www.TibetanReview.net, Mar 31’08
After 57 years of Chinese “liberation”, 49 years since the suppression of a national uprising, and 19 years after the brutal suppression of an upsurge of demonstrations, followed by imposition of marital law in capital Lhasa, Tibet erupted once again on Mar 10, 2008 in what can only be described as a national uprising. More than anything else, the incident and its spectacular spread to other Tibetan areas over subsequent days reminds everyone, especially communist China, that the Tibet issue can neither be suppressed nor neglected for ever.
The protests, and the riots that followed, began in Lhasa, but soon engulfed the surrounding areas and most of the Tibetan populated regions of what is today’s People’s Republic of China.
The protests in most cases began as peaceful demonstrations led by monks. It was the authorities’ moves to suppress them with brutal force that escalated tensions and turned them into riots involving large crowds of laypeople, leading to arson, looting, and deaths.
In all the protests, the participants carried the banned Tibetan national flag, often large ones, and pictures of the Dalai Lama, shouted for Tibet’s independence and the Dalai Lama’s return home. Demonstrators also shouted concerns about the Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima and called for Sino-Tibetan dialogue. In at least one remote corner of eastern Tibet, protesters shouted support for the Dharamsala-Lhasa protest march being enacted by exile Tibetans.