The Riots in Lhasa by Eirik Granqvist

The Riots in Lhasa   by Eirik Granqvist, a foreign expert in Shanghai who visited Tibet in 2006

“The western medias announced that China had cut all information and that articles about the riots could not be sent out! I got mad about all the apparently incorrect information and wrote this article and two other similar ones although I am not a journalist but just because I could not stand all the bad things about China that was told. I sent them by e-mail without problems and they arrived well but two newspapers did neither respond neither publish what I had written. The third answered and wanted a shorter version that was published many days later as a normal ‘readers voice’. What Dalai Lama had said was largely published every day together with a real anti-China propaganda. What I had written was apparently too China friendly for the ‘free press’.”I was very shocked by what I had seen in the television and been reading in China daily about the riots in Lhasa. The most that shocked me was anyhow may be not the cruel events by themselves but how the medias in my country of origin, Finland, reported the events. A friend ha**canned and sent me articles and I have checked also myself what can be found at Internet.Very few Finnish people have ever visited Tibet, but I was there together with my wife in 2006. This was private persons and not as a part of a group-travel. I have seen Lhasa with my own eyes. I have been talking and chatting with people there. This was without any restrictions. Okay, we had a lovely and very competent guide that helped us much and took us where we wanted to go in the mornings but in the afternoons we were alone. Therefore I think that I have something to tell.

I am also interested in history and know more than people in general. When writing this, I do not have any reference books so I write out of my memory. If I do a small mistake somewhere, I beg your pardon. Anyhow, I think that this gives my writing an objectivity. I am well aware of that I will be accused for this and that for writing what I think is the truth. I will be accused by those who think that they know but do not know and by those that haven’t seen by their own eyes.
Tibet was for centuries an autonomous concordat between Nepal and China. Sometimes China ruled Nepal as well. The king of Tibet used therefore to have one Chinese wife and one Nepalese and then a number of Tibetan ones.   With the fifth Dalai Lama, the religious and the political power were unified under the rule of one person, The Dalai Lama. Tibet became a theocratic dictatorship and closed itself for the rest of the world. No foreigners were anymore allowed in.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the famous Swedish traveller Sven Hedin made an attempt to reach Lhasa but wa**ent politely back, out of Tibet by Dalai Lama.

A French woman, Alexandra David-Néel was more successful. She visited Lhasa dressed as a Tibetan pilgrim and she was fluent in the Tibetan language. She told how she was afraid many times that she should be discovered and then she knew that she like other suspects or opponents should “happen to fall down” from the walls of the Potala palace.
Tibet was not a paradise. Tibet was an inhuman dictatorship!

The weakened Chinese Qing Dynasty had more and more lost its influence in Tibet. Tibet became more and more interesting for the Russian empire in the north and the Britis***he south.

In 1903 a British army expedition directed by the colonel Younghusband reached Lhasa. The British lost 4 soldiers but slaughtered more the 700 Tibetans that tryed to stop them, mainly by magic. The Britis***alled “a commercial representation” in Lhasa. The Chinese evacuated Dalai Lama to the Qinghai plateau where he hade limited rights of move, probably for preventing him from having contacts with the British occupants.

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Western Tourists tell of Tibetans’ violence


Tourists tell of Tibetans’ violence
Jeremy Page and agencies | March 19, 2008

KATHMANDU: Western tourists emerging from Tibet have described their shock and fear as they watched a “howling” mob of Tibetans stoning and beating Chinese passers-by in two days of rioting in Lhasa last week.

The accounts came as China said 105 “rioters” involved in protests in the Tibetan capital had surrendered.

Official news agency Xinhua said 105 people gave themselves up to authorities overnight, 23 hours after a deadline set by the Government for those involved in last week’s unrest to surrender.

Chinese authorities said rioters killed 13 “innocent civilians” on Friday, when a week of protests by Tibetans against China’s rule of their homeland erupted into violence in Lhasa.

Authorities have insisted that they did not use any lethal force to quell the protests, however Tibetan exiled leaders have said possibly hundreds of people were killed in the ensuing Chinese crackdown.

Meanwhile, Western tourists told The Times the Tibetan crowd turned on anyone and anything that looked Chinese, knocking over motorcyclists, hitting them with metal rods and setting fire to their motorcycles.

Their testimony illustrated the ferocity of the riots, which have undermined not only China’s claims to have brought peace and prosperity to Tibet but also the Dalai Lama’s longstanding creed of non-violent resistance.

“It’s hard to pick a side in what happened,” said John Kenwood, a 19-year-old backpacker from Canada who flew into Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, yesterday after spending ten days in Lhasa.

“I agree that the Tibetans have their own culture, but I can’t agree with what people did. After a while, it was not about Tibetan freedom any more.”

He said that he was walking along Beijing East Road in the Tibetan quarter in Lhasa when he saw four Chinese military trucks pull up at the intersection with an alley leading to the Ramoche temple.
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Tibetans attacked Chinese, say Lhasa tourists

Tibetans attacked Chinese, say Lhasa tourists
By Thomas Bell
Last Updated: 2:45am GMT 19/03/2008

Tourists arriving in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, from the closed city of Lhasa have told how they saw angry mobs of Tibetans attacking ethnic Chinese last Friday.

Claude Balsiger, 25, from Switzerland, said he saw the violence develop in Barkhor Square, near the Jokhang Temple.

“The young people were in action and the old people were supporting with screaming. Howling like wolves, that’s how they supported them.

“Anything that looked Chinese was attacked. I saw at least seven to eight Chinese people attacked with stones and fists.”

He saw one old Chinese man rescued from the mob by elderly Tibetan people, and believes the intervention of a Canadian tourist saved another life.
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