China calls Tibet youth group `worse than bin Laden’

A rundown two-story building in this Himalayan hill station might hardly seem to be the command center of a subversive group jangling the nerves of neighboring China. Monkeys clamber over the rooftop, and any stranger may walk through its front door.

Yet China calls the Tibetan Youth Congress “a terror group worse than (Osama) bin Laden’s” and accuses it of stockpiling guns, bombs and grenades in Tibet for use by separatist fighters.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

China alleges that the 30,000-member group has allied itself with al Qaida and with a homegrown Muslim separatist organization in China, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The president of the congress, Tsewang Rigzin, a former banker who lived in Minneapolis, scoffs at China’s charges, saying his group seeks independence for Tibet but adheres to non-violent principles put forth by the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader whose headquarters are here.

“These are all baseless and fallacious allegations that the Chinese are making,” Rigzin said over a meal of curry at a local restaurant, suggesting that the charges were scare tactics aimed at the Chinese citizenry.

If nothing else, the wildly different views of the Tibetan Youth Congress underscore the chasm between Beijing and Dharamsala over Tibet.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081
126/wl_mcclatchy/3110248_1

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