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    » 03/15/2008, 00.00

    TIBET - CHINA

    Tanks in Lhasa, Beijing issues an ultimatum to the Tibetans



    The Chinese government has confirmed the death of 10 people during clashes in recent days in Tibet, but accuses the demonstrators of their death. The government in exile says there are at least 100 victims; Tibetans in India resume their march to return home.

    Lhasa (AsiaNews) - The Chinese government has confirmed overnight the death of at least 10 people during the clashes taking place in these days in Tibet, and has issued an ultimatum to the demonstrators: the protest must end by Monday "if they do not want even worse consequences".  The Tibetan government in exile instead cites "sources not yet confirmed" and speaks of at least 100 victims.

    According to Xinhua - the official Chinese news agency - responsibility for the deaths should be attributed "to the demonstrators, who with their violent and antisocial behaviour have caused enormous damage to Tibet.  The victims are all innocent civilians, burned to death by the fires set by demonstrators".

    According to some witnesses, the streets of Lhasa are today controlled by armed and armoured tanks.  Some battalions of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, in riot gear, have surrounded the walls of the capital's largest monasteries.  According to Radio Free Asia, several monks have been arrested.

    The protests began last March 10, when hundreds of people - who have since grown to the thousands - demonstrated in Lhasa and in other parts of Tibet to commemorate the victims of the bloody repression in 1959, carried out by the communist government against the Tibetan population, which was asking for a return to independence.  During those revolts, the Dalai Lama - the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism - was forced into exile.

    The Tibetan government, which since then has resided in India, yesterday recalled the peaceful nature of the demonstrations: "Guided by our monks, the Tibetan faithful wanted only to recall the thousands of victims who died during a bloody repression.  The repressive attitude of the Chinese government has unleashed the violence, which in any case the Dalai Lama forcefully condemns".

    In the meantime, a second wave of Tibetans in exile has decided to oppose the orders of the Indian government and has resumed its march toward Tibet.  While 102 Tibetans are still in jail, a second group of 44 people left this morning from Dehra.

    Chime Youngdrung, president of the national democratic party of Tibet, says: "The courageous protests of our brothers in [Tibet] have made us even more determined to continue this march and carry it to its conclusion.  Because we are witnesses of an escalation of violence on the part of the Chinese government in Lhasa, we believe that it is important for us to return home to reunite ourselves with our brothers and sisters who are fighting for survival under Chinese occupation".

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    See also

    05/04/2008 TIBET - CHINA
    New protests, the army shoots and kills at least eight Tibetans
    Two days ago, more protests exploded in the Tibetan area of Sichuan. The crowd was asking for the release of two monks, guilty of possessing a photo of the Dalai Lama. Beijing admits to the protests, and according to witnesses the troops fired on the crowd.

    04/04/2008 TIBET - CHINA
    Incidents in Lhasa: still no "official" explanation
    Beijing denies that its soldiers fomented the protests, and says that the photograph of a soldier dressed as a monk is "false". But it is not explaining why the police were unprepared for the predictable protests. More than 1,000 arrestees will be tried immediately, before the media are readmitted.

    28/01/2009 CHINA - TIBET
    Tibetan young man dies from injuries suffered in jail
    Pema Tsepak was arrested for calling for a free Tibet, and then hospitalized with internal injuries. Meanwhile, police arrest 81 Tibetans for possessing "reactionary music." Refugees in exile: the authorities want to prevent protests for the March anniversaries.

    15/03/2008 TIBET
    The blood of Tibet on the Beijing of the Games
    A few months before the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government on alert suppresses with tanks and soldiers the desperate requests of the young Tibetans. China is reaping what it has sown: in almost 50 years, is has never given any hope to the population of Tibet, instead increasing control and genocide.

    24/02/2009 TIBET - CHINA - INDIA
    Dharamshala, more than 500 Tibetans protest against Chinese repression
    The demonstrators are calling for an end to the "killings," and are reiterating their intention to "not celebrate the Tibetan new year." Beijing continues its repression in the region in view of the 50th anniversary of the anti-Chinese revolt. Women's rights activists denounce forced abortion and discrimination.



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