Archive for the ‘Tibetan’ Category

Dalai Lama: China Unfit To Be Superpower

December 5, 2008

China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said Thursday during a European tour that has angered Beijing.

After addressing the EU parliament in Brussels, the Tibetan spiritual leader said China “deserves to be a superpower” given its huge population and economic and military strength.

“Now one important factor is moral authority and that is lacking,” he told a press conference in Brussels.

AFP

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press ... 
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press at the EU Parliament in Brussels. China lacks the moral authority, including over the question of Tibet, to be a true superpower, the Dalai Lama said Thursday during a European tour that has angered Beijing.(AFP/John Thys)

“Because of its very poor record on human rights and religious freedom and freedom of expression and freedom of the press — too much censorship — the image of China in the field of moral authority is very, very poor,” he said.

“The sensible Chinese realize China should now pay more attention in this field in order to get more respect from the rest of the world,” the Nobel peace laureate said.

He cited the problems of Tibet and separatist factions in the southwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang as areas where such a moral authority should be displayed. He also named Hong Kong and reunification with Taiwan.

He said he continued to have confidence in the Chinese people while doubting the government wanted serious talks on Tibet’s future.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081204/wl_asia_a
fp/euchinatibetrights_081204183116

China calls Tibet youth group `worse than bin Laden’

November 26, 2008

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

China Falls Short on Vows for Olympics

April 21, 2008

By Jill Drew and Maureen Fan
The Washington Post
Monday, April 21, 2008; Page A01
.
BEIJING, April 20 — China has spent billions of dollars to fulfill its commitment to stage a grand Olympics. Athletes will compete in world-class stadiums. New highways and train lines crisscross Beijing. China built the world’s largest airport terminal to welcome an expected 500,000 foreign visitors. Thousands of newly planted trees and dozens of colorful “One World, One Dream” billboards line the main roads of a spruced-up capital. The security system has impressed the FBI and Interpol.
.
But beneath the shimmer and behind the slogan, China is under criticism for suppressing Tibetan protests, sealing off large portions of the country to foreign reporters, harassing and jailing dissidents and not doing enough to curb air pollution. It has not lived up to a pledge in its Olympic action plan, released in 2002, to “be open in every aspect,” and a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004 to recognize and protect human rights has not shielded government critics from arrest.
A haze of pollution hangs over China's National Stadium, known as the bird's nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8.
A haze of pollution hangs over China’s National Stadium, known as the bird’s nest, the main venue for the Beijing Olympics beginning Aug. 8. (By Greg Baker – Associated Press)
.

The two realities show that when China had to build something new to fulfill expectations, it has largely delivered. But in areas that touch China’s core interests, Olympic pledges come second.
.
“To ensure a successful Olympic Games, the government did make some technical and strategic efforts to improve the environment, human rights and press freedom. They did make some progress. But in these three areas, there’s a long, long way to go,” said Cheng Yizhong, an editor who tracks China’s Olympic preparations.
.
With the Games less than four months away, the International Olympic Committee is scrambling to nail down specifics of how China will treat criticism of its actions during the event. Pressed this month, IOC President Jacques Rogge clarified that athletes would be allowed to speak freely in Beijing’s Olympic venues, calling it an “absolute” human right.
.
“I can’t help but feel cynical about all this,” said David Wallechinsky, an Olympic historian, who said the IOC should have been more forceful with China earlier. “What are they going to do, take away the Games?”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/20/AR2008042002044.html?hpid=topnews

Tibet an ‘international issue,’ Japan PM tells China

April 18, 2008

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan‘s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda bluntly told China Friday that Tibetan unrest had become an international issue, contradicting Beijing‘s official line, and hinted it could hit the Olympics.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) talks with Japanese ...
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during a meeting held at the premier’s office in Tokyo. Fukuda bluntly told China Friday that Tibetan unrest had become an international issue, contradicting Beijing’s official line, and hinted it could hit the Olympics.
(AFP/POOL/Dai Kurokawa)

Yasuo Fukuda made the remarks to visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is paving the way for President Hu Jintao‘s much-anticipated trip here next month.

“Prime Minister Fukuda stated that there was a need to face up to the reality that the matter has become an international issue and that it should not affect the Olympics,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“It is desired that the Chinese side does all it can to solve the matter,” it quoted Fukuda as saying.

China has repeatedly countered criticism of its crackdown in the Himalayan region by saying its handling of protests last month was strictly an internal matter.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080418/wl_asia_afp/
japanchinadiplomacy_080418193041

China Insists Olympic Torch Will Go Through Tibet

April 6, 2008

by Charles Whelan 

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.

