Lhasa crackdown echoes in parliament

March 17th, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) The crackdown by China against protesters in Tibetan capital Lhasa echoed in parliament Monday with the government being asked to make a statement on how it intended to react to the developments. “The government response has been weak-kneed,” former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha declared while raising the issue during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house.

“We are all for good relations with China but I would humbly suggest that good relations do not mean that we surrender (our rights to make our views known),” he maintained.

“We have civilizational links with Tibet,” he pointed out, demanding the government made a statement “on what its thinking (on the issue) is”.

The government should also work through diplomatic channels and the UN to bring about a resolution of the issue, Sinha, leader of the main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), contended.

He also condemned the “blood repression” and the “cultural genocide on a large scale” by the Chinese government against protestors in Lhasa.

“Human rights are being violated with impunity. We do not know how many people have lost their lives but it is believed to be in the hundreds.

“There are door-to-door searches for the protestors and not for those who have indulged in violence. What is most shocking is that the authorities have declared a people’s war against the people of Tibet,” Sinha maintained.

“How can a government conduct a people’s war against its own people,” he wondered.

Sinha also condemned the “barbarity” with which the police in the national capital have put down protests by Tibetans here.

“The Dalai Lama is our honoured guest. All Tibetans in India are our guests. Is this how we treat our guests?” Sinha asked.

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