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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama Censured at Olympic Tibet Relay

June 24, 2008

By Geoff Dyer
The Financial Times (UK)
June 22, 2008

Chinese officials used the visit of the Olympic torch to the Tibetan
capital on Saturday to launch an attack on the Dalai Lama, the exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader.

The torch relay in Lhasa lasted for just over two hours, much shorter
than had been planned before the unrest in Tibet in March. It went
off without protests along a route lined with a heavy security presence.

"We will certainly be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of
the Dalai Lama clique," said Zhang Qingli, Communist party secretary
in Tibet, at the end of the event, according to Reuters.

Speaking in front of the Potala Palace, the Dalai Lama's former
residence, Mr Zhang said: "Tibet's sky will never change and the red
flag with five stars will forever flutter high above it."

The government has accused the Dalai Lama and other exiles of
inciting the unrest, particularly the riot on March 14 when several
Han Chinese were killed. The Dalai Lama has denied the charge. The
torch goes next to Qinghai province.

The decision to carry on with the Tibet visit after the unrest has
been criticised by Tibetan exiles and human rights groups, which
accuse the government of politicising the torch to assert its control
over the region.

"This provocative decision -- with the blessing of the International
Olympic Committee -- could aggravate tensions and undermine the
fragile process to find a peaceful long-term solution for Tibet and
the region," said Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in
China. "The government's insistence on parading the torch through
Lhasa can only undermine the respect and trust required for a genuine
dialogue process with the Dalai Lama."
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