Chinese Premier Denounces Dalai Lama

March 18, 2008 05:33 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Premier Wen Jiabao stated that the Dalai Lama and his “clique” are behind the violence seen in recent Tibetan protests.

30-Second Summary

In his first comments since the violence in Tibet began last week, Wen said, “There is ample fact and plenty of evidence proving this incident was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique,” reports the BBC.

Although the exiled Dalai Lama has supported “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet instead of independence, Wen said in his speech that this push for “peaceful dialogue” had been “nothing but lies.”

The Dalai Lama has stressed his dedication to nonviolence and peace, and has even said he would resign as head of the government-in-exile if the violence intensified.

Tibetan exiles have placed the death toll at about 100 so far, although China claims the number is much lower.

On Monday, the governor of Tibet said there would be “harsh” consequences if the protesters did not desist. His deadline has passed, and the extent of China’s response remains to be seen.

There are many opinions about the causes of the conflict and how China should proceed. A number of op-ed pieces cite the economic disparity between eastern and western China, and the anger Tibetans feel about the influx of Han Chinese immigrants into their country. There are currently more Chinese than native Tibetans living in Lhasa.

China’s suppression of the Tibetan Buddhist religion has also been blamed for the current crisis. Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal and H.D.S. Greenway of The Boston Globe both assert that the problem is not restricted to Tibet, and that religious and ethnic minorities throughout China are being smothered by the country’s Communist and atheistic hold.

Headline Links: Chinese premier lambastes Dalai Lama

Background: The troubles associated with China’s ethnic diversity

Tension not limited to Tibet
‘Simmering Resentments Led to Tibetan Backlash’
'Tibet's Governor Warns Demonstrators of "Harsh" Consequences'

Opinion & Analysis: China's dealings with Tibet, minorities

The importance of religion
China’s handling of minority groups

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