We’re not used to this sort of thing happening in London:
After an hour and a half of peaceful vigil opposite the embassy more than 100 mainly ethnic Tibetan protesters broke rank. “They just bolted,” one onlooker said. “The police were grabbing them by their necks. One woman was knocked over in the road.”
They made it as far as the locked front door of the embassy, where they hurled abuse and Tibetan flags at the windows above. “China, China China! Out! Out! Out!” they chanted. Pema Yoko, 25, the representative of Students on Behalf of Free Tibet, was born and raised in London and has never been to Tibet. “But I am 100 per cent Tibetan,” she said.
Sonam Ngodup, 30, was born and raised in India and has also never been to Tibet. “Tibetans are not fighting. We are just shouting,” he said. “We get shot for just shouting.”
All we need now is the RCP’s Brendan O’Neil to tell the Tibetans that they’re afraid of modernity, and Martin Jacques to sing the praises of Beijing.
Update: Jacques thinks that:
[E]vents in Tibet have served to expose the achilles heel of modern China: its inability to recognise and respect ethnic difference within its own borders.
Jacques is at pains to point out that Tibet was absorbed into China 200 years ago. In his judgement:
The question is not whether Tibet should be independent but the extent of the autonomy that it is allowed.