China Cracks Down on Tibet Freedom Protests

With the Olympics coming up, the thugs in Beijing are worried about China's image. Here's a roundup of the Chinese dictators' latest headaches.

Washington Times: China tightens grip on Tibet.
Foreign tourists were asked to leave Tibet yesterday, and witnesses said Lhasa looked like a ghost city after a day of violent protests Friday. Protesters were given until tomorrow to surrender to authorities or face criminal action.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported at least 10 "innocent civilians" were burned to death Friday. The Dalai Lama's exiled Tibetan government in India said Chinese authorities killed at least 30 Tibetans, including at least five by shooting, and as many as 100. The figures could not be independently verified. The Tibetan administration denied that the protesters came under fire.

China blocks YouTube.
Internet users in China have reported that they have been unable to access YouTube.com starting from Sunday. This happened after dozens of amateur videos chronicling the violence in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, were apparently posted on the popular video-sharing site.

Excerpt from Wired blogs:

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.

This Ain't Hell: Buddhist monks lead democracy protests in Tibet.
Just as they did in Burma last fall, Buddhist monks are the engine driving the latest protests in Tibet ...

Go to the link for a complete roundup.

Gateway Pundit links to International Campaign for Tibet:
An unprecedented wave of protests swept monasteries and towns in eastern Tibet as violence and crackdown continued in Lhasa today.

More than a thousand monks were joined by laypeople in a major protest at Kirti monastery and town in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, this morning, which led to at least eight, possibly many more, people being killed, according to several sources. Three were named as Norbu, a 15-year old high school student, 30-year old Tsering, and Lobsang Tashi, 35. According to one reliable report, eight bodies had been on display outside the police station in Ngaba, in an act that appeared to have been intended to deter the local populace from further acts of protest.

According to one eyewitness report, the paramilitary armed police had been carrying out drills in the town in a display of force which appears to have angered Tibetans. After a morning prayer ceremony, monks reportedly joined laypeople in a spontaneous protest, shouting slogans of Tibetan freedom and in support of the Dalai Lama before armed police fired into the crowd. An eyewitness report from the area said that the local government run hospital was refusing to treat the wounded.

A crackdown may now be beginning in the county town of Machu (Chinese: Maqu), Gansu province, after an estimated 1500 Tibetans gathered this morning, calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet and shouting pro-independence slogans. Some were carrying Tibetan flags and images of the Dalai Lama. Around 11 truckloads of armed police were seen approaching the protestors by one eyewitness, according to a new report received by ICT.

Information of new protests in the region has emerged today so quickly that full confirmation of all details is not possible. Sources reported that despite high levels of fear and intimidation, and the shock of witnessing people being killed in front of them, Tibetans still had the courage to report on what they had seen. Unlike in Lhasa, where there has been an ethnic element to protests, the demands of demonstrators in monasteries and towns of eastern Tibet appeared to be entirely political, focusing on Tibetan freedom and independence, the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and concerns about the Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, who has been in Chinese custody since 1995. In one demonstration, protestors reportedly called for the dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and Beijing to be supported. ...

Times Online: Chinese troops parade parade handcuffed Tibetan prisoners in trucks.
The Chinese Army drove through the streets of Lhasa today parading dozens of Tibetan prisoners in handcuffs, their heads bowed, as troops stepped up their hunt for the rioters in house-to-house searches.

As the midnight deadline approached for rioters to surrender, four trucks in convoy made a slow progress along main roads, with about 40 people, mostly young Tibetan men and women, standing with their wrists handcuffed behind their backs, witnesses said.

A soldier stood behind each prisoner, hands on the back of their necks to ensure their heads were bowed.

Dreams Into Lightning welcomes International Campaign for Tibet to the blogroll and our feed reader.

Via International Campaign for Tibet, Race for Tibet: San Francisco.
The International Campaign for Tibet invites Tibet supporters to join our Olympics campaign, Race for Tibet, by participating in two events coinciding with the arrival on U.S. soil of China's official 2008 Olympics Torch. At the University of California in Berkeley on April 7 and at U.N. Plaza in San Francisco on April 8, ICT will engage the public in an examination of China's human rights record in Tibet in this Olympics year.

The Chinese government, to underscore the theme of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, "One World, One Dream," is running the Olympics Torch around the world. The torch arrives in San Francisco - its only North American stop - on April 9.

We hope you will join ICT and a coalition of human rights advocates to honor the principles of fair play and human rights enshrined in the Olympics Charter, under which American and athletes from around the world will compete in Beijing. We will call on President Bush to publicly align himself with our positive message affirming these Olympics ideals before he departs to attend the Games.

Most critically, we will challenge the Chinese government to use the Olympics opportunity to step forward on the world stage, abandoning its human rights abuses and failed policies in Tibet.


On Monday April 7 at 7:00 p.m., the International Campaign for Tibet will host an interactive conversation on the situation in Tibet and other human rights considerations around Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics. The event is free and will be at the Joseph Wood Krutch Theatre on the Clark Kerr Campus of UC Berkeley, 2601 Warring Street. For directions please click here: http://www.housing.berkeley.edu/conference/conf_dirto_CKC.html

Refreshments will be served.

Anti-Chinese protesters in Tibet Monday faced a midnight deadline to surrender to police or face harsh punishment following days of violence as the region's governor insisted his security forces had showed restraint.

Shops, schools and businesses were open Monday in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, but tensions remained high throughout the territory and three neighboring provinces three days after deadly clashes.

Telegraph: Police flood Tibetan areas ahead of deadline.
Police staged a massive security operation across Tibetan occupied areas of China today in advance of a deadline for rioters and protestors to give themselves up to the authorities.

Convoys of paramilitary vehicles were seen on roads in the provinces of Gansu and Sichuan, which border on the Tibetan autonomous region.

In Rebkong, Qinghai province, which saw some of the earliest protests by monks in the current wave of disturbances back in February, riot squads were jogging in formation towards Tibetan areas of town this morning.

They were joined by hundreds of paramilitary police. ....