Probably in an effort to calm tensions before the Olympic torch runs through Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa, the Chinese government released over 1,100 people alleged to have been involved in March’s unrest, which brought the world’s attention to the country and left several dozen people dead.
We ran a cartoon a few days ago that showed a Chinese factory churning out “free Tibet” gear. That imaginary image has since become real. The Chinese government has discovered a factory in Guangdong that mass-produced thousands of “free Tibet” flags, which Chinese authorities fear will soon end up on the streets of Hong Kong as the Olympic torch makes its way there.
Speaking from Japan, the Dalai Lama told reporters that he has supported the Beijing Olympics “right from the beginning,” but that protesters have a right to voice themselves. His government in exile, however, released a statement in opposition to the demonstrations that have followed the Olympic torch.
Authorities are scrambling to address a possible resurgence of violence after two buses were torched near Paris on Wednesday. Last year’s civil unrest led to the destruction of some 9,000 vehicles in and around the city.