Dalai Lama reaffirms support for Beijing Olympics

March 8th, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by admin  


Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), March 8 (IANS) The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Saturday reiterated his support for the Beijing Olympics to be held later this year. A spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile - not recognised by any government - cited media reports on Tuesday quoting, “Zhang Qingli, a top Chinese official in Tibet who distorted a recent interview of the Dalai Lama accusing him of trying to sabotage the Beijing Olympics”.

“In making this highly inflammatory accusation, the party secretary of Tibet (Qingli) based his information on an interview of the Dalai Lama carried on Britain’s ITV network in the third week of January, which misleadingly attributed the Tibetan leader of supporting peaceful protests in the run-up to the Olympics.”

A clarification by the Dalai Lama’s office was released soon after, on Jan 23, the spokesman said.

“In response to the reporter’s question if the Dalai Lama supported calls by some NGOs, including Tibet support groups, to boycott the Olympics, his holiness answered by stating categorically that it was too radical,” the spokesman said.

“When the interviewer subsequently asked if the NGOs should continue with their protests, the Dalai Lama had said that they could remind the international community including the Chinese people about the repression and urgency of the situation in Tibet.”

The spokesman added: “It is common knowledge that his holiness has consistently supported the right of China to host the 2008 Olympic games.”

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