Dalai Lama ‘aims to harm Olympics’

Chinese state media say his vows of non-violence are a “lie from beginning to end”.

Chinese shop in Lhasa
Chinese state media says that things are returning to normal after nearly two weeks of protests [AFP]
“It doesn’t matter if the Dalai Lama and his followers disguise themselves under the pretence of ‘peace’ and ‘non-violence’,” it said.

“Their splittist sabotage activities are doomed to fail.”

The newspapers described a series of alleged violent incidents over the past nearly 50 years in an attempt to convince readers that vows by the Dalai Lama of non-violence were “a lie from beginning to end”.

‘Baseless’ accusations

The Dalai Lama has called the accusation “baseless”, asserting that he supports China’s hosting of the summer Games.

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“I always support [that] the Olympics should … take place in Beijing … so that more than one billion human beings, that means Chinese, they feel proud of it,” he said at a Buddhist prayer session in New Delhi.

Protests that began nearly two weeks ago on the anniversary of a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule have created a major public relations problem for the Beijing government ahead of the Olympics.

Some people fear that the Olympic torch relay – which will see the flame carried through 20 countries before the Beijing Olympics open on August 8 – could spark violent protests against China.

About 1,000 police will surround Olympia in Greece on Monday to keep pro-Tibetan protesters away from the torch lighting ceremony.

‘Peace restored’
Meanwhile, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency said peace was gradually being restored in areas that had been hit by fierce protests.
Reporting from the county seat of Ngawa, a Tibetan-populated area in southwest China’s Sichuan province shaken by protests a week ago, Xinhua said more than half of the shops were reopened for business on Saturday.


Tibetan marchers chant slogans after being
arrested last week [AFP]

It quoted Kang Qingwei, the county’s Communist Party chief, as saying high and elementary schools would reopen on Monday, suggesting they had been forced to close down for an entire week.

Activist groups have said eight people were killed by security forces in protests in Ngawa.

China has admitted its police used live ammunition, but said only four people were wounded by bullets.

A similar dispute reigns over the death toll from the protests in Lhasa on March 14. On Saturday, China said 18 civilians and one police officer were killed in rioting in Lhasa, raising its official death toll from 13.
Tibet’s government-in-exile in the Indian hill town of Dharamshala has put the toll from a week of unrest across the Himalayan region and neighbouring provinces at 99.
Media criticism
Verifying reports from Tibet and surrounding areas is difficult, as the Chinese authorities have severely restricted foreign journalists’ access.
At the same time, state-controlled media on Sunday carried criticism of western media, blaming them for biased accounts of what had happened over the past 10 days.
Tens of thousand of Chinese internet users had vented their anger online over what they considered unfair reporting, according to Xinhua.
“The netizens say that CNN and some western media organisations have intentionally neglected cruelties of the mobsters, revealing the hypocrisy of ‘objectivity and fairness’ they had flaunted,” the agency said.
Source: News Agencies


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