Alleging ‘genocide’, Dalai Lama for probe into Tibet crackdown

March 16th, 2008 - 6:36 pm ICT by admin  


Dharamsala, March 16 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Sunday accused China of committing “cultural genocide” in his homeland and demanded an international probe into the crackdown on protestors in Tibet. “We want an international investigation into the recent happenings and actions (in Tibet) by the Chinese authorities in the past few days,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in this northern hill town where his government-in-exile is based.

“China is committing cultural genocide in Tibet. The authorities are also imposing a lot of restrictions on education in monasteries,” he said, breaking his silence on anti-China protests in Tibet that according to Beijing has left about 10 people dead.

But the Dalai Lama alleged that security forces might have killed around 100 people in the past few days. He said the figures were confirmed by his sources in Tibet.

Massive protests have engulfed large parts of Lhasa and Tibet challenging Beijing’s rule in the region. This has also sparked demonstrations by Tibetans in several countries.

“It is the moral responsibility of the world to remind China of the human rights violations in Tibet,” the Dalai Lama said, adding that ancient cultural heritage was facing serious danger at the hands of the Chinese.

“Even though the Tibetans were on the receiving end, they are being made scapegoats,” said the Tibetan leader, who fled his homeland in 1959 and lives in India along with some 100,000 Tibetan exiles.

He dismissed Chinese allegations that he was behind the separatist movement in Tibet. “I have no power over protestors in Tibet.

“I feel a little helpless and worried as the Chinese deadline to end protests ends Monday. (China) has warned of dire consequences.

“Stability in Tibet must come from the heart and not from fiscal control alone,” he said, adding a new generation of Tibetans was losing its patience with the Chinese.

“I reiterate the demand of autonomy for Tibet, not independence. Only Beijing doesn’t seem to understand this even though the entire world does.”

The Dalai Lama, however, refused to endorse some international calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics in August. He said he wanted the games to take place as scheduled.

The Dalai Lama was diplomatically critical of India’s cautious response to the events in Tibet. India, he said, “was sometimes too cautious” on Tibet.

The Tibetan government-in-exile is not recognised by any country including Tibet.

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