[permaculture] Dalai Lama: China causing 'cultural genocide' - CNN.com
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lflj at intrex.net
Sun Mar 16 19:14:57 EDT 2008
(CNN) -- The Dalai Lama on Sunday called for an international probe of China's treatment of Tibet, which he said is
causing "cultural genocide" of his people.
The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet spoke at a news conference Sunday in Dharamsala, India, two days after violent
clashes between pro-autonomy demonstrators and Chinese security forces in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.
A spokesman for the self-declared Tibetan exile government said it has confirmed at least 80 deaths in Friday's violence
and that protests were continuing outside the capital Sunday, further undermining China's hopes of a smooth run-up to
the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Tibet Watch, a group based in Dharamsala, India, said 34 people have died in the Nwaga County area of Sichuan province
in western China.
The dead include women and children, the group said in an e-mail, adding they were killed by Chinese police attempting
to stop the protests. Video Watch a report on the crackdown in Lhasa »
Eight bodies were brought to the Nagaba Kirti monastery, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Dharamsala
said. Of the eight, two are the bodies of monks, the center said.
Chinese paramilitary troops and riot police were patrolling, and shots could be heard from time to time, according to
James Miles, a reporter for The Economist in Lhasa.
Another protest took place in Machu County in northwestern China, Tibet Watch said. It was started by Tibetan students
They were later joined by monks and laypeople. During the demonstration, several shops and a security headquarters were
burned, Tibet Watch said. An estimated 2,000 Tibetans were using firecrackers in the streets, the group said.
The Dalai Lama said China, as the world's most populous nation, deserves to host the Olympics but it must look seriously
at repairing its human rights record "in order to be a good host."
He laughed at suggestions that the exile government was fueling the anti-Chinese protests, saying it was the natural
result of deep resentment caused by China's treatment of Tibetans as second-class citizens in their own land.
The Dalai Lama -- who fled his homeland 29 years ago after a failed uprising, said Tibet's "ancient cultural heritage"
is threatened with extinction by China.
He said the officials in the Chinese government's local administration in Tibet were "very, very negative" toward the
native Tibetans, which prevents development of a "harmonious society."
Tibet, he said, is seeking autonomy necessary to safeguard its heritage.
"We are not seeking separation," he said. In fact, he said, Tibet can enjoy modernization through its connection to China.
China was using force to gain stability and peace, but it would always be superficial, he said.
True harmony and unity must come from the heart, the Dalai Lama said.
Although Chinese authorities are keeping a tight control over communications out of Tibet in recent days, the world got
a rare live glimpse Sunday inside Lhasa.
Video showed armed Chinese police, dressed in riot gear, searching door to door through the Tai Yan Dao section of Lhasa
-- near the Potala Palace. Video Watch police conduct searches. »
A spokesman for the Tibetan government in exile said Sunday it had confirmed from "reliable sources" inside Tibet that
at least 80 people were killed during protests Friday in Lhasa. Many others were shot to death by police in other areas,
but the numbers have not been confirmed, an exile spokesman said.
The exile government said Chinese authorities had effectively imposed martial law, although it has not been officially
declared. Schools, shops and businesses have been closed, it said.
Home telephones and cell phones have been cut off and the movement of people is restricted in many parts of Tibet, it said.
"Monasteries have been completely sealed off by [the military] and remain under extremely strict surveillance," the
exiles said. "Monks are being followed even as they try to move within the compounds of the monastery."
Still, there were protests going on outside the Tibetan capital, the exiles said.
More than 200 people protested in Nyangden -- near the Sera Monastery north of Lhasa -- Sunday, the exiles said.
Police used tear gas against demonstrators who took to the streets of Kama Kusang, east of Lhasa, on Sunday, they said.
The exile spokesman also said there were major protests at the Labrang Tashikyil Monastery and at least four people were
taken into custody by Chinese soldiers.
Xinhua, China's official news agency, quoted police in Tibet giving protesters a deadline of midnight Monday "to stop
their criminal activities and offering leniency to those who surrender themselves."
"Those who surrender and provide information on other lawbreakers will be exempt from punishment," Xinhua reported the
police notice said.
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