Tibetan riots spread, security lockdown in Lhasa
By Benjamin Kang Lim and Chris Buckley
BEIJING (Reuters) - Rioting erupted in a province neighboring Tibet on Sunday, two days after ugly street protests by Tibetans against Chinese rule in Lhasa that the contested region's government-in-exile said had killed 80 people.
A police officer -- speaking even as the main government building in Aba county, Sichuan province, came under siege -- told Reuters that about 200 Tibetan protesters had hurled petrol bombs and burnt down a police station.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in an e-mail that thousands of monks of the nearby Amdo Ngaba Kirti monastery in Sichuan had raised the banned Tibetan flag and shouted pro-independence slogans after prayers on Sunday morning.
Chinese security forces stormed the monastery, fired tear gas and prevented the monks from taking to the streets, it said.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Earlier, troops locked down Lhasa -- a remote city high in the Himalayas barred to foreign journalists without permission and now sealed off to tourists too -- to prevent a repeat of last week's riots, the most serious in nearly two decades.
The Dalai Lama said that there should be an investigation into whether cultural genocide, intentionally or not, was taking place in Tibet, and said China was relying on force to achieve peace.
The convulsion of Tibetan anger at the Chinese presence in the region came after days of peaceful protests by monks and was a sharp blow to Beijing's preparations for the Olympic Games in August, when China wants to showcase prosperity and unity. Continued...