New report reveals turmoil beneath enforced calm in Tibet

15, August 08

China’s reopening of Tibet and its monasteries for foreign tourists and reporters in the days following the Jun 21 Olympic torch relay through Lhasa has been more apparent than real. The move was designed simply to make a show of return of stability there in the run up to the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing on Aug 8. The fact was that Tibetans across the three traditional provinces had risen as one, staging over 125 overwhelmingly peaceful protests. In the Chinese crackdown on them, marked by severe violence, many were killed or driven to commit suicide, hundreds – including monks, nuns and schoolchildren – either ‘disappeared’ or were held in custody and subjected to severe beating, and a systematic attack launched on the monasteries in a manner reminiscent of the period of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).

These are the subjects of a new report titled ‘Tibet at a Turning Point: the Spring Uprising and China’s New Crackdown’ published by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Washington, DC, Aug 6. ICT said the evidences for the report were gathered at great risks to the people concerned.

ICT said the Chinese reaction to the Tibetan uprising was characteristic more of political extremism and paranoia of the Maoist era than a 21st century would-be superpower. “As a matter of urgency, world leaders attending the Olympics must publicly express concern in Beijing about the crackdown in Tibet and the hardline policies that led to the spring uprising,” said Mary Beth Markey, Vice President for Advocacy for the ICT.

ICT is asking world leaders to seek from Beijing a full accounting of the more than one thousand Tibetans whose status following the spring demonstrations in Tibet remains unknown. It wants President Hu Jintao to engage directly with the Dalai Lama to resolve the deepening crisis in Tibet.


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