Death in the Himalayas

A disturbing story is emerging about the shooting deaths of Tibetan refugees by Chinese soldiers in a Himalayan pass. First reported on a climber’s website, the story has been picked up by the British press, amidst allegations that “Chinese diplomats in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu are tracking down and trying to silence hundreds of Western climbers and Sherpas who witnessed the killing.”

The invaluable China Digital Times has a summary and links.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

Soldiers firing on children? That’s sickening anywhere it occurs.

October 12, 2006 @ 12:55 am | Comment

One of the accounts I read, one of climbers who witnessed it said that the Chinese soldiers looked very young – he thought it might have been triggered by their inexperience. But that’s speculation as well.

October 12, 2006 @ 1:22 am | Comment

Last summer while traveling through the Tibetan areas of northwestern Sichuan I was amazed to here stories of recent (within the last two years) shootings of Tibetan monks trying to cross into Nepal. I simply didn’t know they were still doing that, and tried hard to disbelieve some very believable stories.

The process of going west in China strips away from you the ability to maintain any pretense at trying to listen to mainland china’s nationalistic blather and see it as anything other than ignorance, hypocrisy, or just plain brutal unfairness. It must be hard to be governed by foreigners. And oh my how hard it must be to be governed by such brutal and incompetent ones.

October 12, 2006 @ 8:04 am | Comment

Oh God. I echo the sentiment – sick, just sick.

October 12, 2006 @ 10:25 am | Comment

Young and inexperienced? You don’t need to reach 40 and be trained as a marine to comprehend that someone running away from you, not towards you, cannot constitute a life-threatening situation. The excuse of this kind is just sickening.

The source of unmitigated violence is Chinese chain of command. The international law states that the use of firearms by border patrols be done only as a last resort AND when life is at risk. Obviously, that’s not the code of conduct of PAP.

October 12, 2006 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

The climber who made that observation in no way approved of what they did (nor do I). IIRC, he felt there was some confusion, and that the soldiers’ inexperience may have contributed to what happened.

And certainly when you have Chinese diplomats trying to strong-arm the witnesses, that suggests that everyone involved knows what they did was inexcusable.

October 12, 2006 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

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