RFA in the News (March 2008)


Reuters March 31, 2008

Tibet's capital Lhasa was calm yesterday following a brief burst of unrest weeks after a bloody uprising against Chinese rule, but in Greece and Nepal flurries of pro-Tibet protest continued.

A small group of activists tried to stop the Olympic flame from reaching the Athens stadium where Greece handed it to China, but they were quickly removed by police.

Details of an incident on the streets of Lhasa on Saturday remained unclear.

A mobile text message to residents from police said security checks carried out earlier in the day had "frightened citizens" and caused panic in the city centre.

The International Campaign for Tibet and Radio Free Asia quoted witnesses as describing people "running in all directions and shouting". It was not clear if the security check was in response to a protest or if the check itself caused the panic…

Newsweek March 31, 2008

The Next Saffron Revolution;

The Dalai Lama wants to talk peace, but the anger of his long-suffering people is only hardening. A middle-aged monk, sporting hiking boots under his monk's robes, used his mobile phone to show clips of the Dalai Lama, downloaded from the Voice of

America (VOA) via a specially rigged satellite dish. "When something happens here, we just send it out," said the monk in hiking boots. His mobile phone contained clips of the Dalai Lama receiving the Congressional Gold Medal and delivering a recent speech in Tibetan-- and the e-mail addresses of such networks as Radio Free Asia and Tibet Web. In Lhasa the mere possession of a still photo of the Tibetan leader would be enough to get the monk hauled away for questioning.

Sunday Telegraph March 16, 2008

Witnesses speak of massacre in Lhasa China is accused of using lethal force to put down riots in the Tibetan capital. More than 100 are claimed to have been killed, reports David Eimer from Beijing BURNT OUT, overturned cars were scattered along the streets of central Lhasa yesterday morning. Along with still smouldering shops, they had been set alight by protesters on Friday night.

It was there that the police apparently unleashed a hail of fire on the protesters, according to a Tibetan witness. "I personally saw more than a hundred Tibetans killed when the Chinese fired at the crowd,'' he said. "Many of those killed were young Tibetans, both boys and girls.'' His report, in an interview with Radio Free Asia, is unconfirmed, but the Tibet government in exile also reported a rising death toll.

Another Tibetan said those rounded up had been "locked difficult to give an exact figure for a death toll, but if we information, more than 100 Tibetans were killed.''

in like animals''. He added: "It is total up the deaths from different

A third told the Tibetan service of the US-funded radio station that there had been more shooting yesterday, and that officials had collected 67 bodies at an office of the government's security service.

Radio Free Asia also claimed that hundreds of university students amongst the

protesters had been arrested. They were said to be being held in five prisons around Lhasa

New York Times March 16, 2008

China tries to quell spreading Tibetan unrest BEIJING

Thousands of Buddhist monks and other Tibetans clashed with riot police in a second Chinese city on Saturday, while the authorities said they had regained control of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, a day after a mob ransacked shops and set fire to cars and storefronts in a deadly riot.

… But Tibetan advocacy groups and witnesses in Lhasa offered contradictory accounts. The Tibetan government in exile said at least 30 Tibetans died in the protests, according to Agence France-Presse. Witnesses told Radio Free Asia, the nonprofit news agency financed by the U.S. government, that numerous Tibetans

were dead.

Australian March 15, 2008 Tibetan protests turn violent

PROTESTS against Chinese rule turned violent in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa yesterday, with at least a dozen people wounded, at least one police car burnt out and shops set alight….Radio Free Asia, funded by the US Government, said the two monks who attempted suicide had stabbed themselves in the chest, hands and wrists and were in a serious condition, and had been refusing hospital treatment.

CBC News March 15, 2008

China locks down Tibet capital after deadly protests

Chinese authorities locked down the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on Saturday after several days of protests by Buddhist monks, with the Dalai Lama's exiled Tibetan government saying at least 30 Tibetans were killed in a violent crackdown the day before…. Radio Free Asia reported Friday that troops, using both live ammunition and tear gas, fired on crowds of protesters, who had been setting fire to cars and shops in Lhasa.

The International Herald Tribune March 15, 2008 Saturday,

Protesters and police clash in Tibet capital; Citizens join monks in demonstrations

Violent protests erupted Friday in a busy market area of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as Buddhist monks and other ethnic Tibetans clashed with Chinese security forces. Witnesses say the protesters burned shops, cars, military vehicles and at least one tourist bus….

Accounts from Tibetan advocacy groups, from the U.S.-financed Radio Free Asia and from tourists' postings on the Internet suggest that protests emerged from three of the most famous monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism.