March 14, 2008

Death in Lhasa

The Chinese police fired on protesters in Lhasa. There were deaths -- no word on numbers yet. The U.S. and E.U. urged "restraint" for the Chinese.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said the protests were a result of public resentment of the "brute force" employed by China to maintain control of the region for more than 50 years.

"I therefore appeal to the Chinese leadership to stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people," he said in a statement issued from his base in India.

"I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence."

More than 100 Buddhist monks kicked off the protests early Friday, which quickly attracted hundreds of other Tibetans and saw one of the biggest markets in Lhasa as well as cars set ablaze, foreign tourists and rights groups said.

At least 900 people rioted in Lhasa, and more than 1,000 security forces were sent in to quell the unrest, the London-based Free Tibet Campaign said, citing Tibetans in the city.

The official at the medical emergency centre in Lhasa said staff were overwhelmed by the number of victims.

The estimable James Fallows at the Atlantic is clued into this too.  Too soon to precisely tell what is really happening, but once again it's monks in soldiers' crosshairs.

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