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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan Blasts 'Demographic Aggression'

March 31, 2008

By ASHOK SHARMA

NEW DELHI (AP) — A Chinese government policy of "demographic aggression"
is threatening Tibetan culture as increasing numbers of non-Tibetan
Chinese move into the region, the Dalai Lama said Saturday.

He also told reporters that China risks instability because of its human
rights record.

In Lhasa, the region's ancient capital, there are now 100,000 Tibetans
but twice as many outsiders, the Tibetan spiritual leader said. The
majority of those are Han Chinese, the country's ethnic majority.

"There is evidence the Chinese people in Tibet are increasing month by
month," he told reporters, calling the population shift a "form of
cultural genocide."

He also said that a million more people are expected to be settled in
Tibet after this summer's Olympics. He did not say how he received that
information.

The comments from the Dalai Lama, who has been based in India since
fleeing his homeland decades ago, came as diplomats were preparing to
leave the Tibetan capital after a quick overnight visit. The visit was
the latest move by China to show it is in control of the region after
deadly anti-government protests more than two weeks ago.

Beijing blames the unrest on the Dalai Lama and his supporters.

The Dalai Lama also warned that China risks instability because of its
human rights record and he worried about his "Middle Way" dialogue with
Beijing, which calls for autonomy for Tibetans under Chinese rule.

"China looks stable, but underneath a lot of resentment," he told
reporters, calling Beijing a police state with a "rule of terror."

The protests in Tibet and other regions with large Tibetan populations
have brought immense unwanted attention to China and its human rights
record ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

China wants to use the games to showcase itself as an emerging
international power and an important player in the international community.

The Tibet protests, led by monks, began peacefully March 10 on the
anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. Tibet had
been effectively independent for decades before Chinese communist troops
entered in 1950.

Tibetan exiles say almost 140 people have died in the recent protests.
Beijing puts that number at 22.
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