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Uproar in Lok Sabha over Tibet unrest

March 18, 2008

The Times of India
17 Mar 2008

NEW DELHI: The Chinese crackdown on protestors in Tibet created uproar
in the Lok Sabha on Monday, with several parties barring the Left
expressing concern over the "cultural genocide" in Lhasa.

Members of the BJP, BJD, Samajwadi Party and RJD wanted India to condemn
the violence and seek immediate intervention by the United Nations and
the main Opposition even walked out.

Responding to the concern by members, External Affairs Minister Pranab
Mukherjee expressed distress over the "unsettled situation and violence"
in Tibet and wanted the causes of trouble in the autonomous region of
China to be resolved through dialogue and non-violent means.

He informed the House that the government had already issued a statement
in this regard. Raising the issue in Zero Hour, BJP's V K Malhotra
alleged that Tibetans were being "massacred" in Lhasa and China was
trying to "culturally finish Tibet", even when the Dalai Lama is saying
he wanted autonomy and not separation from China.

While Samajwadi Party's Ramjilal Suman wanted government to inform the
House about its stand on the 'violation of human rights' in Tibet, BJP's
Adityanath claimed if China was not stopped now, it would "annex Nepal
and then the Northeastern states."

B Mahtab of the BJP wanted the government to protest the "ethnic
cleansing and tell China to exercise restraint and stop cultural genocide."

He also asked the government to press for immediate UN intervention in
Tibet. When the Opposition walked out, Mukherjee said the policy on
Tibet and China, which was formulated in 1959, remained the same and no
government, including NDA, had changed it.
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