One of the more surreal parts of working on the Buddhism site is cruising around looking for Buddhist news. Xinhua, the Chinese government news agency, is always a great source for stories about the wonderful things the government of China is doing for various Buddhist temples and monasteries.
Today I ran into a happy story about repair and restoration work planned for Labrang Monastery, an important monastery in Gansu Province. On the other blog I wrote a roundup of news stories about Labrang Monastery over the past year. Highlights: Arrests, beatings, torture, strip searches, “disappeared” monks.
Somehow, Xinhua left those details out of its happy story. However, Xinhua did link to a charming photo gallery showing happy Tibetans enjoying peace, prosperity and democratic reform under Chinese rule.
The “happy” stories must mostly be for Chinese, who want to believe them. I understand China does a remarkable job of preventing non-Chinese news sources from penetrating the Great Firewall of China. But I find a remarkable number of westerners who believe them also.
The stories of happy happiness remind me of the stories the Right always wanted to come out of Iraq. The Bush Administration should have hired Xinhua to manage Iraq news for them.