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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama lashes out at Chinese 'repression' in Tibet

March 10, 2008

DHARAMSHALA, India, Mar 10 (AFP) — Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama on Monday attacked China's human rights record accusing it of
"unimaginable and gross violations" in his Himalayan homeland.

"Repression continues to increase with numerous, unimaginable and
gross violations of human rights, denial of religious freedom and
politicisation of religious issues," he told hundreds of flag-waving
supporters on the 49th anniversary of his escape to India after an abortive
anti-Beijing uprising.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner's angry comments came in a
strongly-worded speech in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala and
contrasted sharply with what his critics say has been a "soft"
approach to China.

"For nearly six decades Tibetans have had to live in a state of
constant fear under Chinese repression," he said.

"All these take place as a result of the Chinese government's lack of
respect of the Tibetan people," the 72-year-old told the gathering
from his palace in Dharamshala, seat of the Tibetan
government-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama said however that he would not abandon his search for
autonomy in Tibet even though six rounds of talks with the Chinese
since 2002 have yielded little result

"During the past few years, Tibet has witnessed increased repression
and brutality. In spite of these unfortunate developments my stand and
determination to pursue the 'Middle-Way' policy remain unchanged," he said.

Despite widespread frustration among the younger generation at China's
stranglehold on Tibet, the Dalai Lama remains the unquestioned
spiritual leader of the diaspora.

He also said August's Beijing Olympics could be a golden opportunity
for the international community to expose China, which has ruled Tibet
since 1951, over its treatment of Tibetans.

"Besides sending their athletes, the international community should
remind the Chinese government of these issues.... China should prove
herself a good host by providing these freedoms," he added.

Tibetan groups are planning to step up protests in the run-up to the
Olympics and were to kick off a "Tibet trek" home starting later
Monday and stage a "Tibetan Olympics" in May.
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