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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

'Free Tibet' flags made in China

April 29, 2008

BBC NEWS
April 28, 2008

Police in southern China have discovered a factory manufacturing Free
Tibet flags, media reports say.

The factory in Guangdong had been completing overseas orders for the
flag of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Workers said they thought they were just making colourful flags and did
not realise their meaning.

But then some of them saw TV images of protesters holding the emblem and
they alerted the authorities, according to Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper.

Tibet independence

The factory owner reportedly told police the emblems had been ordered
from outside China, and he did not know that they stood for an
independent Tibet.

Workers who had grown suspicious checked the meaning of the flag by
going online.

Thousands of flags had already been packed for shipping.

Police believe that some may already have been sent overseas, and could
appear in Hong Kong during the Olympic torch relay there this week.

The authorities have now stepped up the inspection of cars heading to
the Shenzen Special Economic Zone and onwards to Hong Kong.

The Olympic torch is due to tour Hong Kong on Friday. It will then
travel to a series of cities in mainland China before reaching Beijing
for the start of the Olympic Games in August.

Its progress around the world has been marked by pro-Tibet
demonstrations in several cities - including Paris, London and San
Francisco.

Rallies began in the main Tibetan city of Lhasa on 10 March, led by
Buddhist monks.

Over the following week protests spread and became violent -
particularly in Lhasa, where ethnic Chinese were targeted and shops were
burnt down.

Beijing cracked down on the protesters with force, sending in hundreds
of troops to regain control of the restive areas.

But it has since agreed to resume talks with representatives of the
Dalai Lama.
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