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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Police fire on Tibetan protesters; 8 die

Police fire on Tibetan protesters; 8 die

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 19 minutes ago



Police fired on hundreds of protesters in a Tibetan area of western China, killing eight people, overseas activist groups said. State media reported one government official was seriously injured in what it called a riot.

Two monks also committed suicide late last month because of government oppression, another Tibetan activist group said Saturday.

The reports indicate that unrest is continuing in China's Tibetan areas despite a massive security presence in place since anti-government demonstrations in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, and neighboring provinces broke out in mid-March.

The protests are the longest and most sustained challenge to China's 57-year rule in the Himalayan region. China's subsequent crackdown has drawn international scrutiny and criticism in the run-up to this summer's Olympic Games.

Police fired on Buddhist monks and ordinary citizens who had marched on local government offices in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province near Tibet on Thursday, according to the London-based Free Tibet Campaign and the International Campaign for Tibet.

The protesters were demanding the release of two monks who were detained after 3,000 paramilitary troops searched their monastery and found photographs of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, the groups said.

The U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia said it had unconfirmed reports that up to 15 people were killed and dozens injured in the violence.

Calls to local police and hospitals in the area were not answered Saturday or else officials said they had no information.

The official Xinhua News Agency had no details on deaths or injuries but confirmed that a riot broke out near government offices in Donggu town in Garze.

An official was "attacked and seriously wounded," and police were "forced to fire warning shots and put down the violence," Xinhua said.

On Saturday, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, based in India, said two monks committed suicide last month in Sichuan's Aba County following government oppression. Aba County has been the scene of large protests involving hundreds of monks and citizens.

One monk, identified as Lobsang Jinpa, from the Aba Kirti Monastery killed himself March 27, leaving a signed note saying, "I do not want to live under Chinese oppression even for a minute," the human rights group said.

The group said the second suicide occurred March 30 at the Aba Gomang Monastery, when a 75-year-old monk named Legtsok took his life, telling his followers he "can't beat the oppression anymore."

It was impossible to verify the information since Chinese authorities have banned foreign reporters from traveling to the region.

The Tibet Daily newspaper reported Saturday that the government planned to step up its "patriotic education" campaign, which requires monks to denounce their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and declare their loyalty to Beijing.

"We should strengthen patriotic education so as to guide the masses of monks to continuously display the patriotic tradition and uphold the banner of patriotism," the paper quoted Hao Peng, Tibet's deputy Communist Party Chief, as saying.

Thursday's violence in Sichuan province came when the government attempted to enforce "patriotic education" at the Garze monastery, according to the activist groups.

The chief monk at the monastery had refused entry to a government team on Wednesday and the team returned the next day with the paramilitary troops, leading to the arrests and protests, according to the groups.

Also Saturday, state media reported more than 1 million people had signed an online Chinese petition alleging Western media bias in covering the Tibetan protests.

The petition accuses some Western media organizations, including CNN and the British Broadcasting Corp., of reporting "untrue and distorted" stories on the Lhasa riots.

BBC News said in a statement that it was prevented from reporting in Tibet "because of movement restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities."

It also said that while people in China can view BBC News in English on the Internet, authorities continued to block its Chinese service and BBC television broadcasts of the protests had been interrupted.

Calls to CNN were not immediately returned.

Chinese authorities say 22 people died in anti-Beijing riots that broke out March 14. The Tibetan government-in-exile says up to 140 were killed in the protests and the ensuing crackdown.

Beijing has accused Dalai Lama supporters of orchestrating the violence, a charge the spiritual leader has repeatedly denied.

Also Saturday, a Cabinet minister of French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a newspaper that Sarkozy could boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics unless China releases political prisoners and opens a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

In an interview with Le Monde, Human Rights Minister Rama Yade set out a list of conditions needed for Sarkozy to attend the Aug. 8 ceremony, the newspaper said.

"Three conditions are essential for him to attend: an end to violence against the population and the liberation of political prisoners; light shed on the events in Tibet; and the opening of a dialogue with the Dalai Lama," Yade was quoted as telling Le Monde.

