Violence continues in Tibet as Chinese security forces move to crush protests. At least ten people have been killed so far, reports Audra Ang for the Associated Press:
Soldiers on foot and in armored carriers swarmed Tibet’s capital Saturday, enforcing a strict curfew a day after protesters burned shops and cars to vent their anger against Chinese rule. In another western city, police clashed with hundreds of Buddhist monks leading a sympathy demonstration.
The violence erupted just two weeks before China’s Summer Olympic celebrations kick off with the start of the torch relay, which passes through Tibet. China is gambling that its crackdown will not draw an international outcry over human rights violations that could lead to boycotts of the Olympics.
The latest unrest began Monday on the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Tibet was effectively independent for decades before communist troops entered in 1950.
Initially, the protests were led by Buddhist monks demanding the release of other detained monks. Their demands spiraled to include cries for Tibet’s independence and turned violent Friday when police tried to stop a group of protesting monks. Pent-up grievances against Chinese rule came to the fore, as Tibetans directed their anger against Chinese and their shops, hotels and other businesses.
Read the full story at the above link. The violence has spread from the capital city Lhasa to Xiahe, about 70 miles away. The New York Times is also reporting on the events.
Of course, the Chinese are worried about potential boycotts of the Beijing Summer Olympics, and want to crush the protests before they become widespread. They have kept Tibet under their totalitarian boot for more than half a century now, and have no intention of letting the captive nation go – or even giving the ethnic Tibetans any degree of autonomy.
Welcome to the last great bastion of communism on Earth, and have a nice day!