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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Protests to mark 50 Years since Tibet Revolt

March 8, 2009

By Lincoln Tan
The New Zealand Herald
March 7, 2009

Tibet independence supporters in New Zealand will get to hear the Dalai Lama's message on the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule even before the spiritual leader delivers it in India, says local Tibetan spokesman Thuten Kesang.

As tensions run high in Tibet, protests are being planned in New Zealand, which will include a demonstration outside the Chinese consulate office, a march in Queen St and a memorial service outside the Auckland Museum on the anniversary next Tuesday.

"This would possibly be our largest protest to be held here," said Mr Kesang.

"China is enjoying the support of Governments around the world simply because of its economic muscle, but there are many New Zealanders who still believe that you cannot put a price tag on truth and justice."

Tibetans here heeded a call by the Dalai Lama to boycott Tibetan New Year celebrations in protest against Chinese rule.

China will close Tibet to foreign tourists amid deep tensions ahead of the highly sensitive anniversary of the 1959 uprising that sent the Dalai Lama into exile.

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This is the second time in less than a year that Tibet has been sealed off to foreign tourists - the first was after riots erupted in Lhasa last March after four days of peaceful protests to mark the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising.

Tibet's government-in-exile says a Government crackdown following the unrest left 200 Tibetans dead, but the Chinese Government denied this, and has said that police killed one "insurgent" and blamed Tibetan "rioters" for 21 deaths. China has sentenced 76 people and detained more than 950 since the unrest.

The head of Tibet and secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhang Qingli, has warned against any attempts to split China, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

He said the Dalai Lama was a troublemaker, who has not stopped making trouble "even for one day", since the riots.
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