Unrest over Chinese rule in Tibet spreads

Monk walks past barricades in Gansu provinceFollowing last weekend’s violent protests in Tibet, the Chinese government arrested dozens of people involved in a wave of anti-Chinese violence and sent in more troops to crush further unrest, The New York Times reports. Accounts by the Chinese government and the Tibetan community continued to differ sharply, with the Chinese government stating that 13 Han Chinese died in the Lhasa violence, and at least three rioters. Exiled Tibetan groups have said as many as 100 Tibetans died. Because foreign journalists are restricted from the area, neither account can be independently verified.

China accused the Dalai Lama of instigating the violence, a claim the Dalai Lama has denied. According to the BBC, the Dalai Lama remains committed to a peaceful solution and sought “the international community’s support for our efforts to resolve Tibet’s problems through dialogue”. The Dalai Lama has also asked Tibetan activists not to undertake a controversial march from India to Lhasa, fearing additional violence. Earlier this week the Dalai Lama threatened to resign as the spiritual head of the Tibetan government in exile if the riots spun out of control because such violence conflicts with his religious convictions.

China has acknowledged that protests for Tibetan autonomy have spread beyond Tibet into neighboring provinces. According to CNN , the Xinhua News Agency said there were “riots in Tibetan-inhabited areas in the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu.” Protests also continued among the Tibetan exile communities in Nepal and Dharmasala, India. While some of the protests are peaceful, others have become violent as Tibetans express decades of pent-up frustration over the systematic repression of their culture.

The Washington Post reports “solemn, peaceful marchers hold[ing] candlelight vigils and pray[ing] for an end to the Chinese crackdown’ alongside mostly younger ‘Tibetan activists shouting “Shame on China!” and “China, get out of Tibet!”, some furiously call[ing] for the death of Chinese President Hu Jintao’. Activists continue to call for the boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, while China maintains the Games will continue as planned, including the marching of the Olympic torch through Tibet.


5 Comments. Leave new

  • shamed on your western media. fake truth, cut picture. What else can you do?

    The truth is:

  • I watched the YouTube video with interest. While some of the sources pictured are in German media or on television, neither of which I’m able to check out easily, two verifiable sources are the BBC and the Washington Post. A quick look at those sources undermines the case that the western media are being untruthful.

    First the BBC. The video shows this image:

    soldiers at ambulance in Tibet

    The video says, “Heavy military? So Pathetic! The BBC jounalist (sic) cannot even recognize an ambulance.” The video highlights the word “Ambulance” on the side of the vehicle, the Red Cross sign, and the sleeve emblem that one of the men is wearing.

    But take a look at the other two men, who are wearing military-style helmets. Could they be the “military presence” that the BBC was referring to?

    Then there’s a image from the Washington Post. The video claims that pictures of violence in Nepal are being misrepresented as pictures from Tibet.

    clash in nepal

    Yet in the slide-show the image is accompanied by a caption:

    clash in nepal

    Here’s a close-up of the caption, which makes it clear that the picture is of violent clashes in Nepal:

    detail of text

    Like it or not, protests have erupted in support of Tibet in many countries, and so images that are taken outside of Tibet can legitimately be shown under the heading “Protests Erupt in Support for Tibet.” In addition, there is no press freedom in China and images from Tibet itself are hard to come by.

    If the Chinese government really has nothing to be ashamed of it would allow full and free access to the foreign media.

    Lastly, access to the internet is strictly controlled in China. Ordinary citizens would find it hard to access news sources about the clashes in Tibet. That makes me suspect that you, and the makers of the video, are actually Chinese government agents.

  • wow, Bodhipaksa that is a sharp observation, I briefly looked at this video at youtube. Yes, the internet has been abuzz with all kinds of talk, it is the government of China we disagree with, not it’s citizenry but it is a complex issue. I just hope it’s not a bad crackdown.

  • BBC Whitewashes Tibet

    Please sign, paste this petition on Tibet into your blog/website..spread the word


  • $120 billion worth of merchandise sold in European and AMERICAN discount stores comes from CHINA


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