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Chi-Coms Seal Off Parts Of Tibet’s Capital

From a very understanding Reuters:

Chinese security forces seal off Tibet capital

By Lindsay Beck and John Ruwitch

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese security forces sealed off parts of Lhasa on Saturday and Tibet’s government-in-exile said it was investigating reports of fresh protests, weeks after the city was shaken by an anti-government riot.

The reports coincided with a visit by a group of diplomats, who were led on a closely guarded tour of the city that has been at the heart of unrest throughout China’s ethnic Tibetan regions just months before the opening of the Beijing Olympics.

"We don’t know how many people, but it seems it’s quite a lot of people," Tenzin Taklha, a spokesman for the Dalai Lama said of the events in Lhasa. "I think it’s timed with the visit of the diplomats."

The London-based International Campaign for Tibet said it had heard from three sources that security forces had surrounded Lhasa’s main temples, Jokhang and Ramoche.

"The whole area has been shut down," said the group’s spokeswoman, Kate Saunders.

"I don’t know what form the protest took. I think people in Lhasa may have been aware of the diplomats’ visit, just as they were aware of the journalists’ visit," she said…

On Saturday, China offered to pay compensation to the families of the 18 civilians it says died in the Lhasa violence. The Dalai Lama’s representatives, which deny he is orchestrating the demonstrations, say the death toll is closer to 140.

The government does not permit free access to the areas, making the reports difficult to check. Chinese media has portrayed the violence on March 14 as a riot by a Tibetan mob beating up innocent people, many of them ethnic Chinese.

Their families would each receive 200,000 yuan ($28,530), a notice from Tibet’s regional government said.

"Measures are to be taken to help people repair their homes and shops damaged in the unrest or to build new ones," the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted it as saying…

So much for the supposed power of world outrage.

Unfortunately for the Tibetans, the Chinese government doesn’t get up every morning worrying about world opinion.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, March 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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