A Tibetan rights group based at Dharamsala has claimed that repression and violence in Tibet by Chinese authorities has not only taken a toll on the lives of the repressed but also on perpetrators - the Chinese Armed Police personnel face psychological traumas caused by the horrors of job of maintaining stability in Tibet.
Referring to a leaked Chinese language manual published by the Sichuan Provincial Political Department of the People's Armed Police Force (PAPF) titled “Guide on psychiatric wellbeing while maintaining stability”, officials of Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy say the manual starkly exposes the falsity of the Chinese government's claim that Chinese rule has 'liberated' and brought happiness to Tibet.
“The casualties of China's 'life and death struggle' in Tibet, as exposed by this manual, are the victims and perpetrators alike,” said executive director TCHRD, Tsering Tsomo, adding that those assigned with stability maintenance work in Tibet struggle with psychological problems as their most fundamental beliefs in right and wrong are twisted, violated and made irrelevant.
Tsomo said scientific studies have pointed out that these psychological symptoms are not limited only to first time officers but also the veterans.
“In this manual, China speaks mainly of some officers who are psychologically traumatised by their experience of implementing repressive policies sanctioned and supported by the Chinese central government in Beijing,” said Tsomo.
Giving details Tsomo said the manual contains 29 questions and answers jointly drafted by experts in psychiatric health departments of armed police hospitals and other relevant organs on how to cope with the violent nature of the PAPF's work in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan Province.
Tsomo further said that the manual provides guidance on maintaining the psychological health of PAP forces in Tibetan areas and how to effectively maintain stability, utilising the tactics that cause the psychological problems, such as police violence against protesters.
“Manual refers to two incidents in which armed police flagrantly abused their power and fired indiscriminately at crowds of peaceful protesters in Tibet,” said Tsomo adding that manual points that officers who participated in the violent crackdown may suffer from nightmares or insomnia as they are reminded of their involvement in such incidents.
According to the rights group, the manual also mentions the situation when officers lose their composure, become confused and discouraged when they see troublemakers and maroon-robed monks challenging them.
“The manual say that the officer faced with such a situation even fear to react and such reactions diminish the strength of armed forces,” said Tsomo. The manual describes the conflicts faced by some PAP officers about the choice of their career after experiencing the 'dangerous and complex' work of stability maintenance in Tibet, which is ridden with dangers and full of daily conflicts.
She alleged that manual was an attempt to instill enmity in the PAPF so they don't hesitate to attack Tibetan protesters and is in stark contrast to the Chinese singing paeans to ethnic unity.