The iconic flame was Sunday carried through London, where demonstrations against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet saw 35 protesters arrested, but the Dalai Lama urged Tibetan exiles not to disrupt events leading up to the Games.

Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses ...
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the media in Dharamsala on April 6, 2008. China’s top official in Tibet, rejecting a demand of activists around the world, has insisted that the Beijing Olympics torch relay will pass through the Himalayan region as planned.
(AFP/Lobsang Wangyal)

Zhang Qingli, the most senior Chinese Communist Party official in Tibet, told local leaders that Beijing was in no mood to listen to the demands of demonstrators calling for the route to be changed.

In a statement on the Tibet government website Sunday, Zhang said Tibet was determined to play its part in a successful Olympics by hosting the torch relay on June 19 and 20 and overseeing the flame’s ascent of Mount Everest in May.

He urged people to “deepen their drive to complete the glorious, important and arduous task” of having the torch pass through Tibet.

Zhang said that most of Tibet had now been pacified after anti-Chinese riots broke out last month.

The Dalai Lama said Sunday that protests in Tibet and nearby provinces had disproven Chinese “propaganda” about unrest in the region, adding the situation could no longer be “neglected”.

The exiled spiritual leader repeated his call for an independent international probe into the unrest and subsequent Chinese crackdown….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080406/wl_sthasia_afp/china
unresttibetrights_080406191417

China denies pre-Olympic crackdown on dissidents

April 3, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Thursday denied it was cracking down on dissidents ahead of the Beijing Olympics, after high-profile rights activist Hu Jia was jailed for subversion.

Human rights activists Hu Jia speaking while under house arrest ...
Human rights activists Hu Jia speaking while under house arrest in Beijing in 2007. Hu was on Thursday jailed for three years and six months for subversion, his lawyer said, amid what rights groups charge is a campaign by China to silence dissent before the Olympics.(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)


“We can’t accept the accusation. China is a country with the rule of law. Everyone is equal before the law. We can’t stop implementation of the law because of the Olympics,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

“The (Hu Jia) case has been dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Hu, 34, received a three-and-a-half year prison sentence earlier Thursday for “subversion of power,” based on articles he published online.

The United States and the European Union denounced the verdict against Hu, who for several years has been one of China’s most active and high-profile human rights campaigners.

Hu’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, 24, who recently gave birth to their first child and is also a prominent rights activist, said the verdict was the culmination of four years of harassment by authorities.

“He’s been put under surveillance, been kidnapped. He’s been put under house arrest and now they have sentenced him to three and a half years,” Zeng told reporters outside the courthouse as she broke down in tears.

“This is irrational and unfair.”

Rights campaigners also criticised the verdict, saying it was part of a crackdown on dissent ahead of the Olympics, in direct violation of Chinese promises prior to winning the right to host the Games.

“This verdict is… a warning to any other activists in China who dare to raise human rights concerns publicly,” said Mark Allison, East Asia researcher for Amnesty International.

“It also betrays promises made by Chinese officials that human rights would improve in the run-up to the Olympics.”

In 2001, China promised that if it won the right to host the Games, “tremendous” human rights improvements would ensue, a pledge repeated in October by Liu Jingmin, Beijing‘s vice-mayor and a top Games organiser.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080403/ts_afp/china
rightsdissidentoly2008crackdown_080403080705

Amnesty lays into China on rights before Olympics

April 2, 2008
By John Ruwitch Wed Apr 2, 3:06 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Olympics have so far failed to catalyze reform in China and pledges to improve human rights before the Games look disingenuous after a string of violations in Beijing and a crackdown in Tibet, Amnesty International said.
.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), foreign leaders and overseas companies engaging with China could appear complicit if they failed to speak out about the rights violations, the London-based watchdog said on Wednesday as the volume of criticism of China grows around the world.

Beijing signed up for the Games hoping they would showcase the country’s progress and national unity, but the Olympics year so far has seen pressure mount, chiefly over China’s policy towards Sudan and Myanmar and its human rights record, most recently in Tibet.

In and around Beijing, Chinese authorities have silenced and imprisoned human rights activists in a pre-Olympics “clean up,” Amnesty said.

Amnesty, which introduced a bandana-wearing monkey mascot to head its “Uncensor China” campaign, also said the crackdown on a rash of demonstrations in and around Tibet in recent weeks had led to “serious human rights violations.”

