[Update: The Dalai Lama says he will not stop the protests; click "Read more" below for details.] CNN reports that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is calling for an international probe of China's policies in Tibet, which he said is causing the "cultural genocide" of his people.
"Cultural genocide" refers to the fact that China has been moving ethnic Chinese into Tibet for years, to the point that Tibetans have become an ethnic minority in their own country. At the same time, the school systems and other institutions are forcing Chinese culture on the Tibetans. This, combined with the widespread destruction of Buddhist institutions, could cause Tibetan culture to be wiped out in Tibet.
For more background on why Tibet is in crisis, see "Behind the Turmoil in Tibet."
Mark Magnier writes at the Los Angeles Times that yesterday thousands of Tibetans in Xiahe, which is outside Lhasa, attacked a police station and raised a Tibetan flag. Display of the Tibetan flag is a crime in Tibet. By this morning, police had surrounded Xiahe and were not allowing foreigners to pass.
If there are more developments today, I will update this post.
Update 1:00 pm EST: The BBC has photographs of Lhasa and demonstrations in Dharamsala.
Update 3:45 pm EST: Somini Sengupta and Hari Kumar report for the New York Times that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will not instruct his followers in Tibet to surrender to Chinese authorities. His Holiness also described feeling helpless to stop further violence.
He spoke of a phone call he had received from Tibet. “‘Please don’t ask us to stop,’” the caller asked. His Holiness said he would not, although he fears there will be more violence. “Now we really need miracle power,” he said. “But miracle seems unrealistic.”
Photo Caption: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, photographed at the Ise International Forum for Religion at Kogakkan University on November 17, 2007 in Ise, Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Photo Credit: Junko Kimura / Getty Images