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).


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.


Anonymous said...


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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