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Tibet exiles slam China policy on ‘uprising day’

Published: March 10, 2012 | 8:48 am
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NEW DELHI — The Tibetan government-in-exile branded Beijing’s “hardline policy” towards the troubled region a failure and urged China’s next leaders to hand greater autonomy to Tibetans.
China begins the country’s biggest leadership transition in nearly a decade later this year, that will send its premier and president into retirement, stirring hopes it may soften its stance towards Tibet.
“We hope that China’s upcoming leaders will initiate genuine change, and they find the wisdom to admit the government’s long-standing hardline policy in Tibet has failed,” Lobsang Sangay, the head of the exiled government, said on Saturday.
Sangay’s statement come as Tibetans the world over mark the “uprising day” to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s flight to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
He issued his statement from the northern Indian town of Dharamshala where the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered.
“The Tibetan struggle is not against the Chinese people or China as a nation. It is against the People’s Republic of China’s policies,” Sangay said.
“China must acknowledge the depth of the problems in Tibet and understand they cannot be solved through violence,” he said.
Sangay appealed to Beijing to accept the Tibetan’s “Middle Way Policy” which seeks “genuine” autonomy for Tibetans within the framework of the Chinese constitution.
“Why are Tibetans still not granted genuine autonomy as stipulated in the Chinese constitution?” Sangay asked in the statement.
The exiled government also urged the United Nations to appoint a “special rapporteur” to visit the troubled Tibetan region.
“The international community and media must send a fact-finding delegation into Tibet to remove the veil of censorship and disinformation campaign,”
Sangay said.
Chinese authorities launched a huge security clampdown ahead of the sensitive anniversary as it comes after a year in which more than 20 Tibetans, most of them monks, have set fire to themselves to protest Beijing’s rule.
Beijing has heaped blame for the incidents on the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, accusing the 76-year-old Buddhist leader and his followers of plotting to create “turmoil” in China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas.


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