Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama Urges China to Open Tibet to Journalists, Observers

April 1, 2009

By James Rupert
March 31, 2009

The Dalai Lama appealed to China to let
journalists and international observers into
Tibet, a day after the Chinese government said it
would permit tourists to visit.

At a press conference in New Delhi on the 50th
anniversary of his arrival in India as a refugee,
Tibet’s Buddhist spiritual leader accused China
of covering up violent oppression of its 6
million Tibetans. He criticized its suppression
of a video this month that his government in
exile says shows Chinese policemen beating a
Tibetan, who died last year from his injuries.

China accused the exile government of fabricating
the video and blocked the YouTube Web site, which
posted it. The Dalai Lama, whose aides reaffirmed
the video’s authenticity, said family members of
the dead man, a China Mobile Limited employee named Tendar, have disappeared.

China’s official news agency, Xinhua, has said
Tendar was beaten after attacking a policeman
with a knife and died of an unidentified disease, rather than his injuries.

"If conditions in Tibet are really good, there is
no reason to expel all the foreigners, all the
tourists, all the media people,” the Dalai Lama
said. China has barred or detained at least 10
reporters for foreign news organizations who
tried to visit ethnic Tibetan regions, the
Foreign Correspondents Club of China said this month.

China annexed Tibet in 1951, and in the past year
has sent extra troops and police to crack down on
Tibetan protesters demanding autonomy for the
region. The government accuses the Tibetans of
trying to seek independence and divide China.

Latest Tensions

Tibet has been tense since March last year, when
protesting Tibetans fought police after the
anniversary of a 1959 anti- Chinese uprising in
the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. The uprising led the Dalai Lama to flee to India.

The Dalai Lama, 73, marked the anniversary of his
escape by thanking Indians for hosting more than
100,000 Tibetans who have joined him in exile. He
visited the capital, New Delhi, to offer prayers
for India at Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and other places of worship.

To contact the reporter on this story: James
Rupert in New Delhi at
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank