[permaculture] BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Tibet unrest spreads beyond Lhasa

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Sun Mar 16 15:00:59 EDT 2008




<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7299597.stm>
Last Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008, 17:46 GMT
Tibet unrest spreads beyond Lhasa
Chinese troops on streets of Lhasa, Tibet, 16/03/08
Chinese troops patrolled the streets of Lhasa on Sunday
Tibetan protests against Chinese rule have spread to another part of China, after days of demonstrations and violence in 
Tibet's main city, Lhasa.

Clashes between Tibetan protesters and police in Aba, Sichuan province, saw a police station and cars attacked.

Rights groups said several people had been killed in the clashes, though this could not be verified.

The violence came after exiled Tibetan leaders said a Chinese crackdown had killed at least 80 people in Lhasa.

Indian-based officials said the figure was confirmed by several sources, even though China had put the death toll during 
Friday's riots at 10.

The Dalai Lama has called for an international inquiry into China's crackdown, accusing it of a "rule of terror" and 
"cultural genocide".

Sichuan protest

The clashes in Aba, known as Ngawa in Tibetan, happened around 1200 local time on Sunday, according to Kate Saunders of 
the International Campaign for Tibet.

	
Tibet map

Eyewitness: Lhasa 'in cinders'
"The lay people and monks seem to have joined together in a protest... which was focussed around the police presence in 
the town," she told the BBC.

She said that more than 1,000 monks had been on the streets of the town, which is home to a large monastery.

"According to reliable reports the police opened fire," said Ms Saunders, who is in London but said she had indirect 
phone and web access to eyewitness accounts. "We know there have been deaths."

Accounts of how many people died differ, but she said the most reliable eyewitness source put the toll at seven.

Reuters news agency cited an unnamed police officer in Aba saying that Tibetans had thrown petrol bombs, burned a police 
station, and torched vehicles during the clashes.

The incident followed protests on Friday and Saturday in a Tibetan area of the neighbouring province of Gansu, when 
monks and demonstrators confronted police in Xiahe.

Crackdown

In Lhasa, where rioting erupted on Friday after days of mainly peaceful protests, Chinese troops were out in force.

	
TIBET DIVIDE
China says Tibet always part of its territory
Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before 20th century
1950: China launched a military assault
Opposition to Chinese rule led to bloody uprising in 1959
Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled to India

Q&A: China and Tibet
In pictures: Lhasa tense

Hong Kong Cable TV reported that about 200 military vehicles, each carrying 40 to 60 armed soldiers, had driven into the 
city.

Loudspeakers broadcast messages, such as: "Discern between enemies and friends, maintain order."

China tightly restricts Western journalists' access to Tibet and it is sometimes extremely difficult to verify what is 
going on.

The BBC has learned that troops in Sichuan province have been recalled from leave and put on standby.

Death toll dispute

The Chinese official news agency Xinhua says 10 people died on Friday, including business people it said were "burnt to 
death".

But the Tibetan government in exile later said at least 80 corpses had been counted, including those of 26 people killed 
on Saturday next to the Dratchi prison in Lhasa.

The demonstrators, who on Friday set fire to Chinese-owned shops and hurled rocks at local police, have been penned into 
an area of the old town by government forces.

	
The Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama's concerns
Profile: Dalai Lama

The authorities in Tibet have urged the protesters to hand themselves in by Monday morning, promising leniency to those 
who surrender.

In an interview with the BBC, Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said he feared there would be more deaths unless 
Beijing changed its policies towards Tibet.

"It has become really very, very tense. Now today and yesterday, the Tibetan side is determined. The Chinese side also 
equally determined. So that means, the result: killing, more suffering," he said.

China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, though Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before the 20th 
Century and many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama, who fled in 1959.

The unrest erupted a fortnight before China's Olympic celebrations kick off with the start of the torch relay, which is 
scheduled to pass through Tibet.

The Dalai Lama emphasised that he still supported Beijing's staging of the Olympic Games this summer, saying it was an 
opportunity for the Chinese to show their support for the principle of freedom.

Are you in Tibet or do you know anyone currently in Tibet? Send us your experiences using the form below.

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VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Chinese soldiers in Lhasa



INSIDE TIBET

KEY STORIES

Tibet unrest spreads from Lhasa
Eyewitness: Lhasa 'in cinders'
Tibet poses dilemma for Beijing

IN PICTURES

Riot aftermath
Tibet's railway
TIBET IN VIDEO
watch China resumes control
watch Dalai Lama
watch Lhasa tourists' ordeal
watch Tibetans' vigils

FEATURES

Dalai Lama, 16/03/08 Time of crisis
Dalai Lama voices concern for his people as they face China's might

Tibet: Old and new
Han Chinese describe life in Tibet
Railway brings a new era
Squeezed religious freedoms

BACKGROUND

Tibetan monks Quick guide
Some of the dominant issues facing Tibet and its people

Q&A: China and Tibet
Profile: The Dalai Lama
Regions and territories: Tibet


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