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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."

Protests against Beijing Olympics continue in Dharamsala

August 11, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul (India)
August 10, 2008

Normal business, including shops and restaurants run by Tibetans
remained closed in McLeod Ganj as Tibetans took to streets to protest
against Beijing Olympics and China's "Colonial occupation of Tibet"

Dharamsala, August 10 -- Tibetan exiles took to streets today, third
time in a row since the eve of the Beijing Olympics' opening
ceremony, to express their anger against China's occupation of their
homeland and the alleged worsening situation inside Tibet.

Hundreds of Tibetans, including monks and nuns from various
monasteries and nunneries around Dharamsala, and many foreign
supporters were seen taking part in the rally around McLeod Ganj
town. Also normal business, including shops and restaurants run by
Tibetans remained closed to join the protest rally.

The regular protests in Dharamsala, the administrative capital of
Tibetan exiles, are spearheaded by Tibetan Women's Association, the
Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, The National Democratic Party of Tibet
and the Students for a free Tibet -- India. The four prominent
non-governmental organizations have long vowed to stage series of
protests demonstrations during and after the Beijing Olympics to
steal its spotlight and instead draw world attention on the Tibetan cause.

Protesters wearing black dress and black headbands, as a mark of
protest, carried Tibet flag and placards, telling China to "Stop
Killing in Tibet," "Stop Genocide in Tibet" or, "Release all
Political prisoners in Tibet."

Tibetans exiles have also been staging regular candle light vigil in
the evenings to pray for the lives of the Tibetans who have lost
their lives while taking part in anti-China demonstrations inside
Tibet in recent months.

Exiled Tibetan leaders say Chinese military troops killed at least
203 people in the clampdown to suppress anti-China demonstrations
since March this year.

The president of Gu-Chu-Sum, an organisation of the ex-political
prisoners of Tibet, Ven. Ngawang Woebar says more than 6800 Tibetans
are currently languishing in Chinese prisons camps for protesting Chinese rule.

The organisers this morning put up big "Great Wall of Shame" posters,
bearing various images of recent anti-China unrest in Tibet and the
victims of Chinese military clampdown, and Tibetan freedom banners at
an open lawn, where people gathered for protest, in McLeod Ganj.

"We can have ideological differences among us (Tibetans) but we must
stand united in our struggle for freedom from Chinese rule," Ven.
Woebar said, addressing a large public gathering before they took to
noisy street rallies, shouting Tibetan freedom and anti-China slogans.

"The Olympics games have started in Beijing and may go on
successfully, but we must not stop struggling for our freedom and for
the freedom of Tibetans suffering inside Tibet," he said.

"We must not let the selfless and supreme sacrifices made by our own
Tibetan brothers and sisters in staging recent demonstrations across
Tibet go in vain," Ven. Woebar, who himself suffered torture in
Chinese prison for taking part in 1987 pro-Tibet demonstrations in Lhasa, said.

"We must force China to stop the ongoing crisis and brutal repression
in Tibet," Ven Woebar insisted.

The leaders of the rally also urged world athletes to continue
speaking for "truth, justice and Tibet" and said they are demanding
China to begin dismantling, what they called "colonial occupation of Tibet."

Photos contributed by Annie Kohl
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