BBtv Vlog (Xeni): Tibet's uprising and the internet

Tibetans and their supporters around the world held vigils this week in support of the ongoing uprising in Tibet, as Chinese military and police jailed protesters inside Tibet, and reports of injuries and deaths continue.

Today on Boing Boing tv: Xeni visited one such vigil in front of the LA Federal building, organized by Southern California Tibetans, including Namgyal Kyulo of the Tibetan Association of Southern California, and Tseten Phanucharas, of the Los Angeles Friends of Tibet.

LINK TO BBTV BLOG POST, with discussion and downloadable video.

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Some of the vigil participants reported they were unable to connect with family and friends at home in Tibet, to check on their well-being, because of blocked telecommunications. Others (an exiled grandmother and her 11-year-old son, alike) spoke of being "glued to YouTube," straining to watch blurry phonecam videos of the demonstrations and violence.

China's government is not allowing reporters or human rights observers inside Tibet, and human rights advocates are concerned that grave violations are taking place.

(Image: some of the hundreds of ethnic Tibetans identified as protest participants and turned in to Chinese police in Tibet. The detainees were presented before state-run television cameras before being transported to prison / XZTV, Tibet).

"The Chinese government must immediately allow independent media access to all areas of Tibet," said the Tibetan Association's Kyulo. "We continue to hear eyewitness reports of house to house searches and arbitrary arrests in Lhasa and growing numbers of killings in Amdo, Kham, and other areas."

China blocked YouTube and Google News, and Boing Boing tv viewers inside China tell us that Boing Boing is also blocked (perhaps due to keyword filtering for words like "Dalai Lama," or "Tibet.") Google appears to be complying with China's net-censors by censoring the version of Google News that is available inside China.

"Without the internet, we would have no information at all about what's going on inside of Tibet," said Tseten Phanucharas. "nor would this global movement in solidarity with the Tibetan people exist."

Also present at the rally was Gyalthan Gyatso, part of a team of cyclists doing a "Peace Ride for Human Rights in Tibet" beginning March 29th in San Francisco.

(Image: some iphone snapshots during the BBtv shoot / Xeni Jardin)

Previously on Boing Boing:

  • Tibet: nearly 1,000 jailed in Lhasa, Dalai Lama offers to resign
  • Xeni on G4's AOTS re: Tibet and China's 'net blackout
  • Tibet: China blocks YouTube, protests spread, bloggers react
  • Tibet: more deaths, injuries in Lhasa as crackdown grows
  • Tibetan protests in Lhasa turn violent as Chinese forces crack down
  • China sends in troops to quell monks' peaceful protests

  • Police attack peacefully protesting monks in Tibet
  • Protest inside Tibet captured on tourists' cameras
  • Hacking the Himalayas: Xeni's stories and trek-blog from Tibet and India
  • Boing Boing tv: Miss Tibet/Eames Elephants
  • Google, China, and genocide: web censorship and Tibet