The Tibet mystery - updated

Read this WaPo story. The conspiracy theorists tried to extract information from this as well.

I had been pondering about this, pundita spelled out most the mysteries I had been trying to write (though I do not necessarily agree with his theory) (update: now pudita has more conspiracy theories out. IMHO he is pushing it too far. ESWN has a post that refuted some of the 'evidence'/'photo' he quoted. see below for more (in red fonts))
  • There's just one problem with those images: they don't document the protest marches in Lhasa that took place on March 10 and 11, and yet those were the key protests -- the biggest in almost 20 years in Tibet.

  • But when it came to reporting on the peaceful attempt to march on March 10 and a smaller attempt on the next day, news organizations and websites outside Tibet had to rely on anecdotes. The wording used by Reuters news and the Phayul Tibetan website to describe the attempts at peaceful protest marches is typical of the game of blind man's bluff that news organizations were forced to play: "Radio Free Asia cited a source as saying..." "According to sources within Tibet..."(8)(9)

  • But if activists inside and outside Tibet had years to prepare for a historic protest march in Lhasa, and if the monks had been waiting almost 20 years to stage a mass protest, where was the network to record the attempted march and the inevitable crackdown by the authorities?

-- via ESWN

Pundita, refuting many of the wild guess/speculation/conspiracy theories, reached his own conclusion, which seems quite plausible (and if that is true, Hu has really mastered the media war against the D.L./TYL 'clique')

  • So, following Ruan's attempt to explain how Hu done it is very frustrating, yet this doesn't mean the gist of his accusation is wrong. There is still not much to go on, but from the mosaics available so far, a highly suspicious pattern has emerged:

  • Draconian measures were used to halt all peaceful demonstrations by the Tibetan monks in Lhasa, while no measures were taken to halt Tibetan rioting against Lhasa's Han Chinese and Hui Muslims -- not until after the rioting was clearly fizzling out and widespread damage had been done to Han businesses.And unlike Ruan,

  • I think there is indication to suggest that the "spontaneous expressions of resentment" in Lhasa got big help. The same kind of help made famous by Soviet Communist Party bosses under orders from Moscow to turn East European democracy marches into deadly mob violence

My take is that there is some truth in this, but seems too seamless. I highly doubt if Hu (or his incompetent bureacrats in Tibet) can engineer such a complicated 'coup'. Much more likely, though, is that things happened, and went out of control, there was not sufficient police force, there are some militants/planned among the Tibetans, and when Hu/etc saw the riot going bad, they decided to let it on its own path for a while (knowing this presents a golden chance to win the media war), while waiting for reinforcement to ensure they won't have to fire in the crack down.

A variation to this may be some under-cover may have discovered certain faction with the "general clique" are planning something. Hu/etc then decided to give them a free hand (while confining the monks in Jokhang). The Ruan story is not credible. Ruan comes from the C-C.P himself, these people are not very rigorous when it comes to claims and rumours. You may remember there have been wide-spread rumours about army mutiny in Sixth month of 19-8-9. In fact, perhaps 99 out of 100 rumours from the ex-C-C.P informants turn out to be false.

This is why I advocate the government to pay full compensation to the victims, and what I meany by "毕竟国家在那两天与蔵= 独势力的公关战中选择了牺牲他们" (Update: China took the heed)


More comments about Pundita

  • Pundita also claimed the the notorious ET was among the "first" to report SARS in 2003, he wa TOTALLY wrong. I was in HK then, HK media reported that at least a few weeks prior to ET. ET just recycled it
  • Regarding the PAP around the temples prior to March 14. IT was quite clear that they tried to confine the monks there, perhaps believin they were the leaders and confining the leaders means the stopping the mob, largely. What they did not expect is that there are more monks, from elsewhere (or some of the major temple monks were outside). The stories of the Johkang monks told the western reporters last week are consistent with this explanation
  • The line of police blocked has been photoed and reported by Kadfly long ago
  • White scarfs were needed to identify the shops/houses. The mob includes some Tibetans from outside Tibet for sure. Even Tibetans in Lhasa are not able to remember every single shop especially when they pulled down the gates. Pundita himself became a conspiracy theorist when he made that scarf 'expalnation' (our views diverge from that post)

  • Finally, if C-C.P really want to 'stage' this. All it needs to do is to arrest a few monks, spread some rumours to incite discontent. It does not need to go into such 'conspiracy' length, assuming such degree of widespread discontent among the mob. On the other hand, if there is no such discontent, do you really believe a few agents can create such a scene?

Having said all these, if one believes in the (indirect) account from WaPo and the Phoenix TV reporter Chen Lin, then there were indeed someone who organized the riot (it was not "spontaneous). And these people are Tibetans from outside Lhasa. Though it is unclear whether they are exile Tibetan, or Tibetans from the countryside, or C-C.P spies in disguise.

Mysterious symbols on most of the burnt shops in Lhasa (source: Chen Lin's blog)


Anonymous said...

Thoroughly Machiavellian, and completely mindboggling. Even more thrilling than Bourne or Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose.
But, as the saying goes, the Emperor is far away in Beijing. You have correctly (?) pointed that it would be nigh impossible to engineer such a `coup' without things spinning out of control.
Though, if true, shame on u-know-?

Anonymous said...