Tibetan officials refute Dalai Lama’s ‘regime of terror’ remarks

March 17th, 2008 - 4:14 am ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 17 (Xinhua) High-ranking Tibetan officials refuted the Dalai Lama’s “cultural genocide” and “regime of terror” remarks Sunday and said such arguments were a tale of a tub and “downright nonsense”. The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, Sunday accused China of committing “cultural genocide” in his homeland and demanded an international probe into the crackdown, in which nearly 100 people have reportedly been killed.

Responding to his comments, Legqoi, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Regional People’s Congress, said that the Dalai Lama’s claims of “regime of terror and cultural genocide” were downright nonsense.

“The concept of ‘citizen’ didn’t even exist in the old Tibet. The Tibetans only started to manage their own affairs after the regional autonomy was granted in 1965,” Legquoi said.

He said the Tibetan culture has thrived, quite contrary to the so-called “cultural genocide” as claimed by the Dalai Lama.

“There were 161 cultural sites in Tibet, including 35 on the list of state-level protection. We have 1,700 well-protected temples. Monks and the public enjoy full religious freedom,” Legquoi stressed.

“The Tibetan people have been living a modern life while enjoying the development of traditional Tibetan culture,” Doje Cezhug, mayor of the capital Lhasa, said and accused the separatists led by the Dalai Lama for spoiling the stability of the region.

Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the government of Tibet, also said that the Party and government have attached great importance to the cultural development of Tibet and have carried out a large scale of survey, salvage and protection for Tibet’s cultural relics.

Massive protests have engulfed large parts of Lhasa and Tibet, challenging Beijing’s rule in the region.

Speaking about the worsening situation in Tibet, the Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in Dharmasala, India, since in 1959, said that the Chinese security forces might have killed around 100 people in the past few days.

“We want an international investigation into the recent happenings and actions (in Tibet) by the Chinese authorities in the past few days,” he told reporters in Dharmasala, India, where his government-in-exile is based.

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