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China ridicules Dalai Lama, despite 'talks'

April 29, 2008

Tania Branigan in Beijing
The Guardian,
Monday April 28 2008

The Chinese Communist party's official mouthpiece has poured fresh scorn
on the Dalai Lama, only two days after the government's abrupt
announcement that it would meet his aides within days.

Tibetan exiles had greeted the announcement warily and the Dalai Lama's
nephew, Khedroob Thondup, a member of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile,
yesterday attacked it as a "ruse" designed "to deflect pressure and give
false assurance to western leaders".

Yesterday's People's Daily commentary claimed: "The Dalai clique have
always been masters at games with words and the ideas that they have
tossed about truly make the head spin ... Those who split the nation are
criminals to history."

The renewed attack came as a leading Tibetan official launched an
extraordinarily frank condemnation of the handling of recent protests in

Bai Ma, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference committee in Qinghai province, said: "It is regrettable that
authorities in Lhasa failed to take firm action to control the situation
during the first few hours of the March 14 riots ... They did not have
enough police. They had guns, but they could not open fire without
permission from above."

He told the South China Morning Post that the situation at the Drepung
and Sera monasteries in Lhasa remained tense because of the patriotic
education programme targeting monks. "The heavy-handed and arbitrary
tactics [of the government] only create more animosity."

The Olympic torch relay also continues to provoke controversy, with Hong
Kong this weekend barring a Danish artist, Jens Galschiot, and his two
sons who had planned to protest over human rights violations when the
torch arrives this week.
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