Saturday, June 21, 2008
HARMONY IN LHASA?
he trooping of Her Flaming Harmoniousness through the deserted streets of Lhasa today seems to have gone off without a hitch. Had there been a hitch, the small group of permitted journalists would have had no opportunity to see it. They were kept on the media bus and not allowed to talk to any not-screened-in-advance residents. Shops and businesses were closed, and anyone not receiving an invitation to view this display of harmony with Chinese characteristics, was told to stay at home.
They rounded up enough invited guests to form cheering sections at the start (Norbulingka Palace) and at the end (Potala Palace). For most of the route in between, only soldiers could be seen stationed every few metres along the sidewalks. It was the triumphant display the Party was looking for (if you don't notice those other aspects), and apparently this attitude was on the minds of a few runners as well. It was broadcast live for less than 20 minutes, and lasted about 2 hours (cut down from the originally planned 3 day event).
This was recorded this morning from a news agency satellite feed which shall remain nameless, since they've decided to start going after bloggers now. Most of it is just a relay of CCTV anyway, apart from the last bit. There is no sound, but I've added a few comments in subtitles.
UPDATE: The BBC's James Reynolds was part of the media tour which arrived yesterday, and reports on today's show.