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The Lhasa Riots Documentary


Source: | 03-20-2008 20:36

The riots in Lhasa last Friday are the most serious incident in the region for decades. Local residents are still reeling from the aftershock, even as they try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. In the following documentary, we look back at the events to see how they've impacted the people in Tibet.


March 14: The Lhasa Riots

This is Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. On March 14th, rioters began a rampage, beating people, smashing businesses, looting and burning. Their actions jeopardized people's lives and property.

11 a.m., March 14

(Ramoche Temple, Lhasa)

Violence scars Lhasa.
Violence scars Lhasa.

At eleven o'clock on the morning of March 14th, rioters gathered at the Ramoche Temple. On the temple roof, about a dozen monks stood and threw stones at police.

2 p.m., March 14

The situation escalated in the afternoon as more rioters gathered at the Ramoche Temple. Others, some armed with knives, began to arrive from the streets in downtown Lhasa.

As the riot intensified, a group of people tipped over a police wagon, and then flipped a nearby car.

An amateur cameraman recorded the scene as members of the mob stopped a motorcycle on the road and bludgeoned the rider's head with rocks. As the violence intensified, some people caught up in the riot suffered severe injuries. This innocent man was blinded in the right eye, and his left ear was cut off.

Violence scars Lhasa
An amateur cameraman recorded the scene as members
of the mob stopped a motorcycle on the road and
bludgeoned the rider's head with rocks.

3 p.m., March 14

From three o'clock in the afternoon onward, the mob moved along Yutuo Road, Beijing East Road, and Duosenge Road, smashing businesses and setting fires.

They stormed into shops, hospitals and news agencies. Nearby public facilities, transportation and electric power lines were damaged.

Seven banks operating within the area failed to escape the mob. Rioters smashed ten ATM machines to pieces leaving those branches in a complete mess.

Rioters set fires in the areas around the Jokhong Temple, Ramoche Temple and the Chomsigkang Market. In the city centre, fires started in the Si Fang supermarket, Lan Dun Plaza and Wen Zhou Plaza.

Rioters even attacked schools, setting Lhasa's Number 2 Middle School on fire. The smoke from these fires covered the city.

When firefighters arrived, two of their fire trucks were torched and four firefighters were injured.

Violence scars Lhasa.
Violence scars Lhasa.

13 innocent civilians were burned or stabbed to death in the riots. 56 cars were damaged or burned. Dozens of public security officers and scores of armed police were injured, 10 in serious condition. Rioters have set fire to over 300 sites, and burned down over 200 residential houses and shops.