03/21/2008, 00.00
TIBET – CHINA – USA

Bush will go to the Olympics; Pelosi speaks out against the occupation of Tibet

The American president confirms his presence at the Games - “chance for American athletes” – while the House Speaker meets the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and asks the international community to condemn Chinese actions in Tibet.

Lhasa (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Despite the massacre unfolding in Tibet, President George W. Bush will be present at the Beijing Olympic Games.  Spokesperson for the United States leader, Dana Perino announced the decision explaining that: “our position on the Olympics is no a political one, it is a chance for American athletes to compete at the highest level”.

At the same time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi travelled to Dharamsala, to meet the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile.  Accompanied by a delegation, Pelosi invited the international community to “denounce China’s presence in Tibet”.

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of hundreds, some with signs saying "Long Live America-Tibet Friendship”, the Democrat politician said: “If freedom loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak out on human rights”.

Instead, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held telephone talks with her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in which she urged Beijing to show “restraint”.  Rice, according to the spokesman for the State Department, Sean McCormack “clearly and directly reaffirmed our position to the Foreign Minister.  No one wants violence”. 

In the meantime, the situation in Tibet and in the bordering Chinese provinces is not improving.  Authorities in Gansu and Sichuan have imposed strict controls of areas where there are Buddhist monasteries, while in Lhasa – according to those few eye-witness accounts that have escaped Beijing’s censorship- repression of monks involved in the protests continue amid increased Chinese military presence.

 

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