Some newspapers today are carrying photos of burned-out shops in Barkhor Square, Lhasa.
This is what they looked like last November. Many businesses in Tibet are owned by ethnic Han Chinese, and it appears that much of the rioting was directed by Tibetans against these businesses.
It’s symptomatic of a profound cultural difference between the two societies. Tibetan culture was deeply religious, spiritual, largely nomadic and agricultural. Chinese culture, as I saw here and elsewhere, is materialistic, industrial, and increasingly entrepreneurial. I’m not criticising China or its people here – I loved it, liked the people and their hospitality, and I was hugely impressed by its achievements. I’m saying that Tibet is different. If the Dalai Lama says that he’s not arguing for independence, but does want more autonomy, who am I to disagree?