“These actions cast doubt on whether the Chinese authorities are really serious about their commitment to improve human rights in the run up to the Olympics,” Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080402/wl_nm/
olympics_rights_amnesty_dc_2

China and Olympics: Not the Torch of Liberty

April 1, 2008

By Rebiya Kadeer
The Washington Post
Tuesday, April 1, 2008; Page A1

The world has watched in horror recently as Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople engaged in peaceful demonstrations have been met with brutality by the Chinese People’s Armed Police. Tibet‘s descent into chaos and violence is heartbreaking. As has been made clear by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has dedicated his life to peacefully promoting the Tibetan people’s legitimate aspirations for cultural autonomy and survival, lasting peace and meaningful change must be achieved through nonviolent means.

In watching recent coverage of the demonstrations in Tibet and their bloody aftermath, I have been reminded of a turning point in my own life, the moment I decided I had no choice but to speak out against the Chinese government’s policy of cultural destruction and its human rights abuses. It was a decision that led to six years in a Chinese prison and then to exile in the United States. Two of my sons are serving lengthy prison sentences in East Turkestan in retaliation for my human rights advocacy.

In February 1997, thousands of Uighurs demanding equality, religious freedom and an end to repression by the government peacefully protested in the Ghulja region of East Turkestan, an area designated the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region by the Chinese government. Armed paramilitary police confronted the unarmed demonstrators and bystanders, killing dozens on the spot, including women and young children. In the aftermath of the protest, thousands of Uighurs were detained on suspicion of participating in the demonstration. Tragically, hundreds of Uighurs were executed.

Just as I grieved with and for the families of the Uighurs killed in the Ghulja massacre, I grieve for the families of peaceful Tibetan demonstrators who have been killed or detained by Chinese police, perhaps never to be seen again. I have seen firsthand the suffering of parents who have lost their sons or daughters to an executioner’s bullet or a dark prison cell.

Because of our shared experience under the Chinese regime, Uighurs stand in solidarity with the Tibetan people and support their legitimate aspirations for genuine autonomy. The Chinese government’s fierce repression of religious expression, its intolerance for any expression of discontent, its discriminatory economic policies and its support for the movement of migrants have linked Tibet and East Turkestan and have led to the tremendous social tensions in both regions. To Beijing, any Tibetan or Uighur who is unhappy with China‘s harsh rule is a “separatist.” Uighurs are also labeled “terrorists.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/31/AR2008033102156.html

China: Tibetans planning suicide attacks

April 1, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – China on Tuesday accused “Tibet independence forces” of planning to use suicide squads to trigger bloody attacks — the lastest in a string of accusations that have taken aim at supporters of the Dalai Lama.

Riot police try to detain Tibetan activists protesting outside ...
Chinese troops resisting Tibetan monks and other suicide attackers….
REUTERS/Adrees Latif (NEPAL)

The prime minister of Tibet’s government-in-exile denied the claims, saying Tibetans are committed to a “nonviolent path.”

“To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks,” Public Security Bureau spokesman Wu Heping said Tuesday.

“They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice,” Wu told a news conference.

Wu offered no firm evidence to support his claims.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama and his supporters of orchestrating anti-government riots in Lhasa last month as part of a campaign to sabotage the August Beijing Olympics and promote Tibetan independence.

The 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has denied the charge, condemning the violence and urging an independent international investigation into the unrest and its underlying causes.

Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche of Tibet’s exiled government reiterated that position Tuesday.

“There is no question of suicide attacks,” said Rinpoche. “There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that we want to follow the nonviolent path.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080401/ap_on_re_
as/china_tibet;_ylt=Au
qno2c0ge5t6ieEQbVZn9Gs0NUE

China arrests suspects in Tibetan riots

March 31, 2008
By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China lashed out at the Dalai Lama on Monday, accusing him of being a hypocrite who has deceived the west about his political agenda as authorities announced they had detained suspects in four deadly arson cases in Tibet.

Jiang Zaiping, the vice chief of the Public Security Bureau in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, said investigators have taken into custody suspects responsible for arson attacks on three shops — including a clothing outlet where five young women were burned to death — and one in nearby Dagze county, the Tibet Daily newspaper reported Monday.

The fires killed a total of 12 people, state media has reported.

Authorities have taken 414 suspects into custody in connection with the anti-government riots, Jiang was quoted as saying. Another 298 people have turned themselves in, he said.

The Tibetan regional government also announced that the families of two of the women killed were given compensation of $28,170, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It did not say how many suspects were involved in the four arson cases or give any other details.

An official who answered the telephone at the Lhasa Public Security Bureau said no senior officials were available to give details. He refused to give his name. It was unclear how many suspects had been directly involved in the four arson cases.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080331/ap_on_re_as/china_tibet_247