Reporters May Be Getting China-Tibet Story Wrong
I'm on a mailing list run by a risk management consultancy, and someone well versed in how geopolitics, policy, and economics interact, who just returned from China, had a different view. This person said that the driving cause was inflation in China making it difficult for people to buy food, including monks. Also, the actions are supposedly spreading from the provinces to Tibet. Although Tibet gets a lot of attention, there have allegedly been food riots across China, most of which go unreported.
The expert then went on to say that food inflation had sparked not only the actions in Tibet and, apparently, people killed in Chinese grocery stores as they tried to buy cooking oil, but there have been food riots in "West Africa, Mexico, Morocco, Yemen, Guinea, Uzbekistan, Senegal, India, Indonesia, Cambodia and Burma." Good lord, that is a scary thought. There have been crop problems in a number of important food producing countries, and the economics of oil and the financial markets is driving up inflation and diverting crops to create ethanol.
If inflation, and the skyrocketing food prices that results, are becoming such a problem, you'd hope that journalists would start to cover the issue. So long as we're hearing only the tidy "political unrest" story, we don't learn what might actually suggest a solution, or at least a real explanation.