Following 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.