Pattaya Daily News

19 March 2008 :: 16:03:47 pm 30064

Olympic Games Increasingly Threatened By China Attitude Towards Tibet

As more foreign governments, including Taiwan, and increasing demonstrations continue to protest about the severity of the Chinese crackdown in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has called for an end to violence from both sides. "Violence is against human nature," he said. "We must not develop anti-Chinese feelings. Whether we like it or not we have to live side-by-side."
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The Dalai Lama has threatened to resign as leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile if violence escalates out of control in Tibet and denied accusations from China that he was responsible for inciting and orchestrating the riots. The Dalai Lama maintains the rioting was, in fact, spontaneous in Lhasa.

Meanwhile, Mr Wen defended China’s handling of the crisis, accusing protesters of robbery, arson and violence. China Daily commented “There have been loud cries from overseas calling for the Chinese government to exercise ‘restraint’ in handling the violence in Tibet. But the voices, intentionally or otherwise, are almost silent over the violent acts that ravaged parts of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, on Friday.” It detailed a litany of offences such as arson to buildings, police cars and private vehicles, the looting of banks, schools and shops and killing innocent

civilians; further commenting that most governments would act in a similar manner to that of the Chinese if these acts had been committed on their own soils.

China maintains that Tibet has always been part of its territory, but, in fact, Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before the 20th Century and many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama, who fled in 1959. China’s state-run media says 105 people surrendered to police after taking part in the Lhasa protests after authorities set a midnight deadline for rioters to turn themselves in over the violence that the Dalai Lama’s officials claim killed 99.

International governmental protest has increased, but as Tony Kevin, analyst with Australian National University’s School of Pacific and Asian Studies comments, it remains muted and that the level of international reaction to china’s crackdown was expected, given China’s economic and strategic importance in the world.

China’s greatest concern is of a boycott of the Olympic Games, shown by Wen Jiabao’s accusation that the Dalai Lama’s followers are attempting to “incite sabotage” of Beijing’s August Olympic Games. That this is valid was born out by Damien Ryan, a Hong Kong-based media advisor to corporations, including Olympic sponsors who stated: “It is early days at the moment, but if this escalates, the sponsors will face increasing pressure from rights groups.”They may start to look at the situation critically and start asking if they want their brand associated with all this.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : World News

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