If you go by western media reports, the propaganda of the so-called ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’ in Dharamsala and the votaries of the ‘Free Tibet’ cause, or by the fulminations of Nancy Pelosi and the Hollywood glitterati, Tibet is in the throes of a mass democratic uprising against Han Chinese communist rule. Some of the more fanciful news stories, images, and opinion pieces on the ‘democratic’ potential of this uprising have been put out by leading western newspapers and television networks. The reality is that the riot that broke out in Lhasa on March 14 and claimed a confirmed toll of 22 lives involved violent, ransacking mobs, including 300 militant monks from the Drepung Monastery, who marched in tandem with a foiled ‘March to Tibet’ by groups of monks across the border in India. In Lhasa, the rioters committed murder, arson, and other acts of savagery against innocent civilians and caused huge damage to public and private property. The atrocities included dousing one man with petrol and setting him alight, beating a patrol policeman and carving out a fist-size piece of his flesh, and torching a school with 800 terrorised pupils cowering inside.Why are reports from western media and the Dalai Lama considered propaganda while Chinese news reports, which are essentially official government press releases, more credible? And how does The Hindu account for the fact that China employed a press black-out, where no non-state media outlets were allowed in. So where did The Hindu get these images, news reports, eyewitness accounts? The Hindu does not say, but we can speculate that they got their 'fanciful' news stories directly from China.
Nitin gives the editorial the thorough dissection that it deserves.
ADDENDUM: It would not surprise me one bit that among protestors were agent provocateurs to engineer incidents like attacks on civilians and police. Authoritarian regimes often engage in such practices to give them a free hand in suppressing opposition, violently if need be.