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China says Tibetan suicide attacks planned to sabotage Olympics

2 April, 2008

The Chinese government has warned that “Tibetan independence forces” – who are on a warpath demanding freedom for Tibet from China – are planning “violent suicide attacks.”

The warning – the latest in a series of charges leveled against the supporters of the Dalai Lama – was given while China’s Ministry of Public Security was briefing reporters on the official investigation into riots that rocked Lhasa in the middle of March 2008, Voice of America has reported.

The Chinese government accuses the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader living in India, and his supporters of having planned the anti-government riots in Lhasa in March 2008, as a part of what it calls “a campaign to sabotage the Beijing Olympics to be held in August as well as to promote Tibetan independence.”

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dalai Lama, 72, has denied China’s charge, condemned the violence and demanded an independent an international investigation into the unrest and its underlying causes.

While the Chinese government says that “18 innocent people and one policeman died” in the Tibetan struggle, Tibetans insist that the death toll is much higher, and include Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces.

Wu Heping, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, was quoted by the Voice of America as asserting on April 1, 2008, that the Chinese government believes that the Lhasa unrest and the subsequent protests in Tibetan areas in western China are “the work of Tibet independence activists.”

Wu put the entire blame for the unrest in Tibet on the Dalai Lama for “orchestrating anti-Chinese violence, both recent and in the future,” according to Voice of America.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security spokesman added that the next plan of “Tibetan independence forces’ is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks, but he did not divulge details.

The Chinese government has claimed that authorities have unearthed 170 guns, 13,000 bullets and over 3,500 kilograms of explosives in monk dormitory rooms at monasteries in Tibet.

Meanwhile, Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of Tibet’s government in exile headquartered in Dharmsala, India, denied the Chinese government’s allegations that Tibetans are planning to launch suicide attacks.

In fact, Rinpoche said, the Tibetan exile community is concerned that the Chinese may disguise themselves as Tibetans and plan attacks to discredit Tibetan activists. He emphasized that “Tibetans are committed to a nonviolent path” and that “there is no question of suicide attacks.” 




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