Sarkozy spokesman Frank Louvrier declined to comment on Yade's interview. Sarkozy has previously said he could "not close the door to any possibility" when asked whether he supported a boycott of the ceremony.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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China blocks reporting in Tibetan areas

China blocks reporting in Tibetan areas

By CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer
Sat Apr 5, 3:59 AM ET


It was just after nightfall when three journalists were stopped at a police checkpoint on a winding, rutted road in China's western Sichuan province — territory that had become out of bounds for the foreigners.

Police officers took them to a nearby town and locked them in a hotel overnight. They then escorted the journalists more than 250 miles back to the provincial capital, Chengdu, and left them with a warning.

"If you come back, we will send you back again," one official said.

The routine became drearily familiar over days of fruitless attempts to journey into Tibetan regions where the largest anti-government protests in almost 20 years erupted last month.

Dozens of such checkpoints have sealed off a chunk of western China twice the size of France, keeping out foreign journalists and other unwanted visitors as part of a campaign to squelch bad publicity ahead of the Beijing Olympics in August.

To avoid accusations of muzzling the media, officials deny the existence of a travel ban, saying only that reporters are recommended to keep away for their own safety.

The de-facto ban on news coverage in China's Tibetan regions violates China's revised rules that are supposed to allow foreign journalists freedom to report through the Olympics.

But in the sealed-off regions, officials wave those rules away, saying the current situation is a "special" one.

Officials often try to sugarcoat the treatment with offers of tea and food, cigarettes, handshakes and a seeming concern for the journalists' well-being.

"Sorry for the inconvenience," some say.

"We warmly welcome you to come back another time," say others.

"When all of this calms down, you can come back and have much better reporting conditions," said officials in Danba, where the three journalists were kept overnight.

But it hasn't all been so polite. Policemen have waved guns in journalists' faces, confiscated passports and forced photographers to delete photos of checkpoints and riot police.

Authorities say 22 people died in the March 14 riots in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, while other reports put the death toll in the protests and ensuing crackdown at up to 140.

New violence in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province along the border with Tibet has led to eight more deaths, the London-based Free Tibet Campaign said Friday.

Officials in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces all repeatedly warned of potential dangers to journalists from insurrectionist Tibetans, who live in the so-called "Tibetan autonomous regions" but have little say in a power structure dominated by China's majority ethnic Han Chinese.

When pressed for details of the dangers, officials in the areas where riots and protests were known to have happened all claimed no knowledge of any unrest.

The deputy head of the local government in the Aba prefecture in Sichuan province appeared to contradict himself Thursday when he told reporters that life was "completely normal" in the area, but that it was still too dangerous for foreign media.

Some officials said they doubted the area would be open again until the Olympics are safely over.

"Wait until September," one foreign affairs official in Aba said cheerfully as his car carried two journalists away from a checkpoint late Monday night.

Travel to Tibet has always been tightly restricted, but such rules have now been extended to neighboring provinces. Bus stations have even been told not to sell foreigners tickets, and drivers face stiff punishments for picking up outsiders.

But worried about further damage to Tibet's tourism industry, the regional tourism authority announced this week that Tibet will reopen to foreign tourist groups on May 1.

Even if a foreign journalist gets past a checkpoint, he or she is usually caught after checking in at a hotel, where registration with a passport is required.

In other cases, plainclothes policemen tail journalists, crimping their activities. On Thursday, a plainclothes tagged after a reporter as she walked Danba's main street, quietly trying to interview local Tibetans. The policeman then stopped the Tibetans and asked them what the journalist had asked.

There is even interference far from the sealed-off areas.

At a university campus in Sichuan's capital Chengdu, a journalist was barred from meeting with Tibetan professors by a woman who claimed herself to be a Tibetan professor. She then took photos of the journalist with her cell phone camera, claiming the blonde-haired woman looked like one of her sisters, and had her escorted off campus.

While officials seemed to feel little need to justify their actions, at least one fell back on what has become a major thrust of Chinese propaganda.

