Tibetan Protests Broaden
If you think politics has become raucous here, consider Tibet.
As a follow-on to yesterday’s post on the possibility of an Olympic boycott, of sorts, to protest human-rights violations in Beijing, I’d like to bring to your attention the ongoing – and expanding – riots in Tibet. Christopher Bodeen in My Way:
Armed police and troops poured into far-flung towns and villages in Tibetan areas of adjacent provinces to reassert control as sporadic demonstrations continued to flare. Foreigners were barred from traveling there and tour groups were banned from Tibet, isolating a region about four times the size of France. The protests against Chinese rule started peacefully in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, early last week, but erupted into riots on March 14. Authorities say 325 people were injured and 16 people died – including three protesters who allegedly jumped from windows while trying to escape police. China has denied Tibetan exile groups’ claims that 80 people died.
If you consider Tibet to be a sovereign nation (and I grant the situation is far from clear), then you believe that China has invaded them in the same way that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
In Aba county in northwestern Sichuan province, a Tibetan woman reached by phone Thursday said she had heard of numerous arrests of protesters in the area. “There are many, many troops outside,” she said.
“I’m afraid to leave the house,” said the woman, who refused to give her name for fear of retaliation by authorities. Police were checking I.D. cards at checkpoints and could be heard shouting for protesters to turn themselves in.
As you contemplate the situation, ask yourself this question. WWOD*?
* A tip: ‘O’ is not Oprah.