Everything from sides of yak meat to laundry was thrown onto the pyres. Rioters delighted in tossing in cooking gas canisters and running for cover as they exploded.
On March 15, paramilitary police began moving into the alleys, firing occasional bullets: not bursts of gunfire, but single deliberate shots, probably more in warning than with intent to kill. They also moved from rooftop to rooftop to deter residents from gathering on terraces overlooking the alleys.
The government's decision not to declare martial law, or any emergency restrictions, reflected its concern about the Olympics. But China needs to move faster to restore normality.
Events cannot be justified
The rioting that occurred recently in Lhasa and other areas in China can hardly be justified, a Russian scholar said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
In fact, what people have seen in Tibet is that mobs attacked the people. They also burned shops and cars and broke into Chinese embassies overseas in the name of peaceful demonstrations.
Some monks even deliberately maimed each other, and then took photographs in order to make a sensation in the world.
Many politicians in the West have called on the Chinese government to show restraint in Tibet. But none have called for Tibetans to stop beating settlers from other parts of China.
"Although the Dalai Lama does not demand independence, the existence of the government in exile is hard to understand.
"The radical supporters of the Dalai Lama should be responsible for jeopardizing the dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama," Gennady Chufrin, deputy director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of Russian Academy of Sciences, said.
In recent years, the central government of China has invested enormous resources to the development of the Tibet autonomous region. Since 2002, China has initiated negotiations with representatives of the Dalai Lama.
The riots took place in the light of the upcoming Olympics in August in Beijing.