Violence in Lhasa's "Beijing" exposes deep divisions

(dpa) - Many Tibetans scathingly call the sprawling modern sections of the capital Lhasa "Beijing," where Chinese migrants try to make new lives in the harsh physical and social climate of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

As the People's Liberation Army reportedly took control of the city with tanks on Saturday, following the worst rioting for at least 20 years on Friday, ethnically Chinese residents locked themselves indoors away from troops and Tibetan protesters.

"All the shops are closed, I have no water to drink," said one young Chinese woman who moved to Lhasa several months ago to work at a ticketing agency

"I don't know what's going on with the government," the woman told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone.

"I dare not drink the water," the woman said, citing rumours of poisoning.

"I have nothing to eat," she said, adding that she was making do with instant noodles while it was unsafe to venture out and supermarkets remained closed.

The woman said all local police stations, government offices and hospitals were also closed on Saturday, after protesters set fire to the police station in Barkhor Square, the symbolic heart of old Lhasa, on Friday.

"I have heard that many Han people were seriously beaten by Tibetans. Many shops selling gold and silver products in the market were looted," she said.

The Hong Kong-based Phoenix satellite television station showed footage of dozens of protesters running amok in Lhasa on Friday, with no sign of police or soldiers pursuing them.

The rioters were seen smashing their way into commercial buildings and overturning a car, and at least one of them was brandishing a sword. Several buildings were in flames.

The ruling Communist Party has linked Lhasa to the rest of China via a new railway and regularly trumpets its development of the region it has controlled since 1951.

Tibet is one of China's poorest and least developed regions, but critics see some development projects as cementing Chinese rule and encouraging non-Tibetans to migrate into the region.

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Buddhist leader of Tibet, in January said the railway had already allowed the start of a "second invasion of Tibet" by Chinese migrants.

Authorities in Lhasa last year began building a huge new district to help the city accommodate an influx of tourists and migrants.

The government said the regional population increased to 2.81 million last year, but its figures apparently do not include the tens of thousands of temporary migrants and soldiers who live there.

One Chinese resident of Lhasa claimed that a survey in 2002 recorded 500,000 migrants from Sichuan province alone living in the Tibet Autonomous Region, although that figure may include Tibetan migrants as well as Chinese ones.

On Saturday, the government said a mosque was razed and that at least 10 people had burnt to death during the anti-Chinese rioting on Friday.

The official Xinhua news agency said paramilitary police had tackled 160 fires and rescued some 580 people from burning banks, supermarkets, schools and hospitals.

The Tibetan protesters' anger was directed at Han Chinese and Hui Muslim migrants, as well as the police and troops.

"Several buildings owned by Chinese immigrants and Chinese Muslim immigrants were set on fire," US-based Radio Free Asia quoted a witness as saying.

"All those shops owned by Chinese were ransacked and burned. Tibetan shop owners were told to mark their shops with scarves," the witness said.

As the government tried to restore order on Saturday, it denied the rumours that the public water supply had been poisoned during the rioting.

But its statement on the water supply was not the only thing that the young migrant in Lhasa distrusted, raising serious doubts about the official death toll of 10.

"It must be much more," she said. "It is unbelievable that only 10 are dead."

