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Lhasa Riot Survivor’s Account

22 March 2008
 

Zhuoma is a Tibetan girl and worked at a fashion shop on Beijing Road in the downtown Tibet. Friday afternoon, 14 March, mobs suddenly appeared on the streets. The staff hurriedly close the store, and many of them left their work for home, leaving 6 girls, including Zhuoma, all aged around 20, retreated to an attic. They lived in the areas that were said had also been racked by unrest.

“All around is the sound of smashing glasses and shouting, and we could only huddle together crying,” recalled Zhuoma. "Minutes later, a gang of men and women broke into the shop, and I heard they spoke in a strange language that I could not understand - that is definitely not local dialect. We held our breadth, and dared not to make a sound which may attract mobs attention."

After a while, the premises became quiet again. Zhuoma popped her head out, and found downstairs were engulfed in flames. She jumped out of room and rushed down the wooden ladders for the gate.

The mobs closed the rolling door with a narrow gap left between the floor and the gate. Summoned all her strength, Zhuoma eventually got herself squeezed out of the building. Before running away form the blazing shop, she shouted to the girls still trapped inside to follow her. On her way, she saw shop after shop to be burned down, and the violent criminals assaulting passers-by. On a roadside, she found a woman lying on the ground with face smeared with blood. When she eventually took refugee at a residential compound in Renan Road, she realised she was alone without her workmates.

Later Mr Tang, the owner of the store, returned to the ruin site, and discovered the charted bodies of five girls in the attic, some reclined in their beds, and others sat on their beds.

Among them, the 18-year-old Han girl was the one who sent the last text message to the outside world, to her father at 4.15pm: “Dad, so many vicious people in the store, we are too afraid to get out. But don’t worries about me, tell mom and sister not to go to street.” 10 minutes later, she was burned to death.

(source: xinhuanet.com)

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Q: Would it be fair to say that failing to condemn this violent terrorist act against civilians in Lhasa is "a challenge to the conscience of the world", and thus signifies that the Western media and those behind, for instance, the US congress and CIA, have "lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world"?

A: Yeah, you can say that again, baby.

I have a moral authority over the world, be warned, if you don't recognise this, I'll chant ten thousand times of the Killing Mantra and send you to the Vajra Hell.

You all enjoy the Academy Awards last night? ... I thought Jon Stewart did a great job. He did a great job. You know, the Oscars are broadcast in over 100 different countries, three of which actually like us.

by American commentator Jay Leno

These are people whose histories are spongy with the blood of others. Colonialism, apartheid, slavery, ethnic cleansing, germ warfare, chemical weapons – they virtually invented it all…. They stand on the world’s stage stark naked but entirely unembarrassed, because they know that they have more money, more food, and bigger bombs than anybody else.

by Indian writer Arundhati Roy

 

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