Friday, March 21, 2008

There will be Blood

Photo of the Day- Tibetan Monks protest in Nepal

China fears that the protests in Tibet could spread;
As your correspondent left Lhasa on March 19th (the authorities refused to extend his week-long permit to report there) the city was under its tightest security since martial law was imposed in March 1989 to contain anti-Chinese protests. Troops were driving through the streets broadcasting messages through loudspeakers denouncing the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.

Military looking vehicles had their license-plates covered or removed and many troops displayed no insignia, suggesting an attempt to cover up the use of army personnel to control the unrest. China does not want the run-up to the Olympics overshadowed by accusations of military repression in Lhasa. But the army is almost certainly playing a big part in the city’s clampdown on the ethnic violence that erupted on March 14th and 15th. The authorities say 160 rioters in Lhasa have turned themselves in to the police and 24 people have been charged with “grave crimes”. But Tibetans say they fear widespread and indiscriminate arrests.

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