"The foreign media twist the Tibetan story very much, so we need to completely forbid them from wandering around," said one foreign affairs official.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 10:18 AM
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 10:48 AM
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The (outside world)? When will people of the press wake up and understand the (inside world)? On the Tibet issue the (outside media) has not got one fact right. As an expat living in china, i see the truth. The Chinese government are not putting these people down, exactly the opposite, they have done everything to help Tibet and its people. They (the outside media) twist the photography and news to suit there own ends. Guys, this is an expat saying this and not some middle man in the chinese government.

Please dont believe this bullshit. Suppose one of your states wanted indepenence from America, and created unrest? What would GWB do to sort it out?

ERIC.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by eric242340 View Post
The (outside world)? When will people of the press wake up and understand the (inside world)? On the Tibet issue the (outside media) has not got one fact right. As an expat living in china, i see the truth. The Chinese government are not putting these people down, exactly the opposite, they have done everything to help Tibet and its people. They (the outside media) twist the photography and news to suit there own ends. Guys, this is an expat saying this and not some middle man in the chinese government.

Please dont believe this bullshit. Suppose one of your states wanted indepenence from America, and created unrest? What would GWB do to sort it out?
Hasn't Tibet had a separate language and culture since pre-historic times? Wasn't Tibet independent of China before the Chinese invasion in the 1600's? Hasn't Tibet been in episodic revolt against Chinese rule, often gaining independence, ever since?

Aside from those issues, the recent Chinese conquest and military suppression of the native people does not speak to a close, common political relationship.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 12:14 PM
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eric242340,

Please go on explaining things as you know them living in China. There's nothing better than an insider's point of view. The media can be seriously used to twist facts.



Botnst,

There are Muslim minorities in China, too. Do you think they should be granted independence?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Hasn't Tibet had a separate language and culture since pre-historic times? Wasn't Tibet independent of China before the Chinese invasion in the 1600's? Hasn't Tibet been in episodic revolt against Chinese rule, often gaining independence, ever since?

Aside from those issues, the recent Chinese conquest and military suppression of the native people does not speak to a close, common political relationship.

B
In this case i would have to say the Dali Lama is the opressor. Who are the indingenious people of america? before you called it America and how is their situation today? Its nothing new.

ERIC.

___________________________________________
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 12:41 PM
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eric242340,

Please go on explaining things as you know them living in China. There's nothing better than an insider's point of view. The media can be seriously used to twist facts.



Botnst,

There are Muslim minorities in China, too. Do you think they should be granted independence?
Northern Ireland wanted indipendence and how many lives did that cost? Here we are talking about a minor disturbance with a few lives lost in comparisson. Dont let the Tibet issue derail anything, because it aint worth it. China has been good for Tibet, recently china built a railway all the way to Tibet to make it easier for tourists to visit and therefore make money for Tibet and its people. The chinese are not opressive people, they simply have different values to people in the west.

ERIC.

___________________________________________
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by eric242340 View Post
Northern Ireland wanted indipendence and how many lives did that cost? Here we are talking about a minor disturbance with a few lives lost in comparisson. Dont let the Tibet issue derail anything, because it aint worth it. China has been good for Tibet, recently china built a railway all the way to Tibet to make it easier for tourists to visit and therefore make money for Tibet and its people. The chinese are not opressive people, they simply have different values to people in the west.
It appears to this westerner that perhaps you're a bit too close to the situation to see it objectively, and perhaps see quite a bit more Chinese state-controlled media spin regarding Tibet than we see.

Literally nobody outside who has monitored their human rights record - to say nothing of the problems they have with Tibet - holds the view that they're just these misunderstood guys with "different values".
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-05-2008, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
It appears to this westerner that perhaps you're a bit too close to the situation to see it objectively, and perhaps see quite a bit more Chinese state-controlled media spin regarding Tibet than we see.

Literally nobody outside who has monitored their human rights record - to say nothing of the problems they have with Tibet - holds the view that they're just these misunderstood guys with "different values".
Robert, this is the main problem with the wests thinking, I dont see a Human rights problem. Maybe i am too close asy you say, but I think not.

ERIC.

___________________________________________
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
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