Tibetan protests in Lhasa turn violent as Chinese forces crack down

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21 Responses to “Tibetan protests in Lhasa turn violent as Chinese forces crack down”

  1. seicho says:

    Most likely the instigators are from outside Tibetan political groupsl trying to stir up trouble before the Olympics. It’s doubtful that those who would be stirred would on one hand be able to point out all the plain clothes policmen to the tourists and on the other other hand would listen to these Chinese government plants to riot.

    Forgeweld,

    CSB deserves to be slammed because he’s a traitor to the Chinese nation. You can view either the communists as the rightful government or you can view the KMT as the rightful government. Taiwan is a part of China no matter how the issue is viewed.

  2. Takuan says:

    Keep up the coverage, BoingBoing.

  3. autark says:

    To underscore my comment about the contrast of the imagery above, I’ve just posted a photo I took standing almost exactly in that same spot here: Shadows Over Shangri La

    Also, photos of Drepung and Sera during more peaceful times on Flickr…

  4. Tenn says:

    Takuan, Will- The US promising aid and failing to follow through? Never, unpossible, completely unlikely!

    This is disgusting. I’m glad we’re ‘liberating the Iraqi people’ and setting our sights on Iran next, because we sure do like to help others.

    In ten, fifteen years, there will be a multimillion dollar documovie made, and the next generation will be watching it with the same horror that mine saw Hotel Rwanda. I hold myself as a cynic, but I still have trouble swallowing this. Shouldn’t the world have learned its lesson from past eforts at genocide?

    China is one of the big Five in the UN.
    http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

  5. forgeweld says:

    I think anyone who has been to Tibet is touched by the people and way of life there. Thanks for keeping on the story. Those are some very brave people that are protesting, since we know the consequences can be torture and death.

    @kid: The gratuitous slam at Chen Shui-Bian is just silly. What do you imagine he’d be doing exactly? Taiwan has always been “calm”, doing nothing more than trying to gain its rightful place in international diplomacy. It’s been China lobbing missiles and threatening war for Taiwanese daring to express their desire to self determination in a peaceful way. The fact that China can use its military and economic power to gain the cooperation of other countries in its oppressive and violent policies adds no legitimacy to its claims.

  6. ZioStefano says:

    Ths srs sss n Chn r gng t
    < hrf="http://www.smng.cm/md/1698/Brck_Bllywd/">rqr th hlp f hghr pwr!

  7. autark says:

    This is so sad. The images of burning cars in front of the Jokhang temple are in such stark contrast to the tangible, overwhelming feeling of peacefulness I felt standing in that same spot last fall. The foreshadowing of ominous clouds looming overhead in that photo also stands in opposition to the bright sunny days I remember there. The only smoke seen rising over Barkhor Square should be coming from the huge incense burners out in front of the temple…

  8. Kid says:

    Without people burning cars and shops, that is a riot. It needs to be calmed down regardless of the cause.

  9. Takuan says:

    The problem now will be averting an initial massacre of Tibetans by Chinese troops. Tibet needs global attention and comment now. Bejing can be influenced not to slaughter them outright right now because of the coming Olympics. The later acceleration of the deliberate destruction of Tibetan culture by forced dispersal is another problem for another time.

  10. Kid says:

    That was actually “With” not “Without”. Spelling mistake…

    We need to hope that this doesn’t escalate to something like L.A. riot, because violence doesn’t give the protestors more negotiation power from within the country, while bad for the image of the country in the rest of the world. And more destruction will just justify the army’s actions.

  11. Xeni Jardin says:

    Remember, too, that some of the “riot participants” may in fact be plainclothes cops. Their presence is well-documented and commonly understood in the area.

  12. Takuan says:

    good point. If the uprising is crushed very quickly without much apparent effort (and by implication not much support) it indicates the whole thing is orchestrated as a preventative and excuse – pre-Oylmpics.

  13. Will Shetterly says:

    It’s worth remembering that the C.I.A. funded Tibetan rebel fighters, including Buddhist monks, for a decade after the Dalai Lama fled. Disguised agitators could come from either side.

  14. holtt says:

    Keep posting Xeni – your personalization of it by your remembrances is what makes it more real for me as I read.

    This is the good Boing Boing. It shames the things that need unicorn chasers.

  15. Takuan says:

    if memory serves, the Tibetans were betrayed by promised aid that never came

  16. Enochrewt says:

    I hope the quote from the NYT is just poor translation. “But not serious. Only several people got hurt.” really illustrates how desensitized people have become. Shouldn’t people getting hurt be enough?

  17. angryafrican says:

    The Olympic Committee should be consistent with how they implement and execute their decisions on who gets the Olympics. If China is okay – should Zimbabwe get it next? It will be consistent with what they call “the Olympic” values. Or maybe we should have a closer look at their values – if we can find it. More on this in my blog at http://angryafrican.wordpress.com/2008/02/09/and-the-olympics-goes-to-zimbabwe/

  18. Kid says:

    #6: Xeni, I agree that there is a chance some of the riots can be faked – though right now I would doubt that, because even though ‘violence’ is a way to discredit the protestors, the Chinese government itself would not want the news of the protest to spread all over the world, especially before the Olympics.

    The state of unity of China has been quite unexpectedly turbulent for the last couple weeks, probably because it is rather easy to use the Olympics to hold its neck. Taiwan is relatively calm since Chen is over (otherwise Chen would probably do the same), while a plane was hijacked just last week by Xinjiang separatists to crash in Beijing but fortunately rescued.

    It would be interesting to see if the reaction of the government is any different from 20 years ago. After all, their leaders had changed a few times. The way they will manage this issue will have tremendous effect on Taiwan as well.

    The next 5 months will be the hardest challenge for the Chinese government ever since 1989.

  19. Akasha says:

    http://www.rfa.org/english/tibetan/2008/03/14/tibet_protest/

    From radio free asia, atleast 80 Tibetans are dead, they’re busing off and shooting innocents:

    “We saw two dead at Ramoche temple, two in the garden, two at the Ganden printing house, and those Tibetans who went to take food to prisoners in Drapchi prison saw 26 Tibetans shot after they were brought in on a black vehicle,” one Tibetan witness said. “There could be about 80 dead, or more, but there is too much commotion here to give an exact number.”

  20. Xeni Jardin says:

    @Kid I’m not saying the riots are “faked,” but that it is entirely possible some of the instigators are plainclothes police. But there are also a lot of pissed off young Tibetans who feel they have no other outlet for direct expression, and the situation seems pretty bad from any angle.

  21. Will Shetterly says:

    Takuan, the rebels were funded for years, and then abandoned. The C.I.A. has a track record of doing that.

    If you want to know more, there’s a good documentary in six parts on youtube called “The C.I.A. in Tibet.” Or simply google the subject, of course.

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