I went to Tibet the summer of 2001 to complete senior field research as part of my geography coursework at Humboldt State University and it was amazing, month-long journey (photo gallery).
Last week saw a wave of violence sweep the plateau with anti-Chinese demonstrations escalating into violence in the Tibetan capital as security forces clashed with the protesters. Sympathy protests occurred in India and Nepal. Chinese police action occurred throughout cultural Tibet including Repkong (article about Tongren from Christian Science Monitor) and Labrang (video feed from Xiahe from The Guardian) in Gansu and Qinghai provinces. The Wall Street Journal has a good interactive map of the events in Lhasa.
It looks like the security forces will now proceed with a Myanmar (Burma) style brutal crackdown, complicated by the fact that China’s new president was once governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region and was known to be less than friendly in his tactics then. The impact on this summer’s Olympics in Beijing (such as a boycott by some attending nations because of human rights concerns) remains to be seen. Read more in today’s edition of The Post…
Here’s my map of the situation in Saturday’s The Washington Post:
While researching the map for The Post, I found a neat Wired graphic of the luxery train to Lhasa from the July 2007 issue, below. Credit to Jason Lee. (Read Wired article).