Tibet Riot Documentary
This is a blow by blow account of the riot in Lhasa
and shows that the supporters of the so-called Free
Tibetan movement were the perpetrators of gruesome
The riots in Lhasa last Friday are the most serious incident in the region for decades. Local residents are still reeling from the aftershock, even as they try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. In the following documentary, we look back at the events to see how they’ve impacted the people in Tibet. 11 a.m., March 14 (Ramoche Temple, Lhasa) At eleven o’clock on the morning of March 14th, rioters gathered at the Ramoche Temple. On the temple roof, about a dozen monks stood and threw stones at police. 2 p.m., March 14 The situation escalated in the afternoon as more rioters gathered at the Ramoche Temple. Others, some armed with knives, began to arrive from the streets in downtown Lhasa. As the riot intensified, a group of people tipped over a police wagon, and then flipped a nearby car. An amateur cameraman recorded the scene as members of the mob stopped a motorcycle on the road and bludgeoned the rider’s head with rocks. As the violence intensified, some people caught up in the riot suffered severe injuries. This innocent man was blinded in the right eye, and his left ear was cut off. An amateur cameraman recorded the scene as members of the mob stopped a motorcycle on the road and bludgeoned the rider’s head with rocks. 3 p.m., March 14 From three o’clock in the afternoon onward, the mob moved along Yutuo Road, Beijing East Road, and Duosenge Road, smashing businesses and setting fires. They stormed into shops, hospitals and news agencies. Nearby public facilities, transportation and electric power lines were damaged. Seven banks operating within the area failed to escape the mob. Rioters smashed ten ATM machines to pieces leaving those branches in a complete mess. Rioters set fires in the areas around the Jokhong Temple, Ramoche Temple and the Chomsigkang Market. In the city centre, fires started in the Si Fang supermarket, Lan Dun Plaza and Wen Zhou Plaza. Rioters even attacked schools, setting Lhasa’s Number 2 Middle School on fire. The smoke from these fires covered the city. When firefighters arrived, two of their fire trucks were torched and four firefighters were injured. 13 innocent civilians were burned or stabbed to death in the riots. 56 cars were damaged or burned. Dozens of public security officers and scores of armed police were injured, 10 in serious condition. Rioters have set fire to over 300 sites, and burned down over 200 residential houses and shops. After the riots began, Party and government officials of the Tibet Autonomous Region reacted quickly. They deployed the police to disperse the violence, and firefighters to put out the fire and evacuate those trapped inside burning buildings. The wounded were rushed to hospital for treatment. Local authorities say more than 580 people have been rescued by the armed police, including three Japanese tourists, as well as teachers and students in a primary school and a middle school. There wereno foreigners among the casualties. China’s public security and armed police have exerted the highest restraint. In their handling of the incident, China’s public security and armed police have exerted the highest restraint. They did not use any deadly weapons, not even when their own lives were threatened. Some riot police were cornered and beaten. Others were stoned. Armed police on duty outside the gate of the Romache Temple were surrounded and attacked by rioters. None of them fired on their attackers. One day after the riots, vehicles were restricted from entering the city’s main roads. But the streets were still littered with roll-over cars, burned motorbikes and bicycles, and smoldering reminder of from violence from the day before. Local officials in Tibet say there is plenty of evidence to prove that the incident was masterminded by the Dalai clique. Baema Chilain, vice chairman of government of Tibet autonomous region, said “The Dalai clique used various means to contact and issue orders to their co-conspirators in Tibet. They also resorted to all sorts of tricks to stir up trouble among the people, hiding the truth from them. All this shows that the Dalai clique has never stopped its efforts to disrupt national unity and seek Tibet independence.” “I am outraged!” a Lhasa resident said. “My heart is very heavy. A small group of secessionists has unleased great violence on Lhasa. They’ve destroyed our happy life. We can’t go to work. Our children can’t go to school.” another resident said. “If there should be similar incidents in the future, we will definitely be against them. It’s absolutely necessary to punish the culprits in accordance with the law. This is for the interests of the people, for social stability, and for national unity.” Many places were attacked and burned down to the ground. The Youth Road in the downtown area suffered the most. Businessman Peng Xiaobo said “After an explosion, heavy smoke was everywhere. My uncle was over there with the woolen blanket — he jumped down from the second floor. Then he urged us to jump, too. He said, ‘Don’t worry about the money. Life is more important.’ The explosion shattered all the glasses, and heavy smoke covered up everything.” Peng Xiaobo’s four shops were all set on fire. His family had to jump down from the second floor in order to escape. His wife hurt her back during the jump. But the worst was yet to come. Peng said “I had a younger sister. She just had her 18th birthday in December. She didn’t dare to jump from such a height. She tried to find another way to escape, but the stairs under her collapsed. She fell through to the first floor and was burned to death.” 18-year-old Chen Jia came from the southwestern province of Sichuan. Last Friday, the clothing store in Lhasa, where she and five other girls worked, was targeted by rioters. The door of the store was destroyed. Trapped inside, the six girls were forced to flee to the second floor. In shock, Chen Jia sent a text message to her father, saying, ‘Father, the rioters here are very brutal. We’re hiding in the store and don’t dare to leave. Don’t worry about me. You tell Mother and Sister not to go out.’ Several minutes later, the store was set on fire. Five of the girls were burned to death. The tragedy broke Chen Jia’s father’s heart. He said “My daughter was so girlish. We all loved her.” Chen Jia, Cering Zhuoga from Xigaze, Yang Dongmei and Liu Yan from Sichuan, and Han Xinxin from Henan were also burn to death. Zhuoma was left shocked at being the only survivor. Days after the violence, Zhuoma still can’t accept that her friends are no longer here. She said “I never thought about that. We were happy together that morning, but it suddenly changed hours later. I can’t believe it, I can’t accept the truth that they have left me. I want to ask the rioters why they did it. I really can’t understand why the rioters killed innocent civilians…why they killed our sisters. We’re just employees, we don’t have much money. If they wanted money, why did they rob us of our lives?” Violence in Lhasa broke out on March 14th, and took a heavy toll in innocent lives and property. Businessman, Wu Guanglin, can’t forget what he and his son suffered that day. Rioters targeted him and his six-year-old son. They stamped on the little boy’s chest, sending him into shock. Businessman Wu Guanglin said “I searched all over for him, at last I saw my son was lying on the ground without clothes and shoes.” Wu Guanglin stopped an ambulance, and doctors gave his son first aid. But the ambulance was targeted shortly after driving off. He said “My son’s only six years old. I really feel sad. The rioters even beat the doctors with stone and sticks. The doctors directed me to cover my son with my body, the rioters even destroyed the face guard. I was really sad. My son was in serious condition for two days after the incident. I went to hospital twice to thank doctor Lobsang, but he told me that was his duty.” Wu Guanglin says he will always remember the Tibetan doctor, Cering Lobsang, who risked his life to rescue the boy. Lobsang is still recovering from his wounds at Lhasa People’s Hospital. Tibetan doctor Cering Lobsang said “We picked up the Wus on our way back. The boy wasn’t breathing, and had no heart beat. The rioters stopped us. We told them we are medical workers, but they didn’t care. They targeted the ambulance, and beat us.” Local authorities took control of the situation shortly after the violence broke out. They also took effective measures to restore peace and order. Local residents also volunteered clear away debris and clean up the streets. Vice chairman of Tibet autonomous region Dorje Cering said “We are working to gather enough materials for people’s basic needs. Tibet is at such a special moment. We have to guarantee that every citizen lives a stable life here in Lhasa. At the same time, we’re working hard to arrest those behind the violence as soon as possible.” By Wednesday, more than 150 rioters had turned themselves in to police, and handed over what they had looted. In downtown Lhasa, the shells of stores and homes can be seen everywhere. But as people start putting things back together, the city is on the way back to normal.