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China's repression and the conflict within the Tibet liberation struggle
As Peace News went to press, the official death toll in Lhasa rose to 22 - generally assumed to be a massive under-estimate - and solidarity demonstrations were taking place around the world.
On 22 March, a Free Tibet Campaign march in London pressured China into allowing the Red Cross back into Tibet to treat people hurt in the violence. The day before, more than 30 protesters broke into the Chinese embassy in Delhi after foreign journalists were expelled from Tibet to prevent coverage of Chinese repression.
The violence has not all been governmental. Some Western tourists fleeing from Tibet have reported seeing crowds of Tibetans beating and stoning “anyone and anything that looked Chinese”.
The unrest is the most serious challenge to Beijing's domination of Tibet for decades. It is also a major challenge to the leadership of the Dalai Lama, who seeks autonomy through negotiation.
Many young Tibetans, inside and outside Tibet itself, are turning instead to the demand for independence through violence. It is unclear whether either Beijing or the Dalai Lama will succeed in totally restoring their authority in Tibet.