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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."

China allows foreign reporters into Tibet for Olympic torch relay

June 22, 2008

June 20, 2008
RIA Novosti (Russia)

BEIJING, June 20 -- Chinese authorities have reopened Tibet for
foreign reporters for the first time since violent anti-government
rallies in March as the restless region prepares to greet the Olympic
flame on Saturday.

Organizers of the relay have said the Olympic flame will stay in
Lhasa for one day instead of the originally planned three as a mark
of respect for the almost 70,000 people so far known to have perished
in a powerful earthquake in the neighboring Sichuan province on May 12.

Observers, however, said Chinese authorities cut the Tibet leg over
fears of fresh rallies against Chinese rule in Tibet. Eight thousand
troops and 4,000 police are reported to have been deployed to guard
the torch. The torch was met by pro-Tibetan demonstrators in cities
around the world, including in Paris and London.

Early March's unrest in Tibet, which started when Buddhist monks took
to the streets to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising
against Chinese rule, left 19 people dead and 623 injured, according
to official Chinese reports.

The Tibetan government in-exile said 203 were killed and over 1,000 injured.

Beijing has accused the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Tibet's
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of orchestrating the trouble. He
has denied the allegations.

China's handling of the protests was severely criticized in the West.
Some leaders called for a boycott of the opening ceremony of the
Beijing Olympic Games in August if China failed to agree to hold
talks with the Dalai Lama.

Chinese authorities and envoys of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader
met in China in May. They failed to reach a deal over the future of
Chinese rule in Tibet, but agreed to resume negotiations at a later date.

The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, has repeatedly said he seeks
autonomy for Tibet rather than independence from China.

Tibet remains closed to foreign tourists.
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