woensdag, april 09, 2008

Overzicht situatie Tibet

China Readies for Protests During Olympic Torch Relay (Update1)

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese authorities are preparing for protests during the Tibetan stage of the Olympic torch relay and will deal with demonstrators ``severely,'' the chairman of the region's provincial government said.

``We are taking ample measures and we will deal with troublemakers severely according to the law,'' Qiangba Puncog told reporters in Beijing today. ``Measures do not include curfews, shutting of roads or shutting of schools.''

Protesters demanding independence for Tibet disrupted the Paris and London stages of the international relay and demonstrations are expected when the flame passes through San Francisco today. The relay, which started April 1, is scheduled to arrive back in mainland China on May 4 and journey through Tibet June 19 to 21.

China blames the Dalai Lama for instigating the biggest protests in Tibet in almost 20 years and says his supporters are trying to sabotage the Beijing Games.

``I am sure the Dalai clique will plan something to try to disrupt the torch relay in Lhasa,'' said Qiangba. ``Life will proceed as normal'' in the Tibetan capital.

He declined to say how many extra Chinese soldiers have been deployed to the region since the protests began last month.

Tibetan Uprising

The unrest began March 10 when hundreds of monks marched in Lhasa calling for an end to religious restrictions and the release of imprisoned colleagues. The date marked the anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, after which the Dalai Lama fled to India.
Riots broke out in Lhasa March 14 and spread to Tibetan- inhabited provinces of western China, including Gansu and Sichuan.

The protests were the largest since pro-independence demonstrations in 1989 prompted President Hu Jintao, then the Communist Party head in Tibet, to impose martial law.

Rioters in Lhasa smashed 1,300 stores, causing 280 million yuan ($40 million) in damage, Qiangba said. More than 70 perpetrators remain at large and warrants have been issued for their arrest.

Death Toll

China's government put the death toll from the Lhasa riots at 22, mostly ``innocent civilians'' burned to death by rioters, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. The violence left 382 civilians and 241 police officers injured, it said.

Chinese troops may have killed as many as 140 protesters since the demonstrations started, according to Tibet's government-in-exile, based in northern India.

About 15 Tibetan monks staged a protest today in Gansu province in front of international reporters, Agence France- Presse said. The monks from the Labrang Monastery approached the journalists and voiced support for the Dalai Lama, according to the report.

Western nations including the U.S. and Germany are calling on Chinese authorities to open talks with the Dalai Lama, who is Tibet's spiritual leader.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has refused to rule out a boycott of the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Aug. 8 to protest the crackdown.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today voiced concern about the violence in Tibet in a speech to about 500 Peking University students in Beijing.

``Australia, like most other countries, recognizes China's sovereignty over Tibet,'' Rudd said in the speech delivered in Mandarin. ``We also believe it is necessary to recognize there are significant human rights problems in Tibet.''

Rudd is in Beijing as part of a 17-day, seven-capital diplomatic tour, his first since becoming prime minister. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said today China had raised concerns at the diplomatic level about Rudd's earlier calls for the government in Beijing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.
Bron : Bloomberg
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