For the last three weeks, the protests in Tibet have riveted the world's attention and sparked a firestorm of debate here on YouTube. Beginning on March 10, the 49th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's exile, monks in Lhasa led what were intended to be a series of peaceful demonstrations for Tibetan independence. But on March 14, the demonstrations turned violent and a massive crackdown by the Chinese authorities ensued. The Chinese government blamed the violence on unlawful protesters, while Tibetans accused Chinese authorities of suppressive and abusive tactics.
From his home in India, the Dalai Lama urged both sides to exercise restraint, maintaining that violence is not the means to a durable political solution to the Tibetan issue. The violence has subsided for now, but the situation remains tense as China attempts to stabilize the region and repair its international image before hosting this year's Summer Olympics Games.
Needless to say, there are many sides to the China/Tibet debate, which has been demonstrated in the videos we've seen over the last two weeks. Some of them, such as this one
from NZKOF, takes the position that Tibet... "was, is, and always will be a part of China." Other videos take a very different view, such as this video
from dfherman, which was filmed during a pro-Tibet rally in New York City.
Some of the videos strive to be as objective as possible, such as this clip
from nocommenttv, a compilation of footage from the March 14 riots. And, of course, some videos are extremely personal. In this video
, a Tibetan man now living in Canada gives an emotional firsthand account of his experiences under Chinese rule.
The YouTube News & Politics Team