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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibet Protesters Are Held in China After Riot

March 24, 2009

The New York Times
March 22, 2009

SHANGHAI -- Nearly 100 people, most of them
monks, were being held in a Tibetan area of
northwestern China after a crowd attacked a
police station there on Saturday, according to the state-controlled media.

The authorities, who said they had restored order
in the region, said 6 people were arrested and 89
others had "surrendered" to the police. The
attack involved monks from the Ragya Monastery in
the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog in Qinghai Province.

The riot was the latest and biggest skirmish this
month between ethnic Tibetans and Chinese
authorities and comes as Tibet and adjoining
areas face growing tensions amid a series of
historically delicate anniversaries.

China’s Tibetan region consists largely of Tibet
and several bordering provinces that have large
Tibetan populations. The police said the unrest
broke out Saturday after rumors spread in the
region about a man being investigated by the
police and then disappearing after he broke
Chinese law by advocating Tibetan independence.

China has sent thousands of troops to Tibetan
areas in the northwest part of the country to
guard against a repeat of the anti-Chinese riots
that occurred last March, when Tibetans rioted in
Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, killing some Han Chinese.

While China is celebrating the 50th anniversary
of what it calls the liberation of Tibet from
serfdom this March, many Tibetans are calling for
independence and marking the date when China took
control over the region and forced its spiritual
leader, the Dalai Lama, to flee into exile in India.

Much of the region is closed to journalists and
independent observers, making it difficult to verify the government reports.

Several journalists who have entered the region
have been detained or forced to leave.

In recent weeks, China has released a series of
papers on how its rule has created a safer and
more prosperous Tibet. Beijing has also
repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of advocating
independence for Tibet. He insists he is seeking only autonomy, not secession.

But in Tibetan areas, where there remains a great
deal of support for the Dalai Lama, there are
frequent reports of small uprisings. Last Monday,
a bomb was set off in a government building in a
Tibetan part of western China’s Sichuan Province.
About a week earlier, a police car and a fire
truck were damaged by minor explosions in a Tibetan part of Qinghai.

Last week, the Tibetan government in exile in
Dharamsala, India, released a seven-minute video,
which is being shown on YouTube, that purports to
show Chinese police officers brutally beating
Tibetans last March following the riots in Lhasa.
There has been no independent confirmation that the footage is authentic.
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