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March 25, 2008
Two Pro-Tibet Protestors Detained in Torch Lighting Protest
Two demonstrators were arrested at the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Greece:
Two protesters ran onto the field at Ancient Olympia while Liu Qi, president of the Games' organising committee, was giving a speech. Both were detained. Chinese commentators also haven't mentioned that up to 140 people have now been killed in riots across three provinces and that thousands more have been arrested. Reports are trickling out that speak of Chinese paramilitaries firing into a crowd of Buddhist monks and nuns indiscriminately:
Lhadon Tethong, director of Students for a Free Tibet, said both men were taken to the local police station.
"One of our colleagues saw them being dragged by about 20 police through town," he said. When the incident took place,
China state TV cut away to a pre-recorded scene, preventing Chinese viewers from seeing what was taking place. Commentators on Chinese TV never mentioned the incident.
Paramilitary police opened fire on hundreds of monks, nuns and Tibetans who tried to march on a local government office in western China yesterday to demand the return of the Dalai Lama. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is whining that they're not getting a fair shake from the
Residents of Luhuo said that a monk and a farmer appeared to have been killed and about a dozen people wounded in the latest violence in Tibetan areas of China. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said that one officer was killed when police confronted a “lawless mob” in Luhuo.
The demonstration began at 4pm when about 200 nuns from Woge nunnery and a similar number of monks from Jueri monastery marched towards the Luhuo Third District government office. They were joined by several hundred farmers and nomads, witnesses said. Shouting “Long Live the Dalai Lama” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans”, they approached the office.
The paramilitary People’s Armed Police appeared and ordered the crowd to turn back. Witnesses said that shots were fired and two people appeared to have died. They identified one as Congun Dengzhu, a farmer, and the second as an unknown monk.
China has sharply criticized foreign reporters here over their coverage of the riots in Tibet, accusing them of biased reporting and preventing them from traveling to Tibet or neighboring provinces to report on the unrest. I wonder how western reporters are going to report this latest thuggery by the Chinese government?
The government has also increased its propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the Chinese public that the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, instigated the violence in Tibet on March 14 and that China was a victim of separatist terrorist activity.
The campaign is the clearest sign of China's concerns that the Tibet unrest, as well as anti-government protests over Darfur, could disrupt the Olympic Games this summer.