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Dalai Lama holding Olympics hostage: China

Beijing, March 23
Irked by top US lawmakers hobnobbing with the Dalai Lama in its backyard, China today claimed that India’s position on Tibet had not changed as the Red Army deployed in strength to crush the rebellion in the Himalayan region accused the spiritual leader of holding the Olympic games hostage.

India, which maintains that Tibet is an internal issue of China, had assured Beijing that its position on Tibet was “clear and consistent” and it would not change in the future, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

New Delhi also clarified that Vice-President Hamid Ansari had no plans to meet the Dalai Lama, leader of the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, following a “rumour” about such a meeting, he said.

“The Indian side has clarified to China on relevant rumour, saying there’s no such plan,” Qin said.

An article in the The Liberation Army Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese army, claimed that the “Dalai Lama clique” would inevitably fail to achieve its “goal of independence for Tibet”.

“In 2008, all the world's people are looking forward to the Olympics, but the Dalai Lama clique aims to take the Games hostage and force the Chinese government to yield on the ‘Tibetan independence’ issue,” the article said.

“It doesn’t matter if the Dalai Lama and his followers disguise themselves under the pretence of ‘peace’ and ‘non-violence’ — their sabotage activities are doomed to fail,” it said.

On Friday, US Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a high-profile meeting with the 72-year-old Dalai Lama in Dharamshala where she spoke out against China’s “oppression” in Tibet and demanded an international probe into China’s allegations that he had masterminded the unrest.

The meeting infuriated Beijing, which warned other countries and foreigners against meddling in its internal affairs.

In a stringing commentary targeting Pelosi, Xinhua accused her of ignoring the violence by the Tibetan rioters.

“Human rights police like Pelosi are habitually bad tempered and ungenerous when it comes to China, refusing to check their facts and find out the truth of the case,” it said.

On the same day, Tibetan protesters waving flags and draped in banners carrying anti-China messages such as “Boycott Beijing Olympics” stormed the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. The police said they arrested 33 persons.

Premier Wen Jiabao had earlier said Beijing “appreciates” the stand taken by the Indian government to handle the Tibet “independence” activities. — PTI



‘Not against Games’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 23
The Dalai Lama today favoured hosting of the Beijing Olympics despite the Chinese crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators.

“I have always supported that Olympic games should take place in China,” he asserted and dismissed the Communist giant’s charge that he was trying to sabotage the premier sporting event scheduled for August as “baseless”.

The 72-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, who was here in connection with a religious workshop, said: “They are the hosts. The Olympics should take place in Beijing.”

The Dalai Lama was reacting to the Chinese government’s accusation that he was holding the games hostage to force it to yield on the issue of Tibetan independence, plotting terror in Tibet and colluding with Uighur separatists in Xinjiang in North-west China.



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