The friends were not in Lhasa, but at Kirti monastery in Amdo, a traditional province of northeastern Tibet. There had been large demonstrations. Chinese troops used tear gas to break up the crowds. The troops began shooting. Some Tibetans, including middle school children, were killed.
It is possible the friends were relaying rumors, not actual events. But I think it's going to be a long time before the truth of what's going on in Tibet right now is revealed. Foreign reporters are still being denied access to many parts of Tibet.
Rama Lakshmi writes in today's Washington Post that this past week has seen two approaches from Tibetans. One is solemn and peaceful, as the Dalai Lama wishes. The other, from younger Tibetans, is angry and confrontational. The irony is that China's refusal to work with the Dalai Lama has made the more confrontational faction stronger.
"And here's the rub," writes Timothy Garton Ash at The Guardian. "The exiled 72-year-old spiritual and political leader of the Tibetans remains the only visible key to a peaceful solution." There is much anecdotal evidence that His Holiness still has the love of a majority of Tibetans. And he offers a negotiated path to China's leaders that would lead to Hong Kong-style autonomy for Tibet, not total independence. "If they made a rational calculation of their own long-term interest, down this path they would tread," Ash writes. Yet the government of China can't see that.
Photo Caption: Chemi Dolkar demonstrating in Chicago, March 18. Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Photo Caption: Chemi Dolkar demonstrating in Chicago, March 18.
Photo Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images