CHINESE BEGIN ARRESTS IN LHASA
The Chinese Army and the People's Armed Police (PAP) have begun house-to-house searches in Lhasa. They have been checking the identity papers of all residents of Lhasa, probably in order to see whether the violent riots of March 14,2008, were caused by residents of Lhasa or whether there was also the involvement of likely infiltrators from the Tibetan diaspora abroad.
2.Even though the ultimatum issued by the Chinese authorities asking the trouble-makers to surrender was to expire only after nightfall on March 17,2008, the searches and arrests began even before the expiry of the ultimatum. The arrested persons were handcuffed and paraded through the streets of Lhasa---some on foot and others on open trucks. Vehicles fitted with loudspeakers have been moving round in the streets of Lhasa saying that the Hans and the Tibetans are brothers and are the same people and that the action is directed against foreign agents and not the Tibetan people. The Chinese have also been alleging that the monks and other rioters killed and destroyed the property of not only the Hans, but also of many Hui Muslims from Central China living in Tibet.
3. Despite the Chinese blockage of the Internet and all blogs and Internet chatter, sporadic chatter continues to take place. Internet-savvyTibetan exile groups had apparently anticipated the Chinese attempts to block all access to the Internet. They have been managing to get through to Tibetans in Tibet and Sichuan through various alternate routes. Myanmar monks and students, who rioted last year, were not that Internet-savvy. The moment the Myanmar military junta blocked all Internet servers, they found themselves totally isolated and without any way of remaining in touch with the outside world.
4. Tibetan exile groups have till now managed to outsmart the Chinese and have managed to keep up their communications with Lhasa. Interestingly, some of the Han settlers in Tibet and abroad have also been keeping up their web chatter. A number of organisations in the West have been closely monitoring the web chatter of the Hans and Hui residents of Lhasa and disseminating them.
5.Extracts of some web chatter by the Hans and Huis of Lhasa taken from one of these web sites are given in the Annexure. I have not had the time to edit them or remove the typos. Some of the chatters are apparently not Hans.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd),Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: email@example.com )
ANNEXURE (EXTRACTS FROM WEB CHATTER)
Lhasa is rioting…school was closed…spoiled my birthday…fighting in the city is brutal! Army cars keep going by, hand grenades keep getting thrown around, the area all around Jokhang is being blasted, pedestrian streets have been closed by the PAP, Wenzhou Trade St. has been closed too, it seems the gas stations have been blown up…old as I am I've never seen anything like this…the Dalai is really fucking something! I hope he hurries and blows our campus up too! I'll transfer to Renmin U!
Lhasa today doesn't have the sanctity I thought it would; the Lhasa people once always revered has become a fountainhead of tyranny. I'm quite bummed to be staying on the island today; a good number of clothing shops in Lhasa have been burnt down, and everyone here on the island isn't allowed to leave. The lamaists have been fighting with police, don't know if any have been killed. To be honest, as old as I am I have never seen so many armored vehicles before, so many tanks and so much military. What I can't figure out is just what all this that I'm seeing is for. People are even saying they're killing us Han Chinese? All the shops on the island and in Lhasa are closed or are going to go bankrupt, because those shops were opened by Han, us…
The Chinese government allocates funds every year for development in Tibet, but to this day what has it really gotten? This kind of domestic tyranny is supposed to make China more developed? When I first came to Lhasa my feeling was that this place is simple, a place suited to personal development, and a palace suited to making money…because there were too many big business opportunities here, like mineral extraction over the past two years, which has also created a lot of wealth for the Tibet and makes the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet railway not even look like news.
March 14, 2008: Lhasa's Lama's rebel
This afternoon, PAP, traffic police and riot police all marched into Potala Palace Square to the Lhasa Department Store tower junctionTanks, armored vehicles and firetrucks all moved into the front of Potala Palace.At present, riot police have injured dozens and killed several.One fire truck has been blown up.Countless civilian cars have been blown up, and dozens of shops have been torchedOver a hundred Sichuanese have been killed.Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple have both already been burnt down!A friend just called to say: all small and large hospitals in Lhasa are already full with patients! (last night, several hundred Sichuanese got beaten in front of Jokhang Temple, 13 died at the scene, and 80 more were seriously hurt)
I often see the news about the war in Iraq, or attacks happening somewhere, and at the time I just sigh inside, reminded how lucky I am to be Chinese, where here it's at least peaceful, at least there are no battles, and people don't have to live their lives in fear of battle! But the riots which took place in Tibet today just make me see very clearly that in fact some people don't want our China to be a calm and peaceful place! I wonder, when people in other countries see the news about our battles here in China, will they feel the same thing that I did when I saw the news on Iraq?
