It was a strange feeling after having a wonderful weekend to come into the office today and be greeted with tons and tons of articles about unrest in that southwestern special autonomous region in China with all the mountains whose name begins with a T.
Leaders in the Tibetan government have claimed that protesters have killed multiple people, and created extensive damage burning and looting around Lhasa. While the killings appear to be unconfirmed (the government has a strong grip on the region, especially when it comes to foreign media), from what I've read and heard, the looting of stores and burning of cars and other property has been supported. This appears to not be something brought on by any specific policy of the Chinese government, simply a "remembrance" of 1959. From the reports, it appears the Chinese government has done a pretty restrained job of dealing with some pretty unruly protests, though rubber bullets may have been used.
If this is really the case, if the government has been restrained and the protesters have behaved so horribly, why not lift the veil and let the people know? What better way to sway opinion onto your side? Something tells me that its because the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It's kind of interesting how the Great Firewall is working overtime now, I could access a story on IHT, but was unable to feature another one about that 73 year old who won the Nobel Prize and who left Tibet to go to India, let's call him the DL, even with anonymouse. In fact, trying to view a number of sites, it appears anonymouse wasn't able to defeat the firewall.
I may sound like a shill for the government, but I don't care. I'm most disappointed in the role that the DL is playing in all of this. If anybody has the ability to stop this, it's him, and yet he's pretending that he is "powerless" and has no role in any of the events. Dollars to doughnuts, if these protests weren't started by an order from him, they were definitely approved by him. Not only isn't he trying to stop them, but he's trying to stir the pot with statements about "cultural genocide." It's also an incredibly smart strategy to do this now, with less than 150 days to the Olympics, when it is certain that the media will pay attention and nuts the world over will start saying China is "unfit" to hold the Olympics. Great way to hijack coverage...