Protests against Chinese rule continue in Tibet

Policeman beats monk in Tibet protestsLast week in Lhasa, Tibet, monks and nuns started peaceful marches to show support for Tibetan independence and demand the release of monks who had been detained as they celebrated the Dalai Lama’s receipt of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, CNN reports. Police responded by blocking some marches, firing tear gas into others, sealing off monasteries, and arresting monks and students who joined the protests.

The protesters had been largely peaceful until Friday, when monks attempted to march to the capital, rights groups said. When Chinese police blocked them, laypeople joined the protest and began lashing out at Chinese authorities.

Ethnic Tibetans then turned their anger to shops, market stalls and vehicles owned by Han Chinese, the predominant ethnic group in China. The Chinese government estimated that 10 people were killed in the clashes. According to The New York Times, however, Aides to the Dalai Lama said they had confirmed 80 killings of Ethnic Tibetans, including 26 victims killed just outside Drapchi prison. Tibetan exiles in Dharamsala said they had also received news that at least two Buddhist monks had set themselves afire in protest.

In response, the Chinese government has taken strong measures to quell the protests. The Washington Post reports that Chinese police conducted house-to-house searches in central Lhasa Monday and rounded up hundreds of Tibetans suspected of participating in anti-Chinese violence. The large-scale arrests and official promises of tough reprisals suggested the Chinese government has decided to move decisively to crush the protests despite calls for restraint from abroad.

The Dalai Lama responded by urging Tibetans to refrain from violence and accusing China of waging “cultural genocide” in Tibet. He called for an international inquiry into the suppression of protests there, his strongest defense to date of Tibetan Buddhists who have staged an uprising against Chinese rule.

The Los Angeles Times writes that the uprising presents the most serious challenge in years, if not decades, to China’s iron grip over its restive minority population. It comes at the most inconvenient time, with human rights activists already calling for a boycott of the upcoming 2008 Summer Olympics.

Meanwhile the protests continue to spread to other parts of Tibet, and the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, India.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • (1) Both Bin Laden and Dalai were on CIA pay role before. Bin Laden make 9/11 in New York and he is a terrorist, however, Dalai make 3/13 in China which burn 1/3 city and kill normal people on street. Dalai a protest. What the difference between Terrorist and protest?(2) Tibet was part of Chine before discovery of America. If China occupied Tibet, then who occupied America from whom? (3) Tibet is part of China as Dalai said. Tibet people are Chinese. What Tibet against Chinese rule meaning?
    CNN not tell the true even their pictures show the true terrorists attach in Lasa!!!

  • […] 17, 2008 Posted by Philip Ryan in Dalai Lama, News, Tibet. trackback Danny Fisher points us to Wildmind’s excellent Tibet turmoil round-up. This is a great summary of what’s going […]

  • Samyang, I’m saddened to see you resort to crude character assassination in order to criticize the Dalai Lama. The CIA certainly funded the Tibetan resistance after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. They may also have helped the Dalai Lama to flee. That hardly means he was on their “payroll.” Your assertion that Osama Bin Laden was on the CIA payroll is an interesting speculation, but not one that I think many people will take seriously.

    The only people that have suggested that the Dalai Lama sponsored the demonstrations in Lhasa have come from the Chinese government and media. They are not exactly noted for their honesty. If the Chinese government would let the foreign press in to Lhasa we might be able to find out the truth about what’s going on there. But they will of course not do that because they are afraid of the truth.

    Also, the demonstrations started as peaceful protests, and it seems that many demonstrators have been killed by the Chinese security forces. That’s not exactly “terrorism” on the part of Tibetan Buddhists, is it? If there is any terrorism it surely is on the part of the Chinese authorities, who routinely imprison and torture dissenters. I’m saddened to see that Tibetans have resorted to violence in response to the military crackdown, but that is what happens when free speech is quelled by violence on the part of the authorities.

    Tibet and China were part of the Mongol empire when the Mongols invaded both nations. That’s true. But to say that Tibet was part of China is like saying that Holland was part of France because they were both occupied by the Nazis. Tibet has a long cultural history, distinct from but related to Chinese culture. But until the Chinese invasion and the subsequent genocide of the Tibetan people, Tibet was an independent country.

    What does it mean that the Tibetan people are against Chinese rule? I suspect most Tibetans would like to see their country be completely free of Chinese rule, but the Dalai Lama’s position is that he is willing to compromise by having Tibet as an autonomous part of China, with a restoration of religious and cultural freedom.

  • See, I hadn’t seen this assertion about His Holiness the Dalai Lama either, but in reading the other blog post on Tibet and especially at the BBC have your say forum, it is obvious, that maybe it is the Chinese government have shown up full force on the internet and it reminds me of the kind of debating that went on when there was some trouble in the Former Yugoslavia. You know another thing they said about H.H. the Dalai Lama? They say he was tutored by a former Nazi SS officer? I mean what?? Well, the US might have even employed some former scientists or other personell after World War II also to combat the USSR in those days.

    Words flair up on this issue in the verbal debate: but I said and most citizenry in China concur, the problem is with the government, we all have our “ethnic toes”, I see SamYang also makes brief reference to the Native Americans, that history happening mostly in the 1800s, this seems to be common in these internet statements as well.

    But just as Buddhism preaches compassion, we know how China cracked down on Tiannamen Square, how they treat their prisoners, possibly harvesting human organs, how the government treats the Falun Gong but in the end, it’s not going to accomplish much on either side to say you are practicing genocide and the like.

    I am going to boycott Chinese products I buy in the store, I will buy green tea from India.


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