Friday, March 14, 2008

Tibetan Monks Protest, Chinese Crack Down

News reports state at least two people died in a Chinese security crackdown on Tibetan Buddhist monks in the city of Lhasa. The peaceful protests somehow turned violent. The BBC reported:

The rallies began earlier this week when a number of Buddhist monks were reportedly arrested after a march marking the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Radio Free Asia, which is funded by the US government, quoted one Lhasa resident as saying: "[The rioters] ransacked Chinese shops and the police fired live ammunition into the crowd. No-one is allowed to move around in Lhasa now."

The Tibetan spiritual leader in exile urged calm. The Dalai Lama released a statement expressing deep concern.

He called on the Chinese leadership to "stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people." He added: "I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence."