Tibetans say 80 killed in protests; China continues to crack down

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In Seattle, Washington, a protest against China's rule is held.
Image: Mark Ordonez.

The Central Tibetan Administration, headed by the Dalai Lama, says that at least 80 people have been killed in protests by supporters of Tibet against Chinese rule, despite China's claim that only ten people are dead.

"As the Tibet uprising continues, reliable sources have confirmed that at least 80 people were killed on 14th March 2008 in Lhasa," the website Tibet.net reported. They also said that many dead bodies have been stashed in front of a Public Security Department office in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital where most of the unrest occurred. The site did not name its sources.

The report from Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, was much different. "In Friday's riot, at least ten civilians died, mostly from burns caused by the roving mobs and some others were injured," Xinhua said, citing the Tibetan Regional Government's report. Additionally, they reported that police in Lhasa had saved 580 people, including an entire school, from the violent array of sabotage.

Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, condemned China's reaction to the protests, calling it a "cultural genocide". At a press conference in Dharamsala, seat of the Tibetan government in exile, he said, "They simply rely on using force in order to simulate peace, a peace brought by force using a rule of terror." He also called for an international organization to investigate the situation in Tibet.

China has declared a "People's War" against the protesters, vowing to "expose" the Dalai Lama. "We must wage a people's war to beat splittism and expose and condemn the malicious acts of these hostile forces and expose the hideous face of the Dalai Lama group to the light of day," officials were quoted as saying.

China also prevented access to video website YouTube after many international videos of the protests were posted on the website. YouTube is normally easily accessible in China, which blocks other pornographic or subversive sites with its 'Great Firewall'.

"Anti-China protesters clash with police in Tibet" — Wikinews, March 14, 2008