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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

IOC blaming Tibetans?

January 9, 2009

Taipei Times
Wednesday, Jan 07, 2009
 
Letter
 
In his year-end reflections on the Beijing Olympics, International Olympics Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge blamed Tibetans for the difficulties faced by the IOC in dealing with the Chinese government (“IOC was surprised by Tibet unrest, Rogge says,” Jan. 1, page 20). At a time when the violent conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate and the need for peaceful reconciliation is ever more urgent, it is irresponsible and inaccurate to accuse the Tibetans of turning to violence and “bloody unrest.”
 
The overwhelming majority of more than 130 protests against Chinese rule that swept across Tibet last year were peaceful, largely because of the example led by the Tibetans’ exiled leader — Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama — and the influence of Tibetan Buddhist culture. But the crackdown against them by the Chinese government was brutal.
 
Rogge’s comments are in line with Beijing’s propaganda, which seeks to represent the six-month cycle of largely peaceful dissent in Tibet as one violent riot in March.
 
The reality is that last year, Tibetans risked their lives to convey the message to the outside world that the Dalai Lama represents their interests, not the Chinese state, and to express their resentment against repressive policies undermining their religion and culture. In response, the Chinese government resorted to repressive and heavy-handed tactics that owe more to the political extremism and paranoia of the Maoist era than to a 21st century would-be superpower.
 
KATE SAUNDERS
Washington, DC
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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