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Tibet's Exile Government Wants China to Account for Missing following Uprising

September 22, 2008

By Steve Herman
Dharamsala
20 September 2008

Tibet's government-in-exile wants China to account for the large 
number of Tibetans missing following the March uprising. But the head 
of the exile government tells VOA News there has been no communication 
with the Chinese since their last round of unfruitful dialog in July. 
VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Dharamsala in northern 
India, the headquarters of Central Tibetan Administration.

The prime minister of Tibet's government in exile wants Chinese 
authorities to give an accounting of the fate of Tibetans missing 
since the crackdown against those participating in anti-China 
demonstrations, which began in March.

In a VOA interview, Samdhong Rinpoche, who is the Kalon Tripa or prime 
minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, says it remains 
unclear how many Tibetans have been killed, injured or detained by 
Chinese authorities since the March uprising.

"A large number of Tibetans are still missing," he said. "A large 
number of monks and nuns who were taken away from Lhasa are still 
imprisoned in various untold places. We are hearing the unconfirmed 
news now they are beginning to release [them] but not allowing [them] 
to go back to the Lhasa monasteries."

The International Commission of Jurists has asked China to inform the 
United Nations Human Rights Council about the March uprising in Tibet 
and surrounding areas. The Commission says China's violent crackdown, 
included arbitrary executions, the use of excessive non-lethal force 
by the security forces and arbitrary detentions.

China has repeatedly accused the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai 
Lama, of fomenting riots and anti-China protests to disrupt this 
year's Beijing Olympic Games.

Tibetan authorities have feared an even-larger crackdown by the 
Chinese following the conclusion of last month's games. But the Kalon 
Tripa says there is no evidence of that yet.

"It is too early to say that now there is no danger," he said. "We 
shall have to wait and see. And particularly after the next round of 
dialog hopefully the things will be more clear."

Rinpoche is referring to the eighth round of dialog between his exile 
government and the Chinese government. It had been scheduled for 
October, but Rinpoche says it is questionable whether the talks will 
be held.

"After July contact there has not been any interaction with them, 
directly or indirectly," he said. "No dates have been confirmed."

Tibetan leaders say the Chinese made unacceptable demands on the Dalai 
Lama at the last round of talks. They say if the October dialog yields 
no progress, the Tibetans will likely not continue the discussions, 
which began six years ago.

Dharamsala, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, has been the 
Dalai Lama's home since he fled Tibet in 1959 after China sent in 
troops there to suppress a revolt against its rule.
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