10/09/2010, 00.00
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Tibetan Leader: Beijing is afraid of Liu's voice and wants to silence him

by Nirmala Carvalho
The prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile says that this award "encourages democracy advocates in China and the world." Liu is a "sincere friend" of the Tibetans, who has always defended against Communist repression. Beijing rules with repression, but people want democracy and rights.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - "Awarding the Nobel Prize for Peace to activist Liu Xiaobo encourages all defenders of democracy in China and around the world." So says Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government in exile, in an interview with AsiaNews about the importance of the prize awarded yesterday to Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese democracy dissident, who is serving a sentence of 11 years in prison, as among the authors of the document Charter 08 calling for greater democracy and respect for human rights in China.

Prof. Rinpoche is radiant. "First we want to express - he says - appreciation of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who did not succumb to the pressures from the 'Big Brother'. They remained steadfast, despite the pressures to the contrary and awarded the prize to the Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo”.

AsiaNews points out to Prof. Rinpoche that the Chinese government has strongly criticized the decision, saying, among other things, that it has been awarded to a convicted felon and does not reflect the spirit for which the prize was established.

"The Chinese communist government – responds Rinpoche - has no legitimate role and this government uses fear, repression and suppression. The Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo is the 'voice' that the Chinese government fears, the voice that the Chinese Communist Party considers a threat against which it will use punishment, torture and imprisonment to silence it. Today, we congratulate the Nobel Committee for having given voice to this 'Voice'. "

"Freedom, justice and equality are inborn rights of every person and this was confirmed with the Peace Prize." "The Tibetan people in Tibet are repressed, but have not lost their spirit in spite of the Chinese government policy that is implementing a systematic cultural genocide. "

"This award is an encouragement for the Tibetans in Tibet that sooner or later they will see justice done. Liu Xiaobo is a sincere friend of Tibet. In the past he urged the Chinese government to change its policy towards Tibet and after the 2008 protests in Tibet [repressed by the Chinese army with hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests and martial law that is still ongoing in a region, ed] helped write 'Twelve tips on how to deal with the situation of Tibet', which says that freedom of expression and other rights need to be respected in Tibet".

Regarding rumors that Liu has converted to Christianity, Rinpoche says that "we want freedom of religion, freedom to choose a religion according to conscience is a fundamental human right. We hope and support religious freedom".

"This great honor will attract global attention to the Chinese democracy movement. We hope that this award will push the heads of governments and world leaders to not only aim for economic gains and trade ties, but also give greater attention to humanity’s aspiration for spiritual freedom, religious freedom and democracy".

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