When those insane dalais gathered in the street today and surrounded and viciously beat those Han Chinese, while they used lighters to light fire to shop after shop, while they threw molotovs at cars parked on the sides of the road, I really felt afraid, and that this is inconceivable. What you are destroying is the very place that you live in. Aren't you followers of the Living Buddha? You think this is something your Living Buddha instructed you to do, to destroy the very place that you live in? I think that most of these people haven't thought about this, and that most of them have been deceived by the words of certain people who would see the motherland split! But if you just think about it, just who was it that made Tibet the developed place it is today? Who set up the bridge between Tibet and the whole world? And who is it that sends qualified people each year from every sector to educate the children of Tibet with knowledge and culture? AND who is it that sends aid from every developed city in the motherland each year to assist Tibet? I think you seem to have forgotten all this……
March 14, Lhasa's lamas have finally “uprisen” again Smashing cars, lighting fires, and other stuff I don't even know whatEven with my build I can't easily get through the gaps in the PAP and army human wall And I definitely don't want to end up cannon fodder beneath the tracks of the armored vehicles Sigh..Lama, why can't you be more law-abiding like other monks?Everyone knows you don't do anything Just always making a commotion
Sunday, March 16:
As of Saturday, YouTube has been blocked in China. Little information seems to be coming out of Lhasa now, although micro-channels remain open. Phayul.com has cellphone video of a large number of monks demonstrating in the early afternoon of March 15 around Labrang Monastery in neighboring Gansu province.Also on Saturday, EconThink MSN Spaces blogger Robert posted a notice from the local law authorities calling on those responsible for the “smashing, looting, burning and killing” to turn themselves in before March 17, saying that those who do may be exempt from punishment, and those who don't will be severely punished, the same for those who are found to be covering up for or harboring criminals. Protection is being offered for those who turn “criminals” in.
I feel sorry for the Han, they may be the only people on earth not aware of the horrific atrocities that have been afflicted on the Tibetan people through the decades by the Chinese government.
March 16th, The fact Han people have no clue why these riots and separatists existed is a part of a carefully calculated program of “culture assimilation”, or in Dalai Lama’s saying: “cultural extinction / genocide”. Their reaction made me think about the cold talk between Israel-Pakistan and Serbia-Kosovo, where ignorance pave the way to war and hell.
I don’t know whether I have been brainwashed or you have been brainwashed. Why every person in developed western countries always think we are voice of goverment? I have been UK for 5 years, I am still working here. I have experienced your freedom or democracy for a long time. I admit it is good, but that doesn’t mean it is suitable for every country. I am here, not speaking for my goverment. I am speaking for my country. Most of you, don’t even know chinese, you received all information that have been filtered by your media. How could you know the truth and the thought of all chinese? I am feeling very sad for you.
I feel very sorry for those all you ignorant and arrogant westerners who know lilttle about China and a part of it, Tibet, and still think that you know much more about 1.3 billion Chinese, nearly 20% of the humanity. SHAME on you.
Rioters are only numbers in thousands if not in hundreds. The thugs (who beat and killed ordinary Hans, Huis, and other Chinese minorities like stray dogs) account for only a small percentage of Tibetan people (just like those ex- serf-owners in exile were a tiny part of the old Tibet), but they are many enough to do too much damage.
Even your much biased media (on one issue or another, one people or another people, like Arabs or Jews, then Paliasteinians or Jews etc) had to call those violent acts RIOTS, because they can’t filter out individual accounts as they used to, thanks to Internet. Just think that!
You guys are making a lot of progresses, though. 20 years ago, you guys would have more biased thoughts.
Don’t forget: vast majority of the officials in Tibet are Tibetans. Just think about that!!
Clearly we Chinese are mainly targeting at those rioters but not Tibetans in general. Why do you think that the rioters are representatives of the Tibetan people, a part of us? Do you really think that the Tibetan people are a violent people? You have to make up your mind!!
Hui Chinese, most Americans and Canadians who talk about Tibet, they are not interested in talking to you.
They want to talk at you as if you are some kind of subhuman. And they do it while completely ignoring the blood soaked ground we are standing on.
March 17: You should never trust the Western Media. It is amazing how well coordinated and well worded they make the current incident seems. They constantly used the word “protest” instead of the word “riot”. And it is consistent too. The source of course is either from Reuters or AP. There needs to be another more reliable source of news for the internet. Of course the prevalent language is English and most English speakers get their brainwashed news from Reuters or AP. I didn’t realized how stupid these English speakers were until recent years. And I have been in the West most of my life. It is amazing how the world is still being run by a minority. The West is obviously still in control. It is just another coordinated effort to bring more instability to a growing power like China. It is just a way to retain power in the West. The Chinese should see the West in its true light. They don’t intent to bring freedom or democracy to anybody, that is just BS. Nobody truly cares about Tibet or Tibetans. The true intention is to cause trouble for China.