Argument: Recent surge in violence prove Dalai Lama is an inefficient way for Tibet

Supporting Evidence

  • A week in Tibet, “Trashing the Beijing Road”, Mar 19th 2008 , The Economist print edition “Rioting began to spread on the main thoroughfare through Lhasa, Beijing Road (a name that suggests colonial domination to many a Tibetan ear), in the early afternoon of March 14th. It had started a short while earlier outside the Ramoche Temple, in a side street close by, after two monks had been beaten by security officials. (Or so Tibetan residents believe; the official version says it began with monks stoning police.) A crowd of several dozen people rampaged along the road, some of them whooping as they threw stones at shops owned by ethnic Han Chinese—a group to which more than 90% of China’s population belongs—and at passing taxis, most of which in Lhasa are driven by Hans. The rioting quickly fanned through the winding alleyways of the city’s old Tibetan area south of Beijing Road. Many of these streets are lined with small shops, mostly owned by Hans or Huis, a Muslim ethnic group that controls much of Lhasa’s meat trade. Crowds formed, seemingly spontaneously, in numerous parts of the district. They smashed into non-Tibetan shops, pulled merchandise onto the streets, piled it up and set fire to it. Everything from sides of yak meat to items of laundry was thrown onto the pyres. Rioters delighted in tossing in cooking-gas canisters and running for cover as they exploded. A few yelled “Long live the Dalai Lama!” and “Free Tibet!”