Britain's GCHQ spy agency has confirmed the fact that Chinese People's Liberation Army agents posing as monks staged violent riots in Tibet in order to justify a brutal crackdown, but that the demonstrations have now escalated beyond Beijing's control.
According to a report in today's Epoch Times, "GCHQ analysts believe the decision was deliberately calculated by the Beijing leadership to provide an excuse to stamp out the simmering unrest in the region, which is already attracting unwelcome world attention in the run-up to the Olympic Games this summer."
Fearing that legitimate demonstrators would become more active in the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics, Chinese authorities planned to create a pretext to crush the movement by instigating violence that would sour global opinion towards the Tibetans.
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According to the report, GCHQ's geo-positioned satellites in space were able to obtain images proving that the Chinese had infiltrated agent provocateurs into Lhasa. PLA agents posing as monks were responsible for setting fire to buildings and killing non-ethnic Chinese citizens as well as police in an attempt to demonize the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan freedom movement.
However, according to the report, "What the Beijing regime had not expected was how the riots would spread, not only across Tibet, but also to Sichuan, Quighai and Gansu provinces, turning a large area of western China into a battle zone."
Though the report seems to explain why images showed supposed Tibetans protesters inexplicably burning their own villages, it has to be cautioned that Epoch Times is a traditionally pro-Tibetan news outlet and there's no doubt that propaganda is being used by both sides.
It's probable that Chinese PLA agents instigated some of the violence but the fact that young Tibetans are engaging in violence completely of their own accord is largely accepted.
As the report points out, many of the Dalai Lama's supporters are "young, unemployed and dispossessed and reject his philosophy of non-violence, believing the only hope for change is the radical action they are now carrying out"
On a personal note, having visited Tibet myself and experienced some less than cordial interactions with the Tibetan people, it has to be said that they are certainly not deserving of the angelic tag some quarters of the media lavish upon them - being tribal, aggressive and spiteful towards foreign visitors as well as hostile towards tourists from the Chinese mainland.
As we reported on Monday, former Chinese Communist Party official Ruan Ming was the first to accuse China of staging the violent riots in order to demonize Tibetans in the eyes of the international community, justify a brutal paramilitary police crackdown and force the Dalai Lama to resign.
"The demonstration on March 10 was meant to be peaceful. You can see from the pictures that the demonstration was all monks," he explained, adding that the CCP carefully introduced violent unrest in order to "deceive the world".