couldn't speak a
word. "At that time I could not comprehend what had happened. Everything just
seemed so unbelievable," he said.
Pierre Maina in Tibet. (Danish Cho Yoyu 2006)
"Later, when I was talking to a Romanian from another tent on this issue, I
realized that I had become a witness. This was a massacre, but the victims had
no weapon and no ability to fight back. They could only try to run. However, on
a wide, open, glacial terrain, there is no place to hide. The majority of the
fugitive Tibetans were young people. I was told that two of them were just
Recently, the exiled Tibetan government announced that in this incident, out of
77 people, at least two girls were shot dead. One was 14 and the other 17 years
old. Another 20 people were arrested and are facing imprisonment. Currently,
there is still no accurate count of how many people have lost their lives.
Later, Maina learned that the Tibetans there lived an extremely poor life.
children have hardly any opportunity to receive education; moreover, they don't
have any religious freedom. In order to ensure that their children have a good
future, many parents take great risks to send their children to a "snakehead"
who can help them cross the border to the Dalai Lama. Thus that is why majority
of the refugee group are young people or even children. This kind of escape
normally happens during the winter, when the security guards at the boarder are
fewer. Every year there are as many as 2,500 Tibetan refugees that cross the
boarder illegally. To date, of six million Tibetans, over 130,000 have
successfully escaped to India or Nepal.
After shooting the Tibetans, Chinese soldiers walked among the tents of the
mountain climbers. (politiken.dk by Sergiu Matei)
After his return to Denmark, Maina saw on TV that the Chinese regime claimed
that the incident was one of self-defense, ostensibly because Chinese soldiers
were under attack. "But, the Romanian Sergiu Matei who was with me at the time
was a photographer for a Romanian TV company. He photographed the whole
event. A Danish TV station purchased that video and it was broadcasted on TV2
and DR. These videos tell the full story on how the crime was committed, and it
also put paid to Chinese government's claim of so-called 'self-defense by the
border security,'" said Maina.
"From the clip, you could see that the Chinese communist soldier stood up and
fired. Why did he stand up? If you were being shot at, you would hide, not
up. You can clearly see that the Chinese soldier stood up and opened fire. From
the video, there is no evidence to prove that Tibetans were attacking the
soldiers," Maina refuted.
"Everybody can view the video clip on the web at www.mounteverest.net or
[view site here] ," Pierre suggested.
This short video clearly records the incident that day. On snow-covered ground,
over 20 Tibetan refugees lined up and walked with great difficulty. All of
sudden, one of them, walking in the front, staggered and then fell to the
ground. The camera moved to a Chinese soldier who was opening fire. The
didn't stop despite the gunfire. They didn't even turn back; instead they chose
to continue to walk forward quickly. Soon after, three Chinese soldiers
approached the Tibetan refugee on the ground. They examined the body for a
while, then tuned back and left without any emotion. From their behavior, what
is certain is that the Tibetan on the ground had already died. The video also
shows a Chinese soldier smoking and taking a rest after "completing the task."
The video also shows a Tibetan refugee who escaped to hide in the restroom at
the mountain climber's campground.
"At night, after getting food and clothes from the mountain climbers, this
Tibetan refugee continued on his adventure of crossing the boarder. I don't
whether he succeeded," Maina said with concern. "Some Chinese soldiers saw that
we witnessed their shooting because we were not too far away. But they didn't
avoid the shooting at all, almost as if we were not around."
"The second day, a large group of soldiers came. Apparently, they were looking
for the dead body. Those soldiers emotionlessly threw the body into the cracks
of the icy river. They didn't care that we were watching them," Maina recalled,
as he grew even sadder.
"Before, I heard that the human rights problem is very serious in China. But in
Western society, many people are saying China is becoming better. This time I
witnessed how the Chinese communist regime treats Tibetan refugees. I was very
shocked. I realized that the situation in China has in fact not improved."
Because of altitude sickness, Maina was unable to make it to the summit.
However, after the shooting, he conquered his own fear and firmly stood up.
Since his return to Denmark, he constantly receives phone calls. Many media
inside and out of Denmark are contacting him for interviews.
When I asked Maina whether he felt scared, he said, "Yes, maybe I will be
of going to China. I don't know what strange things might happen." But Maina
didn't hesitate and chose to tell his own experience to the public. He said,
"The West still doesn't know what is happening in China. People must know the
truth. If I can do a little bit, I will do it." After Maina exposed the
shooting, not only did he obtain encouragement and support from his wife, he
also has received many supportive messages from friends. "I have heard many
people discussing whether to boycott 2008 Olympic games in Beijing," Maina
Maina's choice to speak out has generated a big reaction in Danish society. The
Danish government said that they would treat this incident seriously and
pressure the Chinese regime.
When asked about his future plans, Maina said that he would continue to support
the Tibetans. "If the Danish government needs me to do anything to help, I will
try to do the best I can," he responded simply.
Report by Lin Da, Epoch Times Staff
Oct 31 s006
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