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    » 07/07/2009, 00.00

    CHINA – TIBET

    Uyghurs and Tibetans are experiencing the same repression, Tibetan leader says

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Police violence in Urumqi is similar to that in Lhasa in March 2008. Beijing should draw some lessons from the Xinjiang riots, namely find a solution to the Tibetan question with the Dalai Lama. Tibet’s spiritual leader has urged his countrymen and women to use non-violence, but once he is dead Tibetan frustrations could turn into an uprising.

    Daramshala (AsiaNews) – “The policy of the Chinese government towards the Uyghurs is very similar to that towards the Tibetan people. Uyghurs and Tibetans suffer the same Chinese occupation; both of us are repressed and dominated and have to endure humiliations,” said Urgen Tenzin, executive director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) as he spoke to AsiaNews about China’s crackdown against protests in Urumqi and other Xinjiang cities.

    “However unlike the Uighur people, the people of Tibet have the spiritual and moral guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who repeatedly emphasises and insists that all Tibetans follow the non-violent path for the resolution of the Tibetan issue.”

    Current events in Xinjiang are very similar to what happened last year in Tibet. Demonstrations in Lhasa and other Tibetan regions turned into an uprising and violence against the Chinese military and ethnic Han Chinese.  Beijing in turn accused Tibetans of terrorism and of trying to disrupt the 2008 Olympics with violence.

    The accusation of violence “is official Chinese propaganda. In March 2008 there was a global protest. Inspired by the Mahatma Gandhi and on the advice of the Dalai Lama it was supposed to be non-violent. Unfortunately, China’s propaganda machine created the impression that the protest was just violent. In fact, incidents that occurred after 14 March, when some Chinese-owned stores were set on fire and some ethnic Han Chinese were killed, were due to severe provocation. Chinese propaganda chose to show Tibetans’ ‘violence’, but the world was able to see that Tibetan demonstrations were non-violent.”

    According to Tenzin, China should draw some lessons from the demonstrations and violence in Urumqi.

    “The frustrations of Tibetans are mounting; we are getting increasingly tired with Chinese insincerity in solving the Tibetan issue,” Tenzin said.

    “Beijing should try to negotiate with the Dalai Lama and find a solution whilst he is still alive. None of us can predict what will happen after his death. So far he has preached and called for non-violence, but we do not know what will eventually happen. . . .”

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    See also

    28/01/2010 CHINA
    Xinjiang like Tibet: more money and police controls
    Five more people, probably all Uyghurs, have been sentenced to death for their involvement in last July’s riots. The authorities also announce more investments in the province. Experts say the money will likely benefit ruling groups whilst ethnic Uyghurs will be further dispossessed of their natural riches.

    21/07/2009 CHINA
    China takes hard line against Uyghurs, local authorities to adopt special anti-separatism law
    The authorities in Xinjiang are preparing a special law. In China special law and order legislation means more powers to the police and less freedom to the people.

    28/03/2013 CHINA
    "Poisoned" by religion, 20 Uighurs jailed in Xinjiang
    Beijing uses an iron fist in the northwestern province, homeland of minority Turkic Muslims. Courts convict "activists" for preparing "Holy war". For exiled Uighurs, they are only guilty of talking about "freedom".

    07/09/2011 CHINA – TIBET
    Young Tibetan sentenced to three years for shouting ‘Return the Dalai Lama’
    A court in Kandze convicted Samphel Dhondup, 23, for saying ‘Freedom for Tibet’ and “Return the Dalai Lama’ to his country.

    13/04/2011 TIBET – CHINA
    Tibetan leader, “worried and concerned” for besieged Kirti monks
    Outside the monastery, Chinese police attack the faithful using trained dogs. Some observers fear more mass unrest, like that of 16 March 2008.



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