The standoff in Tibet continues, with China struggling to suppress as much information as possible about the crackdown. Meanwhile, nobody has missed the obvious link between China’s human right’s record and this year’s Olympic Games, with France raising the issue of boycotts. Here is a survey of the latest reporting on the Tibetan protest.

See images of the protests here: Warning, viewer discretion required. Graphic content.

For anonymous eyewitness accounts of the Chinese crackdown, click here. — BBC

China terrorizes Tibet. In its annual human rights report on 190 countries, the [US] State Department conceded that Beijing’s overall performance remained poor. But in what looked like a political payoff to a government whose help America desperately needs on difficult problems, the department dropped China from its list of 10 worst violators. Whatever gain China may have gotten from being elevated above the likes of North Korea, Myanmar, Iran and Sudan was lost by the crackdown on Tibet. — New York Times editorial

Tibet protests escalate. While Lhasa is under martial law resulting in an uneasy quiet there, the protests have been spreading across the country as well as into Tibetan ethnic regions of China including Sechuan and Lanzhou. Brandy Leitch, a board member of the Victoria Students for a Free Tibet Society, said at least 100 Tibetan protesters—and possibly many more—have been killed. China maintains that only 10 Chinese civilians are dead, implying, says Leitch, that they were shot by the protesters. “They’ve opened fire into the crowds. We’ve been hearing reports of westerners calling embassies saying they’ve been hearing gunfire all across the country in terms of the Chinese government cracking down and basically opening fire on non-violent protesters.” – Epoch Times

On modern China. The pacification of Tibet must … be considered a major political and propaganda success, or it would not have been copied by the Chinese-backed Burmese regime last year and repeated by the Chinese themselves in Tibet last week. Tibet is to China what Algeria once was to France, what India once was to imperial Britain, what Poland was to czarist Russia: the most unreliable, most intransigent and at the same time most symbolically significant province of the empire. Keep that in mind over the next few days and months, as China tries once again to belittle Tibet, to explain away a nationalist uprising as a bit of vandalism. – Washington Post

Neighbourly complicity in Tibet crackdown. As the protests have spread, not only to the bordering Chinese provinces of Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan, but into other countries, Beijing is receiving the support of its neighbors. Moscow’s enthusiasm for brutality in squelching the demands of an oppressed minority is hardly shocking, but it is disappointing to see the world’s largest democracy, India, follow suit … In Nepal, an ongoing police crackdown on peaceful Tibetan protestors yesterday became so brutal that the local UN office has protested and the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is also investigating. – Democatization Policy Council

India’s restrictions hamper Tibetan movement. Tibetans are the classic playthings of the China-India relations calculus. Over a course of 60 years, their rights have been reduced to the cultural sphere by the harshness of international diplomacy. Undoubtedly, preserving Tibetan culture is of utmost importance for maintaining the group’s identity and sense of oneness. But by quarantining Tibetan energies solely to the cultural realm, the spirit of reclaiming Tibet as an independent entity from Chinese clutches is being extinguished. If a group’s right to its preferred way of life is defined merely in terms of freedom of religion and worship, then it becomes theoretically possible for it to survive without territorial claims. – Asia Sentinel

Tibet protests escalate. While Lhasa is under martial law resulting in an uneasy quiet there, the protests have been spreading across the country as well as into Tibetan ethnic regions of China including Sechuan and Lanzhou. Brandy Leitch, a board member of the Victoria Students for a Free Tibet Society, said at least 100 Tibetan protesters—and possibly many more—have been killed. China maintains that only 10 Chinese civilians are dead, implying, says Leitch, that they were shot by the protesters. “They’ve opened fire into the crowds. We’ve been hearing reports of westerners calling embassies saying they’ve been hearing gunfire all across the country in terms of the Chinese government cracking down and basically opening fire on non-violent protesters.” – Epoch Times

I see the Chinese Olympics are underway. And really, should the world be surprised that China’s demonstration sports include Tibetan-protester bashing and the security-police biathlon (they run to where protesters are gathered, then shoot guns)? The tank-catching event will be held in Tiananmen Square this summer. — The Ram Files

Peter Fray

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