Urumqi demonstration 'not normal'

Source: Xinhua [12:17 July 12 2009]

The July 5 demonstration in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang region, was not a normal and peaceful one, Josph Kamber, a Canadian man who works in the city, said Friday, July 10.

"I cannot understand why they would send children (to the demonstration) because I saw very young children on television," said Kamber, a teacher in Xinjiang University who has lived in Xinjiang for three years.

"I saw children hurt on TV or screaming in hysteria. This is not an educated and well-organized demonstration," he added.

The Canadian had observed no tension between different ethnic groups on his campus before Sunday's riot. He said both Uygurs and Hans share the equal right to live and develop, and he was told to take good care of the ethnic minority groups.

Sandra Fernandez from the Philippines, a teacher with Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, said, "In my ten years living here, I've never witnessed or experienced like anything on July 5."

She said there was really no evident tension between Uygurs and Hans on the campus. She believed the riot was organized.

She was frightened by the riot and asked herself "Do you feel safe staying in this place?"

"Something inside me said it's not what you see with your eyes; it is what you feel inside and what your heart is telling you," She said. She said she planned to stay in Xinjiang as long as she can.