On Wednesday, hundreds of people in the capital City, Lhasaprotests over strict covid measures, and lockdown as per the footage shown.
For more than two months, authorities have shut down Lhasa and inflicted harsh and severe covid restrictions, which has led to a major protest in Lhasa this Wednesday. More than hundreds of ethnic Han Chinese migrators took on the street to protest in the noon and was said to be continued throughout the evening, BBC reported. Those migrant workers came to Lhasa for employment and earn their daily wages where it has become very hard to earn money during these lockdowns and worse, they couldn’t even go back to their home. Hence, they took on the street out of desperation and frustrations as per the video depicts.
One such video shows migrant workers walking on the street shouting and demanding to be allowed to go back home. Another video showsalarge-scale protester marching on the street were blocked on one end by the health-care officials and asking them “to please be understanding and go back” where another video shows a man commenting in Mandarin “They have been locked up for too long. And a lot of people in this community are people who have just come to work and earn money. If they could get that in mainland China, they wouldn’t have come here”.
BBC reports, these videos are quickly deleted from the Chinese social medias, as usual although some were re-posted on twitter.
As per Radio Free Asia, protesters warned they would “set of a fire” if the authority do not lift up the severe restrictions.Another said, there is a fear of turning this clash between the authority and protesters violent. The protest is considered to be the largest since 2008 major protest against the Chinese authority by the Tibetans. The social media suggested, the consequences would be far worse if protesters were Tibetan.
One resident in Lhasa reported to BBC, it has been almost 80 days since the covid lockdownand she has been staying indoors except to roam for few hours a day. The amount of emotional and psychological toll it has took on the people was unimaginable as the same resident who only wanted to be identified by her surname, Ms Han said, “People are locked at home every day and life are so hard. Prices in Lhasa now are so high and landlords are chasing people for rent. The workers also aren’t allowed to go back to their hometown. They have no other way out,” She has also said, “Who knows what the real number [of Covid cases] are now? Every day we can hear that people need oxygen. The government can report whatever numbers they want.”
BBC reported, videos were posted on the famous Chinese social media, Douyin Chinese version of a TikTok, where people were trapped in their compound due to the lockdown. One posted, “Today is the 77th day of the lockdown in Lhasa. I don’t know how long it will continue to be like this. I can’t find hope. Can you understand… how hard it is for migrant workers?” the post said. “We haven’t had any income for three months – but expenses have not been reduced even by a penny. My friends in Lhasa – how long can you go on like this?” said another post.
Yet not a single word was uttered by the state officials regarding the incident except 8 new covid cases were informed.
The zero covid-policy has inflicted deep anxiety, and frustrations not just among the migrant workers but also for the Tibetans living outside Lhasa, the source told. They were not allowed to go back to their home.
The Chinese government has imposed strict covid measure including lockdown in Lhasa since August and several Tibetans has attempted suicide. The severe and sudden lockdown has prompted acute food shortages, and even inappropriate treatment to those inflicted with covid. Several videos show residents crying for help and some boldlycame on social media and spoke on the harsh treatment against the Chinese authority yet, nothing has been improved. As per Radio Free Asia, in September, Central Tibetan Administration, in Dharamsala has shared a statement regarding the ill treatment of Chinese authority towards the Tibetans holding them into quarantine, without providing an adequate medical care and proper treatment to the patients.
Indeed, not only Tibetans but Uyghur majority Xinjiang regions were severely quarantine without providing proper medical care. Videos expressing their concern and truth were instantly scrubbed off from all the social media platforms.
As per BBC, although, videos of Wednesday incident were removed, they were still people searching for content related to the Wednesday’s incident such as “what happened in Lhasa tonight”.
This Wednesday protest is believed to be the second largest eruption ever since the 2008 uprising where hundreds of Tibetan marched on street against the Chinese government. Major clash between the police and protesters took place where Tibetans were brutally punished, detained, beaten and sentenced. Source said, “In Lhasa alone, 21 people were killed and several hundred injured during the protest”.The authorities have removed and deleted all the information related to the 2008 protest from all the social media platforms. They also dramatically censored and restricted foreign interventions and communication between the Tibetans and the rest of the world.
Chinese claims they have provided equal rights and developed Tibet significantly as an autonomous region under their care, but it is far from truth. In recent reports, a lot of Tibetans were constantly captured and sentenced in prison and sent to concentration camps without any appropriate evidence. They were denied of religious freedom let alone not to speak of fundamental rights, in the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the head of religious figure of Tibetan people “Tibetans are denied even the right to exist as a human being” resulting in heavy toll of lives. But interestingly, CCP denied of any ill-treatment, abuse, allegations, oppression and instead claims of developing the Tibetans enormously.