After almost a month of quiet, Chinese police have started a bloody crackdown in Tibet.
No violence was seen from Tibetans but China said it was a “crack down on the spreading of rumors.”
China and Tibet have been at odds since riotion roiled Tibet prior to last summer’s Beijing Olympics.
In early December while on a trip to Europe, Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said thatlacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower. Analysts tell Peace and Freedom that Chinese officials have been trying to find a way to punish Tibet since.
Chinese authorities have arrested 59 people in Tibet accused of spreading rumors and inciting sentiment against the state and public safety, state-run media reported.
Xin Yuanming, deputy director of the Lhasa City Public Security Bureau, announced the arrests Tuesday, saying police had uncovered 48 cases of planning and instigating violence against authorities in Tibet, Xinhua news agency reported Thursday.
The Public Security Bureau deployed a group of 108 police officers to “crack down on the spreading of rumors,” Xinhua said.
It was not clear when the arrests took place.
The special police unit also works to crack down on illegal downloads from the Internet and the dissemination of reactionary songs electronically.
The police have detained 59 people in Tibet on charges that they sought to foment unrest by spreading ethnic hatred and by downloading and selling banned songs from the Internet, Chinese state media reported Thursday.
The detainees, none of whom were identified, are accused of acting at the behest of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader whom the government blames for encouraging separatist sentiment in heavily Tibetan areas.
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press at the EU Parliament in Brussels. China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama has said, angering Beijing.(AFP/John Thys)
By Andrew Jacobs
The New York Times
Since Dec. 4, public security officials have been sweeping the markets of Lhasa looking for compact discs that contain “reactionary songs,” according to the China News Service. Those who distribute such songs, the report said, “hope to spark violence and damage Lhasa’s political stability.” Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
Although news reports did not say whether the detainees were formally arrested and charged, they are accused of threatening national security by advocating for an independent Tibet and by expressing disdain for the ethnic Han migrants who now dominate commerce in Lhasa and other Tibetan cities.
Such Han residents were the primary target of rioting last March that left at least 21 people dead and traumatized Beijing. “These rumormongers,” according to the Web site ChinaTibetNews.com, “seriously undermine the image of the party and the government and harm the public’s sense of security.”