Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

China’s policies in Tibet draw global criticism, Dalai Lama’s anger

The Dalai Lama has accused China of waging “cultural genocide” against Tibetans, and has called for an international inquiry into the brutal suppression of protests there, The New York Times reported Monday.

In what appears to be his strongest public defense of Tibetan Buddhists struggling against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama endorsed the right of his people to express their objections, albeit peacefully, against the Chinese authorities, and said he would not ask the protesting Tibetan to surrender to Chinese military police by midnight Monday, as Beijing had demanded.

Though he is the head of the Tibetan government in exile, the Dalai Lama has refrained from publicly calling for Tibetan independence since negotiations began in 2002 with the Chinese government. His recent departure from that stance no doubt will give Tibetan protestors encouragement while further enraging the government in Beijing.

The Dalai Lama’s impassioned comments reflect similar support that has come from all corners of the globe, as the Tibetan Buddhists exhibit their fiercest resistance to the authoritarian Chinese rule in decades. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Senator and presidential hopeful Barak Obama both spoke out Monday, urging the Chinese government to show restraint with the Tibetan protestors, and insisting that China respect the internationally-recognized human rights that belong to both Chinese and Tibetan citizens.

Additionally, Congressman Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a strongly worded statement, condemning China’s “brutal crackdown on dissent” and the disrespect shown to the “unique religious and cultural heritage of the Tibetan people.”

For the full article, click here.
For Rep. Berman’s full statement, click here.


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