LHASA - Memories of horror were alive again. Rioting that erupted in Lhasa on Friday resembled two previous riots in 1959 and 1989, only in its cruelty and always indisputable links to peace-preaching Dalai Lama.
On March 10th, more than 300 monks from the Zhaibung Monastery ventured into downtown Lhasa. The monks, who were supposedly converted to peace, were invective and aggressive, and flagrantly confronted with the security forces.
In the Sera Monastery, ten monks held up flags of the so-called Tibetan exile government and shouted "Tibetan independence". In the ensuing days, a few monks chanted independence slogans and challenged officers who were maintaining order. Lime and boiling water were poured over those around them, and stones rained down.
In blatant attempts to create sensation, three monks in the Zhaibung monastery lacerated their bodies with knives and took pictures of one another, photos that were to be used to blame others for the harm they inflicted upon themselves, police said.
Affrays turned violent, and losses were grave. The mob on Friday set off a destruction rampage and spared nothing and nobody along their way. Rioters set fire to buildings, torched dozens of police cars and private vehicles and looted banks, schools and shops. Innocent civilians were stabbed, stoned and scourged. At least 10 died, mostly from burns.
In the shocking degree of cruelty which local Tibetans said they had not seen in their whole lives, "brutal" was an understatement of the true picture, but the word was only reserved for the mob, and not for the policemen.
Throughout the incident, Lhasa police officers exercised great restraint. They remained patient, professional and were instructed not to use force. In humanitarian spirit, they even rescued the malicious monks who attempted sensation through hurting themselves. But such restraint was met with even more malice.
Young officers -- fathers, husbands and brothers -- were stoned, lunged, stabbed and clubbed, like any other innocent victim. Twelve of them were badly injured, two of them critical.
Such hostility was not "non-violence" as Dalai preached, but what the "revered" monk practiced. Religious leaders, local Tibetans and other residents stood out and condemned the riot.
It is obvious that the latest well-planned sabotage in Lhasa was another bloody exercise of Dalai clique's political conspiracy.