‘Tibetans Decry Omission of Films From Fest’
(The Tribune | August 21, 2004)
The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and a number of
other Tibetan support groups have regretted the withdrawal
of two films on Tibet from the eight-day Asian Film
festival in Mumbai, allegedly under Chinese pressure.
Thubten Samphel, secretary, Department of Information and
International Relations, CTA, said it was surprising that
such a thing has happened in India, which stands for open
democracy. "Although we do not have evidence of pressure
from China but if the allegations made by organisations
like Friends of Tibet are true then this is unfortunate,"
Tenzin Tsundue of Friends of Tibet alleged that the Chinese
Embassy has coerced the Indian Government to lift censor
exemptions on all films in the festival and this had put
the entire festival in jeopardy.
"Consequently, the committee has gone back on its decision
to screen the two films, which speak about the brutal and
inhuman occupation of Tibet since 1949, and the destruction
of its culture, religion and environment at the hands of
the occupying Chinese forces, due to direct pressure from
the Chinese embassy," he said.
'Kundun', based on the life of the Dalai Lama and 'Seven
Years in Tibet', the story of Heinrich Harrer's sojourn
to Lhasa, at the time of the Chinese invasion, were part
of a package of five films on Tibet, as part of a Focus on
Tibet module for the film festival to be held from August
21 to 28," he said.