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Tibet: repression continues, China Lobby strikes back

March 23, 2009

Submitted by WW4 Report
March 19, 2009

Protests in China's Tibetan regions continue to
be met with harsh repression one year after the
Lhasa uprising—now reported on only by the
Tibetan exile media. Chinese police in Nyarong
County, Sichuan Province, arrested three Tibetans
March 12 and paraded them in a marketplace after
they pasted protest letters in front of a local
government office and hoisting of Tibetan
national flag in a school, according to a report
on the Tibetan exile government website. (Phayul, March 16)

A Tibetan nun was severely beaten before facing
arrest in a lone protest four days before the
50th Tibetan national uprising day, the Tibetan
Center for Human Rights and Democracy reports.
Lobsang Khandro, 21, a nun from Gema Dra-wok
Nunnery in Thing-ka Township, Kardze County,
Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture," Sichuan
Province, walked to the local government
headquarters March 6 carrying prayer flags and
shouting slogans such as "Tibetan People Rise Up,
Rise Up" and "Long Live the Dalai Lama." (Phayul, March 18)

The US House of Representatives last week
approved a resolution honoring the Dalai Lama and
the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan revolt
against Chinese rule. When a similar resolution
was submitted to California's state legislature,
Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo)
charged the Chinese government with "shocking and
shameful" lobbying against the measure. The
measure's author, Blakeslee said representatives
of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco had
been walking the halls of the capitol in
Sacramento urging lawmakers to reject his
resolution. He released a copy of a letter that
Consul General Gao Zhansheng sent to lawmakers
suggesting the resolution would damage US
relations with China and send the "wrong signal to separatist forces."

"As the world economy faces a grim situation, it
is all the more important for the most developed
country and the biggest developing country in the
world to cross the river in a common boat and
proceed hand in hand," Zhansheng said in his letter. (AP, March 12)

Reacting to such charges, the Tibetan exile
government in India issued a statement saying
that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's "separatist"
allegations against the Dalai Lama are
misleading. "On many occasions, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama has reiterated that he is not seeking
separation from the People's Republic of China,"
said exile Prime Miniter Samdhong Rinpoche. "The
Chinese Premier's allegations of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama seeking separation is far from the
truth. The international community is well aware
of this fact and it does not need further
clarification." Rinpoche, who became the first
directly-elected prime minister of the exile
government in 2001 and is currently in his second term. (Phayul, March 15)

"China Lobby" was a phrase used to invoke the
influence of the Kuomintang government in Taiwan
in the Cold War years. But Beijing seems to have
much more pull on the Hill these days—although
not nearly so much (someone will be certain to
remind us) as the "Israel Lobby."
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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