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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China Contends It Has Evidence of Tibet Riot Plot

April 1, 2008

By DAVID BARBOZA
The New York Times
March 30, 2008

SHANGHAI — After two weeks in which China contended that Tibet’s
government in exile had instigated the riots earlier this month to
tarnish the coming Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government on
Sunday issued for the first time what it said was evidence of the plot.

The state-run news media said the Chinese police had a confession
written by an unidentified monk who they said received orders from
supporters of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel
Peace Prize winner.

In what an article described as the confession, the monk said: “For the
sake of protecting myself, (the Dalai Lama clique) asked me not to
participate in the demonstrations in person, just in charge of stirring
people up.”

The Chinese government has not held a news conference to identify the
monk or explain the circumstances of the confession, so it was not
possible to verify either the existence of the monk or of such a statement.

For weeks, China has said it has strong evidence that the riots and
protests in Tibet and neighboring regions were orchestrated by the
“Dalai clique.”

The Tibetan government, based in Dharamsala, India, quickly dismissed
such claims, saying that China was trying to pin blame on Tibetan exiles.

“These are baseless allegations,” Tenzin Taklha, the Dalai Lama’s
secretary in Dharamsala, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “Their
spin masters are trying to put the blame on us.”

Mr. Taklha called on China to allow an independent investigation of the
accusations.

Since riots erupted March 14 in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, journalists and
diplomats have been prevented from traveling freely in Tibet and
neighboring regions with large Tibetan populations, some of which have
faced serious unrest.

News of the confession comes as pressure mounts for China to negotiate
with the Dalai Lama and find a solution to a problem that has already
begun to affect preparations for the Olympics. China has tried to
convince other countries that the Dalai Lama’s supporters are behind the
unrest and that they finance and equip separatists inside China.

On Saturday, China said it had seized a cache of guns, ammunition,
explosives and sophisticated communications equipment at a Buddhist
monastery in Sichuan Province, a part of southwestern China that has
been the scene of Tibetan protests.

The police in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal, scuffled on Sunday with
Tibetan protesters near the Chinese Embassy. More than 100 people, some
of whom were chanting pro-independence slogans, were detained, Reuters
reported.

In Greece, protesters tried to disrupt the Olympic torch ceremony, as
Greece handed over the flame to China. The government plans to hold a
ceremony on Monday in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, before the Olympic
torch begins its journey around the world.

European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Slovenia over the weekend,
also called for an end to violence in Tibet and for talks between China
and the Dalai Lama.

But Chinese leaders continue to take a hard-line approach. They contend
that the Dalai Lama and his government in exile have orchestrated a
violent separatist campaign, resulting in the recent clashes that killed
about 20 people and injured hundreds in Lhasa and neighboring regions.

Tibetan groups say China’s harsh suppression of the protests and riots
has killed more than 140 people and has resulted in the detention and
harassment of hundreds of Tibetans, including monks.

The Chinese government also said it had arrested 26 people suspected of
rioting in Aba County, Sichuan Province.

There seems little room for compromise. China says the Dalai Lama has
walked away from negotiations and has lied, but the Dalai Lama says he
does not support violence, supports having the Olympic Games in Beijing
and is willing to negotiate.

China Awaits Olympic Torch

ATHENS — Shouting “Free Tibet” and flashing red banners reading “Stop
Genocide in Tibet,” demonstrators charged a police cordon here on
Sunday, trying to block the Olympic flame from making its final 100-yard
run into a sprawling marble arena in Athens.

Backed by riot squads, scores of police officers detained 10 of an
estimated 15 demonstrators, taking them to Greece’s national police
headquarters minutes after the ceremony began.

Greece carried out a major security operation for the event, deploying
more than 1,000 police officers and changing the flame’s route at least
three times to prevent protesters from upstaging Sunday’s ceremony.

Yet even before the hand-over began, three supporters of Falun Gong were
detained outside Panathinaiko Stadium for distributing leaflets on the
spiritual movement outlawed in China.

Somini Sengupta contributed reporting from New Dehli.
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