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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."

Protests 'show Tibet's anguish'

April 8, 2008

The Press Association
Apr 6, 2008

The recent anti-government demonstrations in Tibet were "outbursts of
long pent-up physical and mental anguish" that proved most Tibetans want
freedom from Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama has said.

In a strongly worded statement, the Tibetan spiritual leader said people
in Tibet felt "deep resentment against the suppression of the rights of
Tibetan people (and) lack of religious freedom".

He also accused Chinese authorities, who have repeatedly blamed him for
the unrest, of "trying to distort the truth at every occasion".

He blamed China for using violence in its crackdown on protests.

Chinese authorities say 22 people died in the anti-Beijing riots that
broke out March 14 in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

The self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile, led by the Dalai Lama,
says up to 140 were killed in the protests and ensuing crackdown.

China has accused the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, of
orchestrating the violence to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games in
August and create an independent state.

The Dalai Lama said he was saddened that people had been killed in the
violence, but he praised the protesters because they had "demonstrated
their deep anguish and hopes by risking everything".

He said the protests "shattered the (Chinese) propaganda that except for
a few 'reactionaries', the majority of Tibetans enjoy a prosperous and
contented life."

The protests are the longest and most sustained challenge to China's
57-year rule in the Himalayan region. They have also focused increased
international scrutiny and criticism on China in the run-up to this
summer's Olympic Games.
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