Dalai Lama supports free foreign media coverage of Tibetan unrest

March 26th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Mar 26 (ANI): Exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama today said he supported media from all over the world probing the Tibetan unrest.
Talking to reporters here he said, It is good if China allows the media to do its free and smooth coverage and does not criticize it.
The situation in Tibet is reportedly under control where foreign journalists have been escorted for a tour of the area.
In the wake of the online anger, mounted over what some Chinese called biased Western reporting and the pressure on Beijing by French President Nicolas Sarkozy who warned of boycotting the Olympic opening ceremony if the media is not allowed, the three-day media trip was cleared.
A group of about a dozen Beijing-based journalists headed on Wednesday to Tibet where they would be allowed to speak with victims of violent protests, said an official.
“The organisers will arrange interviews with victims of the criminal acts and also visit those places that were looted or burned,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said.
Foreign reporters have been barred from visiting Tibet and neighbouring Chinese provinces with large Tibetan populations affected by the unrest, making it nearly impossible to independently verify the number of dead and arrested.
Protests against Beijing’s rule of Tibet began in Lhasa on March 10 — the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule in the region.
The Dalai Lama is ready to have a dialogue with Beijing, on Tuesday, reiterated a pledge to resign as the spokesman of the Tibetan people if they engaged in violent anti-Chinese protests.
Against this backdrop, Chinese citizens voiced anger at what they considered unfair reporting of the unrest by overseas media.
China fears that the Tibet unrest and anti-government protests over Darfur could disrupt the coming Olympic Games in Beijing.
In a sign of the tension with the media, three members of the Athens chapter of Reporters Without Borders, a media-rights group based in Paris disrupted the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony in Greece on Monday. The incident occurred as Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee, was addressing thousands of spectators, dignitaries and Olympics officials. (ANI)

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