A Western tourist in Lhasa, Tibet, has told the BBC: “The violence may have begun on Friday at 2pm but it felt like it had been brewing for 50 years. It was frustration that had spilled over. People had taken too much. That was the impression we got.“
Meanwhile Tibet's Communist party chief, Zhang Qingli, has reportedly told officials: "The Dalai is a wolf in monk's robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast." Such ignorance is pitiable. Anyone who has read any of the Dalai Lama's publications knows that he advocates non-violence and compassion towards all sentient beings - even those who are trapped in a mentality of aggressive militarism and materialism.
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel writes: “Even as we write, it is clear that China's rulers are trying to reassure the world that peace, quiet, and "harmony" have again prevailed in Tibet. We all know this kind of peace from what has happened in the past in Burma, Cuba, Belarus and a few other countries - it is called the peace of the graveyard.
"Merely urging the Chinese government to exercise the "utmost restraint" in dealing with the Tibetan people, as governments around the world are doing, is far too weak a response. The international community, beginning with the United Nations and followed by the European Union, Asean, and other international organisations, as well as individual countries, should use every means possible to step up pressure on the Chinese government to allow foreign media, as well as international fact-finding missions, into Tibet and adjoining provinces in order to enable objective investigations of what has been happening; release all those who only peacefully exercised their internationally guaranteed human rights, and guarantee that no one is subjected to torture and unfair trials; enter into a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan people.
"Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the International Olympic Committee should seriously reconsider whether holding this summer's Olympic games in a country that includes a peaceful graveyard remains a good idea.”