|Documentary: Accusation of the victims of 3.14 Lhasa riots|
|Source: CCTV.com | 03-23-2008 22:18|
Documentary: Accusation of the victims of 3.14 Lhasa riots
Source: CCTV.com | 03-23-2008 22:18
For residents in Lhasa, the events of March the 14th were a nightmare. Innocent civilians were attacked and private properties were damaged. The unrest severely disrupted social order and the daily lives of the locals. In the following documentary, we look at how Lhasa residents suffered in the riots.
Lhasa is the capital of Southwestern China's Tibet Autonomous Region. On March 14th, rioters instigated by hostile and separatist troublemakers from both home and abroad went on a rampage. Their trail of violence disrupted the normal everyday lives of the local people. Witnesses say the gangs of rioters beat up civilians, smashed property and looted businesses, and burned down homes and shops. The resulting chaos jeopardized the lives, property and livelihoods of local people.
In the Deqing village, on the outskirts of Lhasa
This is the Deqing village, on the outskirts of Lhasa.
This two-story building used to be a store for selling and repairing motorcycles. But it is now burned out and totally destroyed.
Upon learning that the store was on fire, the landlord, Qiong Da, rushed to the scene. He was the first witness.
Qungtag, Deqing resident, Lhasa, said, "I walked around the shop, upstairs and downstairs. I suddenly stepped on something. When I looked at it more closely, I saw that it was a human skull I realized that somebody had burned to death. "
Qiongda immediately called the police. The Lhasa Police Station confirmed that Liang Zhiwei and his wife, along with their five-month baby and two of their relatives had died in the fire.
The landlord, Qiongda, is still in shock. He fondly remembers Liang Zhiwei and his family as very harmonious.
Qungtag said, "I am very sad. We were getting along so well. When they gave birth to the child, I gave them rice paste and ghee as a gift. I can't forget those happy scenes."
The burned shop is in disarray now. Amid the scattering of motorcycle accessories is a broken bed, shreds of clothing and grim scenes of body parts. The scene was startling, and those who saw it say the tragic images can easily make people bristle with anger. Local residents say they are outraged by the violence that led to the death of Liang Zhiwei's entire family.
Sangye Tendzen, Lhasa resident, said, "This has ruined the happy life of the people. I am so angry when I see that innocent people have been burned to death."
Qungtag said, "To ensure future stability these rioters should be severely punished. This is the only way to reassure all of the businessmen and people living here."
On the Beijing Road Central in Lhasa
On the Beijing Road Central in Lhasa there was a clothing store called Yishion. At 3 P.M. on March 14th, chaos broke out on the street where Yishion was situated. An employee called Zhuoma, and her five colleagues were besieged in the store. They fled to a small room on the second floor.
Zhuoma said she hid under the bed. But she heard rioters outside breaking open the rolling gate at the entrance. She says she didn't know who they were, nor how many people she just heard them breaking into the store and smashing everything.
Zhuoma said, "Before the riots, there was a glass door nearby. It was destroyed in the chaos. We were just crying. Everyone was shaking and couldn't speak."
By around 5 p.m., Zhuoma says she sensed that a semblance of calm had returned outside. So she quickly told her friends to try to escape. Zhuoma ran out the store, finding a place to hide in the yard of a nearby hostel. But after discovering the store was on fire her five other friends hiding in the store were unable to escape. The five young girls -- 24 year-old Yang Dongmei, 22 year-old Liu Yan, 21 year-old Cering Zhuoga, 19 year-old Han Xingxing and 18 year-old Chen Jia -- were burned to death tragic victims of the senseless violence.
Tang Qingyan, the owner of the Yishion clothing store, was the first witness to arrive after the blaze. He says he saw an extremely cruel scene the five girls had been burned to death on the second floor of the store.
Tang Qingyan said, "I was the first one to get here and I was crying. I thought there were still some people alive, so I searched everywhere. And then, I saw my sister, she was here, facing the wall."
Losing her dear friends after being with them only hours ago Zhuoma says it's nearly unbearable to face up to the reality of the brutality and cruelty.
Zhuoma said, "I never thought about it. We were happy together that morning, but it suddenly changed a few hours later. I can't believe it, I can't accept the truth that they have left me. I want to ask the rioters why they did it. I really can't understand why the rioters killed innocent civilians."
One of the victims, Cering Zhuoga, came from Xigaze. Upon hearing of her death Cering's aunt and brother rushed to Lhasa.
Cering's annt said, "We lost a girl who is so good."
Cering's brother said, "She was the smartest girl we have. It is extremely tragic."
As a tragic result of a rampaging mob and a senseless fire -- five young girls are dead. Many Lhasa residents are mourning the deaths of the five workers in the clothing store. Many mourners are strangers of the innocent victims.
Lhasa resident said, "We all feel that it is so cruel."
Lhasa resident said, "We witnessed the rioters' violence. They robbed, smashed and burned the stores, and took five young lives. We feel indignant and condemn the rioters."
The local police acted quickly, trying to prevent the situation from deteriorating. They exercised maximum restraint in the face of the marauding rioters. And they were consistently on the defensive.
Injured police officer
This injured police officer, Liu Dingwei, is now in hospital. He had just become a policeman in the Tibet Autonomous Region last December. But the young police officer was severely hurt trying to put a stop to the riots and marauding mob.
March 13th marked Liu Dingwei's 19th birthday. But on the day after his birthday, March 14th, the riots broke out near Ramoche Temple, in Lhasa. Many young police officers such as Liu Dingwei responded to the call for help -- to restore calm to the area and stop the marauding rioters.
