In Regards To Tibet's Violent Protests, 105 People Turn Themselves In
The Chinese-state controlled news agency Xinhua reports that at least 105 people have surrendered themselves to authorities. Tibet’s regional government is controlled and supported by China. The figures of the number of deaths differ. The Tibetans say that 80 people were killed by the Chinese troops that came to suppress the protests in Lhasa. However, the Chinese troops say that 13 people were killed by the rioters.
In the recent days, the protests and marches marked the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against China back in 1959. Tibet’s spiritual leader in-exile, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee. He lives in India to this very day.
Recently in an interview, his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, had expressed concerns about the way the demonstrations were going. He had urged protesters and activists to use nonviolence. The Dalai Lama admits that more activists are going towards radicalism. Still, he said that he has no control over the people of Tibet.
In regards to China’s crackdown, the Dalai Lama accused the Chinese government of committing “cultural genocide.”
However, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of inciting the violence. He called the Dalai Lama’s accusation nothing but lies. Wen also accused the Dalai Lama of trying to spoil the Olympic Games in Beijing.
It is noted that many pro-Tibet independence groups plan to use the press coverage surrounding the Olympics to publicize their cause. They will be joined by other activists publicizing other causes. Many plan to use the Olympic Torch relay points in Tibet to stage protests.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged nations not to boycott China over Tibet.
Earlier today, the Dalai Lama had given an ultimatum. He threatened to resign as Tibet’s leader if the Tibetan activists continue to use violence. At the same time, he said for the Tibetan exiles in India and Nepal to stop their marches. He said that the marches will do nothing to bring back Tibet’s autonomy.
During the protests, Tibetans took their anger out on China by attacking Chinese owned businesses in Lhasa. On March 16, a Chinese man was attacked by Tibetan youths throughout the streets of Lhasa.
While 105 have surrendered, the authorities urged others that took part in the protests to do the same thing. According to Xinhua, police promise to exempt those that participating if they surrender and give information about the other protesters.
While 105 have surrendered, there are two questions: How many more will surrender? How many more will end up being arrested?
So far, China’s crackdown of protests have garnered international outcry. While China is trying to keep the games and politics separate, it is easier said than done.
The issue of Tibet will be part of what will potentially be a PR nightmare for China as it will host the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tags: Tibet , China , Dalai Lama , Olympics , Violence , Lhasa
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