Repression Continues in Tibet | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 29.08.2008
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Repression Continues in Tibet

Doctors treating the Dalai Lama said on Friday that he was stable and is doing well. Tibet's exiled spiritual leader was admitted to a hospital in Indian city of Mumbai with complaints of stomach pains. Earlier this week, he cancelled his trip to Mexico and the Dominican Republic because of ill health. He recently returned from a 12-day visit to France, where he expressed his concerns about China’s policies in Tibet. His remarks sparked criticism in China, rejuvenating the debate about whether there is any solution to the Tibetan issue in sight.

There have been almost daily pro-Tibet protests in Nepal since March

There have been almost daily pro-Tibet protests in Nepal since March

For almost six months, Tibet has regularly been making the headlines across the world. The protests in and around Lhasa earlier this year, which were brutally suppressed by the Chinese authorities, attracted widespread international attention to this small Himalayan territory, which has been ruled by China since 1950.

Kai Müller from the German office of International Campaign for Tibet said: “It has tremendously helped the Tibetan cause because there has been now a degree of an attention paid to the Tibetan human rights and on how severe repressions are in Tibet.”

The unrest in Tibet in the spring was ended with violence. The Dalai Lama says at least 400 people were killed in Lhasa alone after the protests broke out in March.

China’s tough policy

Speaking with a leading French newspaper Le Monde earlier this month he claimed that Beijing had continued its tough policy inside Tibet and that Chinese troops had fired on protestors in eastern Tibet on Aug. 18.

“There have been incidences of extreme brutality on peaceful demonstrations and various places since March. We have identified the names of more than 250 Tibetans who have been held in custody or who disappeared,” said Müller.

But Beijing denies these allegations and has accused the Dalai Lama of carrying out separatist activities. On Thursday, the Chinese news agency Xinhua accused the exiled leader of spreading lies about the situation in Tibet.

Meanwhile, the latest round of talks between the envoys of the Dalai Lama and China, which took place in southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in July, failed to produce any concrete results.

Lack of political will

Speaking with reporters earlier this week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang reiterated that the door for talks with the Dalai Lama was always open. But he said it was up to the Dalai Lama to take concrete action to create favourable conditions for talks and contacts.

However, Kelsang Gyaltsen, the Dalai Lama’s special envoy to Europe, says there is a lack of political on the Chinese side to resolve the issue.

“Chinese policy inside Tibet has failed. Any sensible leadership in China must realise that they cannot solve the problem through the use of force. They need to find realistic policies,” said Gyaltsen.

And this includes regional autonomy says the Tibetan envoy, which is one of their key demands. He says the Tibetans will continue to work towards it until China addresses it. “At the moment our policy is to continue the policy of engagement and with great hopes and expectations that the upcoming meeting in October will bring some results.”

  • Date 29.08.2008
  • Author DW Staff 29/08/08
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  • Date 29.08.2008
  • Author DW Staff 29/08/08
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink