Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China Opens Fire on Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Nuns

Paramilitaries open fire on hundreds of monks and nuns at Tibet rally

Times Online

Paramilitary police opened fire on hundreds of monks, nuns and Tibetans who tried to march on a local government office in western China yesterday to demand the return of the Dalai Lama.

Residents of Luhuo said that a monk and a farmer appeared to have been killed and about a dozen people wounded in the latest violence in Tibetan areas of China. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said that one officer was killed when police confronted a “lawless mob” in Luhuo.

The demonstration began at 4pm when about 200 nuns from Woge nunnery and a similar number of monks from Jueri monastery marched towards the Luhuo Third District government office. They were joined by several hundred farmers and nomads, witnesses said.

Shouting “Long Live the Dalai Lama” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans”, they approached the office. The paramilitary People’s Armed Police appeared and ordered the crowd to turn back. Witnesses said that shots were fired and two people appeared to have died. They identified one as Congun Dengzhu, a farmer, and the second as an unknown monk.

Read the rest here.

The Bangkok Post had a strong editorial against the Chinese crackdown here.

China is depressingly wrong that the serial problems of the people of Tibet have their roots in sinister foreign plots. The cause of yet another Tibetan protest, followed by the predictable Chinese brutality, is the lack of understanding from Beijing about the distant province it has annexed. No one who studies Tibet, listens to the Dalai Lama or knows about Buddhism can doubt the deep commitment to peace of the Tibetans. But once again, the Chinese response to Tibetan protests has been brutal, murderous attacks on demonstrations, bystanders and even in house-to-house searches. Then, predictably, it buttoned up the state media mouthpieces and blocked as much foreign news as possible to keep its citizens uninformed and narrow-minded.

The great firewall of China keeps the truth about savage attacks in Tibet from most Chinese, but not from the world. Those outside China now know of the dead monks, bullet-ridden bodies, and use of the army to quell peaceful protest. New technology means countries like China, with violent governments, are quickly exposed when they act in a vicious manner. From mobile phones to satellite-connected cameras, word reaches Bangkok before Beijing.

The Thai government, of course, will do everything to appease the Chinese, just like with Burma, because with Thai politicians, greed takes precedence over any other principle.

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