2008-03-17

Lhasa

Here are some first hand account from an American in Lhasa. (to be read in order, i.e., chronologically). It has been very peaceful on 13th when Kadfly arrived at Lhasa, while the demostrator and police were courteous. My hypothesis is that a few radicals among the protestors eventually became impatient and incited more aggressive actions, and that escalates. (One can also say this is the government tactic, i.e. to wait for them to get tired or impatient, which is the most convenient strategy and makes sense. Though it might well be just ignited by one push too strong by a police)

I would also recommend ignoring the comment field underneath, as it is no different from any other discussion forum full of "angry netizens" from both sides.

Our hearts go to those who suffered, Tibetan or Han.

In the government report "most" of the 10 victims are unarmed citizens (presumable Han/Muslim non-Tibetan).
新華社的報道說,事件中有10人死亡,數十名巿民及公安武警受傷,160多處被縱火,被焚燒的包括銀行、新聞單位、商店、醫院,其中售賣服裝的「藍盾商場」全被燒,600萬元貨品付諸一炬,另有3所學校被焚。武警又從火場救出580多人,包括一所小學及中學的全部師生,以及3名日本遊客。受火災影響的還有大昭寺及小昭寺,拉薩部分地區電力及通訊中斷。


新華社的報道表示,騷亂中10名死者都是無辜市民,大部分是被活活燒死,有兩名商人遭騷亂者用雙管獵槍射殺。當局稱,有兩具屍體被暴徒搶走,滋事分子原定昨日抬屍遊行,但因政府已控制局勢而告吹。


It seems that there us no way for the government to count the Tibetan casualties (if there is). If the government is confident that there is no excessive violence on its side, perhaps the best appraoch is to release the name list of casualties, and challenge Daramsalla to substantiate its claim of 30 or 80 casualties with real names and informations (the dead cannot be persecuted so there is no reason not to release names)


Related: Chinamatters discusses/speculates on what may have been going on. Very interesting read.



P.S. From Kadfly (read his whole post)



  • And on the subject of the shield formation photo that made it to the front page of the New York Times: I don't think any news outlet that has used it has also reported that moments after the photo was taken, Tibetans charged and the line broke, with the soldiers dropping their shields and helmets. A few minutes later when I was taking pictures of their gear and was prepared to follow the crowd that had broken through towards Ramoqe Monastery, a Tibetan woman on her way back told me not to go as someone had been stoned to death there. A few seconds after she said this, the crowd returned and declared their intention to go towards Jokhang Monastery. I never saw any bodies so this, like many other things on this blog, is just speculation: but if what the woman said was true I believe that the first death of the day on the 14th was likely a soldier from that line who was cut off from his comrades.


As a homage to CNN, I cropped to show the piece of stone on the fly.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/20/tibet.miles.interview/

James Miles, journalist with The Economist, was in Lhasa during violent protests,says he witnessed violence against ethnic Han Chinese and Muslim Hui minority.

Ethnic Tibetans involved in protests were "armed and very intimidating," he says.

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