United States Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is a fierce critic of China let alone its crackdown on Tibet, had urged the international community to launch an investigation of the violence. In addition, Pelosi had denounced Chinese rule in Tibet. She was meeting with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama while in northern India.
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet who lives in exile in India. After the crackdown in Lhasa, many more have spread throughout the country of Tibet. It started less than two weeks before the start of the Olympic Torch relay which begins in Tibet. Many pro-Tibetan independence activists plan to use the torch relay spots to stage protests.
Tibet has been one of the woes looming over the Olympics in Beijing.
In the wake of the crackdowns, the Dalai Lama has accused China of committing “cultural genocide.” However, Wen Jiabao, China’s Premiere fired back calling the accusation a bunch of lies. Wen also accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the violence in order to ruin the games.
The death count has heavily been debated between the Tibetan exiles and the Chinese government. The start of the protests and marches mark the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against China and the force of the Dalai Lama into exile.
In regards to the violence, the Dalai Lama gave an ultimatum. He said if the activists continued to use violence, he would step down as Tibet’s leader.
While in Dharamsala, India, Pelosi said: “We call upon the international community to have an independent outside investigation on accusations made by the Chinese government that His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] was the instigator of violence in Tibet.”
While Pelosi said that she does not look for a boycott of the Olympics, she gave fair warning that the international community is keeping a hawk’s eye over China.
While in France on an international tour, US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona too criticized China in its crackdown on Tibet.
Hollywood actor Richard Gere who supports Tibet and is a convert to Buddhism said he may consider boycotting the Olympics if China continues its crackdown in Tibet.
Great Britain’s Prince Charles who supports Tibet will not be attending the opening ceremony.
Elie Wiesel along with 29 other Nobel laureates have condemned and criticized China’s crackdown.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged nations not to boycott the Olympics in Beijing because of what is happening in Tibet.