In June 2004, I was fortunate enough to visit Tibet. It's a land of quite stunning landscapes which has friendly people.
However, in every city I visited, the native Tibetans felt almost like an endangered species. Each city consisted of an old (Tibetan) quarter, surrounded by what I can only describe as uninspiring Chinese "shoebox" architecture.
At that time, the railroad from Beijing to Lhasa was being built, it is now complete. There was clearly a policy to encourage mass migration of Han Chinese to Tibet, to "normalise" the region.
When I was there, it was mentioned that there were plans to build a giant statue of Chairman Mao near Lhasa, since he had 'liberated' the Tibetan people. You couldn't make this stuff up.
I've been following the news stories from Tibet with concern and sadness. There has been violence and reports of some deaths. I hope for a peaceful outcome, but fear the worst.
The Free Tibet organisation currently has a number of campaigns. If you can offer any support, please consider doing so.
You can see reports about the current protests on these BBC (and Channel 4) links:
The link below features a link (on the Free Tibet website) to some very graphic pictures of dead Tibetans from the recent protests