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Dalai Lama Accuses China of Misleading World About Tibet

November 4, 2009

By Akiko Fujita
Voice of America (VOA)
October 31, 2009

Tokyo -- Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the
Dalai Lama has criticized Chinese leaders for
misleading the world about the situation in
Tibet. His comments came in an address to foreign journalists in Tokyo.

The Dalai Lama came to Japan to take part in
panel discussions with scientists but the exiled
Tibetan leader did not shy away from the
political spotlight. In an address to foreign
correspondents in Tokyo, the Tibetan spiritual
leader criticized what he called Chinese
government propaganda regarding Tibet. He said
Beijing was fooling the world into thinking the
situation between the Tibetan people and the Chinese had improved.

"Please go to Tibet and see if things are really
good as the Chinese government says," said the
Tibetan spiritual leader. "Then tell us that our
view is wrong. Then we will apologize - no problem."

The Dalai Lama's criticism came in response to a
question from the Xinhua agency - the official
news agency of the Chinese government. The
reporter suggested that Tibetan culture had
become popular among the Chinese - that both
sides were learning to co-exist peacefully. The
Dalai Lama dismissed that notion and suggested
that was the image Chinese government was trying
to sell to the world. He said they had done so by
censoring anyone who questioned them.

"People should have full knowledge of reality
whether good or bad," he said. "For that reason
transparency is very essential. That is lacking
in all these authoritarian governments.
Particularly in the People's Republic of China."

Tensions between the Tibetan people and Chinese
government led to violent clashes in March last
year. The unrest in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa,
began with demonstrations that marked the 49th
anniversary of Tibet's failed uprising against
China. But it turned into an anti-government
protest with Tibetans attacking Chinese migrants
and shops. The Chinese government has said more
than 20 people died in the riots, but Tibetans
argue that number was much higher.

In his address Saturday, the Dalai Lama said
Chinese police never tried to stop the violence.

Beijing has accused the Tibetan spiritual leader
of instigating the violence in Lhasa, but he has denied those allegations.

Two Tibetans were executed earlier this week for their roles in the riots.
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