UPDATED (3x): Police Conduct House-by-House Searches In Tibet As Protest Spreads

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From today’s Wapo – I’ve highlighted a chilling part of their report:

Vowing a harsh crackdown, Chinese police conducted house-to-house searches in central Lhasa Monday and rounded up hundreds of Tibetans suspected of participating in a deadly outburst of anti-Chinese violence, exile groups and residents reported.

The large-scale arrests and official promises of tough reprisals suggested the Chinese government has decided to move decisively to crush the protests despite calls for restraint from abroad and warnings that heavy-handed repression could taint next summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Tibetan regional governor, Champa Phuntsok, said detainees who show remorse and inform on others who were part of the week-long unrest would be rewarded with better treatment. But Buddhist monks and other Tibetans who participated in Friday’s torching of Chinese-owned shops and widespread attacks on Han Chinese businessmen would be “dealt with harshly,” he told a news conference in Beijing.

link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

The BBC updates its coverage of the spreading protest:

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Sichuan province, rights groups say seven people were killed when security forces opened fire on Tibetan protesters in the city of Aba on Sunday.

And in Machu, Gansu province, a protester told the BBC a crowd of people set government buildings on fire on Sunday.

Groups of people also took down the Chinese flag and set it on fire, replacing it with the Tibetan flag, he said.

Smaller protests were reported elsewhere in Gansu and Tibet.

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asi…

Please contact your senators and congresspeople and ask them to open Tibet to foreign media: http://support.savetibet.org/s…

UPDATE: Another sign of trouble reported to the BBC by a Tibetan outside Lhasa:

The situation feels very tense and there is a heavy military presence. I saw large convoys moving towards Lhasa.

There are all kinds of rumours going around but it is difficult to know what to believe.

My family and friends are all very, very worried and fearful of the unknown and what might happen in the coming days.

We are very worried about arbitrary arrests. We believe that the people recorded on CCTV will get arrested but I fear that others will be arrested.

We are all very worried about the lack of western people and journalists in and around Lhasa. I have not seen any myself in the past day.

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asi…

The presence of western journalists and international observers is a deterrent to human rights abuses. Everyone, please contact your senators and congresspeople.

UPDATE 2: The BBC has an interview with a Tibetan Buddhist nun who served time in Chinese prisons. This is a must-read to understand the potential human rights abuses that may be happening in the ground, now or in the near future:

The penalties at Drapchi were severe. Ms Sangdrol was forced to suffer beatings with iron rods and rubber pipes, electric cattle prods on the tongue, knitting and spinning until her fingers blistered, and six months in complete darkness while in solitary confinement.

There was also extremely unpleasant hard labour.

“For instance, we had to use night soil on the garden… You have to take turns to go down to the latrine and pass up the waste. When the bucket is pulled, inevitably it splashes and spills everywhere and it will go into your mouth,” she said.

She still suffers headaches and kidney and stomach problems as a result of her treatment.

But, she said, “the mental torture was worse”.

“We had to denounce his Holiness the Dalai Lama and were not allowed to engage in religious practice.”

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asi…

UPDATE 3 News Organizations are now reporting that China has blocked YouTube access to the internet:

Internet users in China were blocked from seeing YouTube.com on Sunday after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared on the popular U.S. video Web site.

The blocking added to the communist government’s efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule.

Access to YouTube.com, usually readily available in China, was blocked after videos appeared on the site Saturday showing foreign news reports about the Lhasa demonstrations, montages of photos and scenes from Tibet-related protests abroad.

http://ap.google.com/article/A…

Now, if you go to YouTube and type “tibet” into the search engine this lovely pro-China propaganda video on Tibet (over 437,000 hits) comes up at the top of the search to “all us bashers” telling us to “f*ck right off”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Seems like they’ve been reading too many Clinton/Obama primary diaries. Anywho…

The down side with YouTube is that it also lets folks post videos like this:

And this:

And that just veers too far off the narrative path for the government of China to allow its citizens to watch.

43 comments

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  1. Having a photo of the Dalai Lama in your home is reportedly grounds for arrest.

    I’ve been feeling helpless, but will contact my Senators and rep to ask them to speak out.

    Thank you for this essay.

    • Mu on March 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Hopefully, if national Olympic teams won’t threaten “official” boycotts, then individual athletes should.  Hopefully it will become a wave.  China fears bad press about how it’s just a backwards, unsophisticated, bunch of thuggish rubes, undeserving of “1st World Status” more than it does bombs or missiles or any kind of military threat.  Much more.  It’s a matter of national pride.  Of ego.  Of “face” (and saving it).  

  2. make me wish the U.S. cared about human rights.

  3. of John Adams on HBO last night, they dealt with the British Empires reaction to ‘rebellion’ from the colonies, and focused on the unalienable rights which all humans have. The British answer to this was the same as China’s here, and the present US Iraq policies which are just as appalling. I kept thinking  if you substitute Tibet or Iraq for Massachusetts this is what we have turned into.

