More media outlets are starting to catch on to the trouble in eastern Tibet, although this story still has a way lower profile than it deserves. The Globe and Mail writes about how Beijing is reacting to the protests:
A string of mountain towns along the edge of the Tibetan Plateau that set out to mourn, rather than celebrate, the Chinese lunar new year are now under lockdown following days of clashes between Tibetan protesters and Chinese police that left several people dead.
Tens of thousands of residents of the towns of Serthar and Luhuo – and more in the surrounding Tibetan-populated western corner of Sichuan province – have been effectively cut off from the outside world after the violence. Telephone and Internet services to the region have apparently been severed, and checkpoints have been set up along the roads to control who gets in and out.
“We’re now seeing the protest is shifting from individual monks and nuns to the lay community,” said Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibet Studies program at Columbia University in New York. “It does seem to be that if the government doesn’t respond to these grievances, there will be more protests.”
China’s official Xinhua newswire acknowledged this week’s clashes, reporting that two Tibetans were killed in “premeditated and organized” incidents that saw rioters armed with knives and stones attack Chinese-owned stores and a police station. Xinhua said lethal force was used “after efforts involving persuasion and non-lethal weapon defence failed to disperse the mob.” Five policemen were said to be among the wounded.
Great, the lying machine has given its two cents. They apparently expect the world to believe that Tibetan crowds have so mercilessly hounded the innocent Chinese paramilitary police that the police were forced to go wild and kill them in self-defense? Like that article yesterday said, that’s how you lose a media war.
AFP has more on the latest Ngaba shooting:
Urgen, a 20-year-old Tibetan, died Thursday in Sichuan’s Rangtang county when police fired into a crowd trying to stop them from detaining another man, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and India-based TCHRD said.
A Rangtang government official surnamed Wu told AFP Friday that there had been no protest.
“It is not convenient to talk about this. There is no need to contact others at this moment. Nobody will tell you anything,” he said.
According to ICT and TCHRD, which have sources with contacts in the area, the incident in Rangtang was triggered by a youth named Tarpa, who posted a leaflet stating Tibet must be free and the Dalai Lama must return.
He printed his name and photo on the leaflet and said authorities could arrest him if they wanted, ICT said.
Later that day, security forces came to detain him at home, and as they were taking him away, people tried to stop them. Police then shot into the crowd, killing Urgen and wounding several others, the group said.
The unrest comes at a time of rising tensions in Tibetan-inhabited areas, where at least 16 people have set themselves ablaze in less than a year — including four this month alone — prompting an increase in security.