Tibetan leader condemns Chinese repression on 50th anniversary of failed uprising.
“The Dalai Lama clique is confusing right and wrong. They are spreading rumours. The democratic reforms (under Chinese rule) are the widest and most profound reforms in Tibetan history.”
Earlier China’s state-run Xinhua news agency released two commentaries lambasting the Dalai Lama as a “marginalised old monk” who was talking “gibberish”.
“This ‘hell on earth’ is precisely ‘paradise on earth’ for the ordinary Tibetans,” one of the commentaries said.
“If the Dalai Lama really wants to do something beneficial for his fellow Tibetans, he should stop lying, abandon his separatism mentality and show some sincerity in settling the Tibet issue properly.”
The Dalai Lama responded on Wednesday saying he still believed the future was bright, said Reuters news agency.
“Now hopefully, the Chinese leadership should use more commonsense rather than emotion”.
|In depth: Tibet|
A massive Chinese security presence in Tibet and other parts of western China in the run-up to Tuesday’s anniversary appeared to have prevented any large-scale protests breaking out to mark the uprising.
China has deployed thousands of police to the region, stepping up security checks and disrupting internet and mobile phone communications that had been used to rally protesters during last year’s unrest in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, and elsewhere.
Text messages received by Lhasa residents from mobile phone providers in recent days have warned that voice and text messaging services could be disrupted from March 10 to May 1 for “network improvements”.
Foreigners were barred from the region several weeks ago and police have been conducting daily checks on hotels.
“Even though it seems relatively quiet, we can feel that the security is very tight now,” an unnamed employee at the Shannan Yulong Holiday Hotel in Tsedang, Tibet’s third-largest city, told the Associated Press.
In Lhasa witnesses reported riot and paramilitary police putting on a show of force, patrolling the streets with automatic rifles during Tuesday’s anniversary.
|Tibet: Key dates|
1950 Chinese forces invade Tibet
1959 Dalai Lama flees to exile in India after failed uprising against Chinese rule
1960s-70s Hundreds of monasteries destroyed during Chinese Cultural Revolution
1965 China announces creation of Tibet Autonomous Region
1989 Dalai Lama awarded Nobel Peace Prize for leading non-violent struggle for Tibet
2006 Opening of first rail line linking Tibet to rest of China
2008 Crackdown in Lhasa following anti-China protests to mark 1959 uprising
Outside of China Tuesday’s anniversary was marked by protests around the world, with Tibetan exiles and supporters calling for an end to China’s rule over the Himalayan region.
In New York demonstrators outside the United Nations headquarters called on the world body to impose sanctions against China for alleged abuses in Tibet.
Similar protests were held elsewhere in the US and across Europe, many outside Chinese embassies and consulates.
In Washington meanwhile the US government called on China to reconsider its policies and pursue dialogue with the Dalai Lama.
In a statement the US State Department affirmed Washington’s position that Tibet is part of China, but added: “At the same time, we are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Tibetan areas.”
“We urge China to reconsider its policies in Tibet that have created tensions due to their harmful impact on Tibetan religion, culture, and livelihoods.”
“We believe that substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives, consistent with the Dalai Lama’s commitment to disclaiming any intention to seek sovereignty or independence for Tibet, can lead to progress in bringing about solutions and can help achieve true and lasting stability in Tibet,” the statement said.