Pro-independence protests marking the 49th anniversary of the March 10, 1959 revolt against Chinese rule have spilled over from Tibet into Tibetan communities in three neighboring provinces this weekend, even as Chinese authorities embarked on a harsh security crackdown in the wake of week long anti-Chinese violence. Reminiscent of events this past fall in Myanmar, the protests were initially sparked and led by Buddhist monks. Fearful that events might quickly spiral out of control, Chinese authorities have resorted to deploying plainclothes security agents dressed as monks in order to infiltrate and cut short any potential protests. Suspected participants in the protests have been trucked handcuffed through the streets of the capital, Lhasa, as loudspeakers order anyone involved in the recent violence to surrender to authorities immediately or face severe punishment should they not comply. In response, the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet in exile in India since the 1959 uprising, has condemned the crackdown and the Chinese government’s policy of encouraging ethnic Chinese migration into the controversial Himalayan heartland as “cultural genocide”. All of this plays out against the backdrop of the imminent Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and highlights the duality of the Rat’s personality in the… Read full this story
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