Kazakhstan continues introduction of mobile diagnostic tools in railway sector
Kazakhstan continues introduction of mobile diagnostic tools in railway sector
Kazakhstan's import of Turkish cement up
Kazakhstan's import of Turkish cement up
826 more coronavirus cases recorded in Kazakhstan over 24 hours
826 more coronavirus cases recorded in Kazakhstan over 24 hours
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran boosts manufacturing of passenger cars
UAE cabinet approves new cybersecurity body, climate change envoy
Geostat reveals volume of ferroalloys exported by Georgia to Turkey
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Kazakhstan continues introduction of mobile diagnostic tools in railway sector
Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan discuss possibilities of attracting investors to Azerbaijan territories liberated from occupation
Britain expects 'very significant' week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down
Iran declares cargo transportation from Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Death toll from COVID-19 tops 172,000 in Brazil
Chinese companies to process Uzbek garlic for further export to US and European countries
Turkey's export of grain, legumes to France declines
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 29
Details of Iran’s trade turnover announced
EU aims to support Georgia in its efforts to reform electricity market
Azerbaijan confirms 4,170 new COVID-19 cases, 1,985 recoveries
5.5-magnitude quake hits Vanuatu
Azersu LLC announces tender for purchase of equipment for laboratory
Kazakhstan's import of Turkish cement up
Azerbaijan shows footage of Aghdam's Shahbuldag village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Expenses on construction of enterprises in Iran’s Isfahan Province increases
Number of enterprises launched in Iran's Ilam Province shrinks
Turkmengas opens tender for maintenance of gas turbine generators
At least 30 police killed, over 20 wounded in suicide car bomb explosion in E. Afghanistan
Georgia reports 4 426 new coronavirus cases, 3 721 recoveries, 35 deaths
Over 5,500 patients recover from coronavirus in Moscow in the past day
Azerbaijan shows footage of liberated from occupation villages of Kalbajar region (PHOTO/VIDEO)
China increases import of Turkish cars
Employment in Iran's Alborz Province declines
The President of Turkmenistan receives representative of medical community of Germany
S. Korea reports 450 more COVID-19 cases, 33,824 in total
Azerbaijan's turnover on payment cards in 10M2020 up
Inter-Agency Coordination Council discusses enforcement of Covid restrictions
Azerbaijan has ample opportunities and potential for artificial intelligence dev't
Trump may announce plans for 2024 presidential race during Biden’s inauguration
826 more coronavirus cases recorded in Kazakhstan over 24 hours
France sees further fall in COVID-19 hospitalizations as lockdown exit starts
Turkey's Temsa makes 1st electric bus exports to Sweden
Iran registers monthly positive trade balance
Scottish dev’t agency eyes establishing co-op with companies in Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan
Croatian PM in self-quarantine after wife contracts COVID-19
UK records another 15,871 coronavirus cases with 479 deaths
Some 46,000 people gather in Paris to protest against security bill
Kazakhstan to modify large energy saving projects on railways
Severe fire danger for Australia as temperatures smash records
Dozens of Boko Haram militants killed in Nigeria airstrikes
Pope installs new cardinals, including first African-American
WHO reports new daily record high of over 747,000 COVID-19 cases
UK police arrest 155 in anti-lockdown protests in London
Assistant to Azerbaijani president posts footage from Tartar, Aghdam cities
UK, France sign new deal to stop illegal migration across Channel
Iran discloses electricity generation at Iran's Bandar Abbas TPP
Turkey reports 6,714 new COVID-19 cases, 487,912 in total
Zarif: Iran at forefront of fighting terrorism
Georgia takes necessary steps to avoid increase in bread prices
Ethiopian military has taken 'full control' of Tigray capital, government says
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Kazakhstan raises import of grain, legumes from Turkey
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
AP publishes article covering Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Ganja on Oct.17 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
OIC adopts resolutions in connection with Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan
President, members of Board of European Muslim Forum send letter to President Aliyev
Aghdam district of Azerbaijan after 27 years of Armenian occupation (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan to bring waste processing level to average European level
UK appoints minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccine rollout
Number of blocked malware in AzStateNet network drops
Airport in Uzbekistan to buy auto parts via tender
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale November 29
Azerbaijani team takes third place in group exercises at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
At least 6 killed in Somali capital suicide bombing
Microsoft Azerbaijan to support all initiatives in liberated territories of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan shows footage of Kalbajar's Vang village (VIDEO)
Police fire tear gas at Paris protest against police violence
Electricity imports growing in Georgia
Cargo, passenger traffic via Turkish Sabiha Gokcen Airport slumps amid pandemic
Uzbek-Korean JSC Uz-Dong Won Co. announces tender for steel pipes supply
Cargo transportation at Turkish Antalya airport reduces
Austria records nearly 1,000 COVID-19 deaths over past 10 days
State Employment Agency of Azerbaijan opens tender on supporting start-up projects
Results of Azerbaijan's junior national team performance at 36th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships announced
Details of Iran’s exports to Iraq declared
Azerbaijan reports 4,212 new COVID-19 cases, 1,760 recoveries
Four citizens dead as result of mine exploding in Fuzuli - Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office
Kazakhstan's export volumes to China surge despite COVID-19
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president, diplomats, Garabagh FC representatives visit Aghdam Mosque (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan committed to promoting socio-economic development of Afghanistan
Georgian oil companies seek to avoid price increases
Tender for maintenance of elevators, escalators launched in Turkey
Azerbaijan's ten-month output of oil products declines
Turkey's export of grain and legumes to Turkmenistan up
Turkmenistan, Belarus discuss program of cooperation
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for November 28
Azerbaijani president's assistant, diplomatic corps reps arrive at liberated Aghdam city
Rural digitalization project successfully underway in Kazakhstan
Missile fired to Tartar by Armenia delivered to local museum - president's assistant (VIDEO)
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Ardabil Province up
Water problems center to be created in Uzbekistan’s Khorezm region
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of lubricating oil
Azerbaijan’s Baku Telephone Communications opens tender
Georgia sees increase in COVID-19 cases
All news