Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tibet: Increase in Chinese Violence Against Protests

For those who haven't heard mass protests have been sweeping across Tibet against Chinese rule. Tibet had been a free country up until the 1950 invasion by the Chinese Communists. The Chinese government brutally squashed any dissent and went through a period of cultural genocide by destroying temples, monasteries and, doing awful things to any practitioner of Buddhism especially the monks and nuns. For a while though still under strict Chinese rule Tibet was semi-autonomous due to creation of the Tibet Autonomous Region in 1965 and its physical separation from the rest of China. The distance from the rest of China was altered however by the 2006 completion of a railway to Lhasa the capital of Tibet allowing for the increasing of Chinese exploitation of resources and clamp down of power.

Protests in occupied Tibet started a couple weeks ago coinciding with the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese occupation of Tibet. The protests were started mainly by Buddhist monks, but has spread to Tibetan exiles marching over the Indian-Chinese border and, many civilians in Tibet. Some of the protests have actually become violent including stores and police cars being set on fire. The Chinese response however has been even more violent and deadly. Below is part of a release from the Free Tibet Campaign:

The photos, which clearly show gunshot wounds, were taken on Sunday night and Monday morning at Kirtii monastery. As Free Tibet Campaign reported on 16 March 2008 (release below) an eyewitness told Free Tibet Campaign's contact in Dharamsala that he had seen Chinese security forces fire into the crowd of Tibetan protesters and that he had seen 13 Tibetans killed as a result of the firing. Other eyewitnesses reported seeing 30 Tibetans shot dead.

These photos, together with the eyewitness statement, provide conclusive force that lethal force was used at Aba town by the Chinese security forces on 16 March 2008. The photos directly contradict recent denials to the press by Jampa Phuntsog (Chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region Govt) and China Premier Wen Jia Bao that Chinese security forces had not used lethal force.

The photos were taken long before the Chinese government's deadline of midnight Monday and prove that the use of lethal force has been in force long before the Chinese government's supposed deadline for protesters to turn themselves in before the use of force would be used.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: "These photos provide shocking proof of the brutality being exercised by Chinese forces in forcefully putting down Tibetan protests. It is not acceptable for national governments to call merely for restraint from the Chinese government. Government leaders must immediately condemn China's clear use of lethal force and demand that China's leaders stop their brutal crackdown on Tibetan protesters."

If one follows the below link one will see the photographic evidence. I do however warn people that these images are highly graphic. I feel that these images need to be shown, but I will leave it up the reader whether they feel comfortable enough. See the pictures here.

Images taken from Al Jazeera English

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least it is not that bad yet in the USA

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9:43 p.m.  

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