Chinese Regime Implicated in Staging Violence in Lhasa

March 21, 2008 12:00 am Last Updated: March 21, 2008 12:00 am

Evidence has emerged of the Chinese regime having staged violence in Lhasa in order to discredit the peaceful protests of Buddhist monks.

According to the Dalai Lama's spokesman, Ngawang Nyendra, a witness has reported that a Chinese policeman in Lhasa disguised himself as a Tibetan and joined the protesters holding a knife in his hand. This witness also recognized the man from BBC news footage and news photos provided by China.

A Chinese woman from Thailand (who prefers that her name not be used) was studying in Lhasa when the protests broke out in March. As one of her friends is a policeman, she visited him at the local police office quite often and got to know other policemen there.

After the protests on March 14, she and other foreigners were sent to the police office where she saw a man with a knife in his hand walking in with some arrested Tibetans. The man later took off the Tibetan-style clothes and put on a police uniform.

This is a cropped copy of the photo released by the Chinese Embassy purporting to show a Tibetan with a knife taking part in a riot.
This is a cropped copy of the photo released by the Chinese Embassy purporting to show a Tibetan with a knife taking part in a riot.

This woman was sent out of Lhasa with other foreigners the next day. When she arrived in India via Nepal, she recognized the policeman she had seen in Tibetan garb from BBC TV news and photos that the Chinese embassy had provided to the media.

Ngawang Nyendra said the witness was shocked when she saw the policeman in the BBC broadcast. She realized then that the man had disguised himself as a Tibetan in order to incite people to riot.

The witness contacted a Tibetan organization in India and told them what she had seen. At a rally on March 17, the organization publicized a news photo originally provided by the Chinese Embassy in which the policeman appeared as a Tibetan rioter.

The Chinese embassy provided two batches of photos to the media, one issued before that rally and one afterwards. In the batch issued after that rally, the policeman in disguise had disappeared from photos taken at the same scene in which he had previously been visible.

Ngawang Nyendra said, “This photo with this man in it was sent by the Chinese embassy to BBC and Radio Free Asia. The other photo was sent out later. They are exactly the same except the man has disappeared from the second photo.

“From the TV news footage, you can see this man attempting to stab other people with a knife. But in later shots you can't find this person any more. They were acting. After people raised questions about these shots, this footage never appeared on TV again.”

This is not the first time that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sent policemen to act as rioters in civilian protests to stir up violence and frame the protesters. In his Events in Lhasa March 2-10, 1989 , the Chinese journalist Tang Daxian revealed the CCP's intrigues in suppressing the 1989 protests in Tibet.

According to the book, a few days after the Tibetans' peaceful protest, the CCP authorities sent out many special agents and plainclothes police disguised as civilians and monks to create a scene of rioting. They burnt sutra pagodas, broke into and robbed grain stores and other stores, and inspired other people to loot. After that, the army and police started a bloody crackdown.

In this year's protest, the riot scene was quite similar to that of 1989. A group of young men in their twenties acted in a well organized way. They first shouted slogans, then burnt some vehicles near the Ramoche Monastery, and then broke into nearby stores and robbed them, and finally burnt scores of the stores.

The actions seemed well planned and coordinated, and were conducted with skill. At the crossroads near the Ramoche Monastery, someone prepared in advance many stones of a similar size, each weighing a couple of kilograms. These stones magically escaped the attention of numerous policemen and plainclothes agents who flooded the city. Then it was only “natural” that large numbers of army, police and armored vehicles arrived and opened fired to “save the day.”