    China is a ‘favored nation’ trade wise and we are indebted as an Empire to them. Not to mention that the real owners of our country have invested heavily in China in exchange for slave labor. How in the hell can this country at this point even call attention to this?

    So many global atrocities, so many people tortured and oppressed for ‘geopolitics’? I think it’s even more evil then even that. It’s a disregard of the basic tenants of human rights, especially directed towards ones that refuse to play the game, who won’t even if it’s peaceful resistance, bend to the will of Empire. God knows they might undermine the notions that keep these evils alive under the guise of national interest, security, or nationalism. We are  in what way the mirror of China the wests version  of inhumanity and adherence to anything other then authoritarianism for a supposed whatever they can cook up.

               

    • RUKind on March 18, 2008 at 12:20 am

    The Chinese seem to have a methodology for dealing with unruly religious populations. I see where we’ve copied their blocking of videos and pictures in the main media. It’s kept the internal unrest here at acceptable levels, unlike the Viet Nam War era when visual content was all over the network news and major newspapers.

    The cost/benefit ratio would probably be very favorable. I’m sure Chinese military personnel would be much less expensive to field. God only knows they have an abundant supply available. The Chinese government would definitely be able to turn a profit on the deal. It would help reduce the male/female ratio imbalance which some sociologists point to as a leading indicator for wars. As a side inducement, China could be cut in on the oil deals about to go down. That would lessen their dependence on Sudan – and all that Darfur nastiness.

    This could be a win/win all around. Fewer dead Americans, lower downstream costs for destroyed lives and families, lower overall physical and mental health care expenditures for the next generation to bear. A subjected population in Iraq to keep the oil flowing steadily. No more wild price swings in crude, a more stable world economy. Hmmmm. This is starting to sound like a plan.

    You know, with McCain running neck-and-neck with Hillary and Obama, this might just work out.

    AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RUKind on March 18, 2008 at 12:20 am

    The Chinese seem to have a methodology for dealing with unruly religious populations. I see where we’ve copied their blocking of videos and pictures in the main media. It’s kept the internal unrest here at acceptable levels, unlike the Viet Nam War era when visual content was all over the network news and major newspapers.

    The cost/benefit ratio would probably be very favorable. I’m sure Chinese military personnel would be much less expensive to field. God only knows they have an abundant supply available. The Chinese government would definitely be able to turn a profit on the deal. It would help reduce the male/female ratio imbalance which some sociologists point to as a leading indicator for wars. As a side inducement, China could be cut in on the oil deals about to go down. That would lessen their dependence on Sudan – and all that Darfur nastiness.

    This could be a win/win all around. Fewer dead Americans, lower downstream costs for destroyed lives and families, lower overall physical and mental health care expenditures for the next generation to bear. A subjected population in Iraq to keep the oil flowing steadily. No more wild price swings in crude, a more stable world economy. Hmmmm. This is starting to sound like a plan.

    You know, with McCain running neck-and-neck with Hillary and Obama, this might just work out.

    AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tibetan prisoners paraded on trucks as China tightens it’s grip

    Dozens of Tibetan prisoners were paraded on military trucks in Lhasa yesterday, with their heads bent and wrists handcuffed behind their backs, as soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army tightened their grip on the Tibetan capital.



    Four open army trucks carrying about 40 people, mostly young Tibetan men and women, drove in a slow convoy along main roads, witnesses said. Loudspeakers on the trucks broadcast calls to anyone who had taken part in the riots to turn themselves in. Those who gave themselves up might be treated leniently, the rest would face severe punishment, the broadcasts said.

  5. reports hundreds arested in Lhasa and hospital shut down so protestors cannot get medical aid.


    2008.03.17

    KATHMANDU-Authorities in the Tibetan capital began arresting hundreds of people in the wake of anti-Chinese protests over the weekend as a deadline passed for those involved in the marches, demonstrations, and rioting to “surrender” to police.

    One witness in Lhasa said armed police were rounding up “hundreds” of suspects, while reliable sources in Lhasa said municipal prosecutors had issued 150 arrest warrants by the deadline Monday for “escapees” still at large.

    Another Lhasa resident said Tibetans were now being turned away from hospitals in the city.

    “The Lhasa People’s Hospital has been damaged,” the source told RFA’s Tibetan service. “The local Tibetans suspect it was damaged by the Chinese so that injured Tibetans couldn’t receive treatment.”

    “Tibetans who are taken to Lhasa hospitals are now being turned away,” the source added.

  6. the international campaign for human rights in Tibet are Students for a Free Tibet (www.studentsforafreetibet.org), based in New York, and the Free Tibet Campaign (www.freetibet.org), based in London. If people are looking for a way to help, check them out; they are tireless, confrontational, no-nonsense organizations. They are worth supporting.

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