[permaculture] BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Monks disrupt Tibet media visit

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Thu Mar 27 07:08:09 EDT 2008

Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 10:49 GMT
Monks disrupt Tibet media visit
Monks talk to journalists at Lhasa's Jokhang temple - 27/03/2008
The monks pressed around the foreign journalists at the temple

Footage of the monks
Tibetan monks have disrupted a tour by the first foreign journalists invited by China to visit Lhasa since protests 
erupted two weeks ago, witnesses say.

About 30 monks shouted pro-Tibetan slogans and defended the Dalai Lama as journalists toured the Jokhang Temple, the 
visiting reporters said.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding the protests.

But US President George W Bush has urged Beijing to begin dialogue with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

Foreign journalists were expelled from Tibet at the height of the unrest, but on Wednesday China allowed a group of 
about two dozen reporters into Lhasa for a three-day escorted visit. The BBC's request to be included in the group was 
turned down.

The monks' protest came as they toured the Jokhang Temple - one of Tibet's holiest shrines.

One monk shouted "Tibet is not free, Tibet is not free" before he started to cry, an AP journalist at the scene, Charles 
Hutzler, reported.

Another monk said the rioting on 14 March "had nothing to do with the Dalai Lama".

Chinese soldiers disembark from a truck in Lhasa on 21 March 2008
China has increased its security presence in Lhasa since the unrest
The monks said they had not been allowed to leave the temple since the rioting.

Government handlers told the journalists to leave and tried to pull them away, the reporter said.

Later, the area around the Jokhang Temple was sealed off by riot police.

The protests began on 10 March and developed into violent rioting in Lhasa before spreading to neighbouring regions.

China says 19 people were killed by rioters. The Tibetan government-in-exile says about 140 people have been killed in a 
crackdown by Chinese security forces.

'Divided city'

The group of journalists has also visited a medical clinic and a clothing store where Chinese authorities say five girls 
were trapped and burned to death, AP's reporter added.

A reporter for the London-based Financial Times, meanwhile, said that the Tibetan quarter of the city resembled a war 
zone, with burnt-out buildings, shuttered businesses and groups of soldiers on every corner.

"The smell of burning buildings still hangs in the air nearly two weeks after violent rioting swept through the old 
Tibetan quarter of Lhasa," the Financial Times's Geoff Dyer reported.

Foreign journalists arrive at Lhasa airport, 26 March 2008
The journalists will spend three days in Lhasa
The rioting appeared to have been more prolonged and destructive than previously thought, he wrote.

Charles Hutzler described to the BBC a city divided.

"In sort of the more recently built up, very Chinese part of Lhasa life seems to be going on fairly normally... But in 
the older, Tibetan section of the town and the blocks leading to it we could see the remains of burnt-out buildings.

"It certainly seems like a damaged city, and I mean not just physically but psychically as well," he added.

The reporters said there was a heavy security presence in the Tibetan quarter with squads of police and soldiers on 
every corner.

But in the new town, they described life as returning to a semblance of normality with shops and restaurants busy with 

Treading carefully

On Wednesday, Mr Bush had "encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama's 
representatives," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

But the fact that it has taken Mr Bush this long to talk directly to Mr Hu shows that the US is treading carefully in 
its response, says the BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington.

Despite calls from rights groups for an Olympic boycott, the White House has already made it clear that Mr Bush will 
still attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games.



Bush calls Hu to urge Tibet talks
Olympic torch lit despite protest
China intensifies crackdown
Dalai Lama urges dialogue


Chinese paramilitary police in Zhongdian, Yunnan province Clamping down
Tibetan monk speaks out on round-up of protesters as unrest spreads

Tibetan monks: A controlled life
China's quandary
Dalai Lama's home off-limits
Tibet's unsettled borders

Flag being held by protester Protests on day Olympic torch was lit
listen Jailed protester
watch Dalai Lama
watch Wen Jiabao


Key places and events
Guide: Inside Tibet
Q&A: China and Tibet
Profile: The Dalai Lama


Tibetans describe unrest
Chinese react to violence
Lhasa now 'in cinders'
Monk 'kicked to the floor'

Canada East Tibet monks disrupt journalists tour to complain about lack of religious freedom - 1 hr ago
Globe and Mail* Monks disrupt Tibet tour - 1 hr ago
Los Angeles Times* Tibet Monks Disrupt Tour by Journalists - 1 hr ago
CNN CNNMonks Disrupt Tour Of Journalists To Tibet - 1 hr ago
Al Jazeera Monks interrupt Tibet media tour - 1 hr ago
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Monks disrupt Tibet media visit

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