But Liu Dingwei and his fellow policemen held their ground. This, despite being pelted by rocks and suffering injuries trying to deal with the hostile mob of rioters.
Liu Dingwei said, "The order we receive is that we should never fight back even if we are beaten never retort even if cursed and stay calm even if we are spat on the face."
The armed police officers exercised maximum restraint. But the mobsters showed no mercy. Liu Dingwei's head was seriously wounded in a barrage of stones. He almost fainted.
Liu Dingwei said, "I was hit on the head. I was already half conscious by then. But someone drew out his Tibetan dagger and chopped me."
The squad leader rescued half-conscious Liu Dingwei from the hands of the mobsters and escorted him to the hospital. Medical examinations show that Liu Dingwei's hip is seriously wounded. The cuts were so deep that his bones were exposed and the muscles were also parted. His head was scratched.
The 19-year-old has not told his parents and grandfather that he was injured and hospitalized. And his love for Lhasa remains unchanged despite the experience in the riots on March 14th.
Liu Dingwei said, "I like Lhasa and Tibetan people. On March 14th, I saw Tibetan compatriots rescue our armed police officers."
Many innocent civilians were targeted by rioters
Many innocent civilians were targeted by rioters in their criminal activities on March 14th.
Ma'ayingshe was seriously wounded. She's been lying here in the ward of Lhasa's No.2 People's Hospital for a week. The 36-year-old is a restaurant owner. 15 days after her restaurant opened for business, unexpected catastrophe befell.
Ma'ayingshe said, "A group of 20 or 30 people stormed into my restaurant. They were holding thick sticks and daggers, and smashed the restaurant with stones. We hid on the second floor. After they smashed up the first floor, seven or eight people swarmed upstairs and pushed me out of the window of the second floor."
Ma'ayingshe was pushed out of a second floor window by the rioters. Her backbone was severely injured. Doctors say she has to stay in bed for at least half-a-year and may end up paralyzed. Her business and a loan of tens of thousands yuan, went up in flames set alight by mobs.
Ma'ayingshe said, "My kids cannot go to school. My family is now poor. I have to repay my loan, but now I can't."
This 33-year-old man was attacked by rioters without any reason.
Ma Shusha, Lhasa riots victim, said, "I didn't feel right and tried to aviod them. But a woman saw me and told a man. The man came right up to me and slashed me."
The artery in his neck was exposed and he was on the verge of death when he was hospitalized.
Ma Shusha said, "Our society is so good nowadays. Such an incident should never have happened. Innocent people were harmed and cars were burned. We hope the government severely punishes those mobs."
During the riots that broke out in Lhasa on March the 14th, lawless people smashed into a number of primary and middle schools.
Rioters set fire and burned a building of the Lhasa No.2 Middle School.
Dekyi Zhoima, headmaster Lhasa No.2 Middle School, said, "At 12:30 on March 14th, beating, smashing and looting occurred at the Ramoche Temple opposite to our school. The lawless people did not stop their violence. They set fire to the residential building of our school. The fire spread to two classroom buildings. "
At this critical moment, school teachers quickly pulled together.
Students in class were evacuated to the playground.
The ferocious flames caused a lot of panic among the students.
Cetoin Wanggya, student Lhasa No.2 Middle school, said, "Fires spread to our classroom. I felt much heat around me. I wanted to save schoolbags and stationery for all my classmates. But the fire was coming close. The whole building was on fire. Roofs were destroyed."
The two classroom buildings, which occupied a total area of 1,660 square meters, have been reduced to ruins.
Luckily, all 839 students escaped the fire safe and sound.
Dekyi Zhoima said, "Our students and teachers had to witness our school being attacked. They are very angry."
Cering Zhoima, student Lhasa No.2 Middle School, said, "I think the rioters should be severely punished. Their unlawful activities meant we couldn't study in a calm environment."
In Chengguan district of Lhasa, the mobsters started attacking Jibenggang primary school after rioting along the road.
Deyang, principal Jibenggang Primary School, said, "They struck the school gate, and threw stones."
Face with the sudden incident, the school decided to close all the gates of the school immediately, and keep the students inside. The rioters tried several times to break in and twice they were very close to breaking in.
Deyang said, "Many people and parents pointed out to the rioters that they were attacking a school. But the rioters said they wouldn't bypass a school."
The school's quick response to the incident saved itself, and the students there were not hurt.
Lhasa's Potala Palace Square is a holy land for pilgrims. As the city restores to calm, the number of pilgrims who come here to pray is gradually increasing. Geleg has lived in Lhasa for over 20 years. He says the recent incidents have scared the people around him, and their normal life has been destroyed.
Geleg said, "Over the past few days, the square has had fewer pilgrims than usual. People are scared. What if there's another riot? The previous riot caused huge damage.The pilgrims dare not come to worship. We're against splitting the country. People are entitled to have religious freedom."
Ngawang Qoezhoeng, Langkazi county resident, said, "We were enjoying a peaceful life. But they stirred up such chaos. We really hate them."
Up until Saturday, a total of 18 innocent people have been either burnt or stabbed to death in the riots on March 14th. 382 people have been injured.
Rioters set alight to more than 300 public buildings, over 120 residential houses, and burned and destroyed some 900 shops and stores. More than 80 police and civil vehicles were set on fire. The cruelty and lack of humanity is utterly outrageous.
Evidence shows that the latest riot in Lhasa was deliberately incited by domestic and overseas separatists who advocate "Tibet independence". The riot was premeditated, masterminded and instigated by the Dalai clique. It aimed to disturb a peaceful and stable social environment so as to cause social chaos before the Beijing Olympics in an attempt to split Tibet from China.
Splitting the country is against people's will, and sabotage is bound to fail.