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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 slams Dalai Lama in government report

September 26, 2008

By SCOTT McDONALD

BEIJING 25 September 2008 (AP) — China issued a government report
Thursday praising its rule over Tibet and accusing the Dalai Lama of
wanting to restore a backward feudal system in the Himalayan region.

The white paper, published six months after riots and protests rocked
Tibet, said the government had spent vast sums of money and manpower to
protect Tibetan culture.

But the 30-page paper issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet, also
accused Tibet's exiled spiritual leader of spreading false rumors about
cultural genocide in the region and said any moves to split it from
China would fail.

"The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique's clamor for 'cultural autonomy of
Tibet' is essentially a political conspiracy to restore theocratic rule
over the culture of Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabitated regions, and
thus realize the 'independence of Greater Tibet,'" it said.

The paper was issued about a month before an expected third round of
talks aimed at easing tensions between the sides.

The talks were started after monk-led protests against Chinese rule
turned violent in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa in March. Beijing has
accused the Dalai Lama and his supporters of fomenting the unrest.

Despite the two earlier meetings with the Dalai Lama's representatives,
the government has stepped up its campaign to vilify the 1989 Nobel
Peace Prize laureate.

"The 14th Dalai Lama and his clique and the anti-Chinese forces in the
West conspire to force the Tibetan ethnic group and its culture to
stagnate and remain in a state similar to the Middle Ages," the paper said.

The Dalai Lama has denied China's claims that he wants independence for
Tibet, saying he only seeks greater autonomy for the Himalayan region to
protect its Buddhist culture.

His self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharmsala, India,
rejected Beijing's latest claims.

"If the situation was excellent in Tibet, then the Chinese government
did not need to issue a white paper. If the Chinese government feels
that they have done enough to protect the Tibetan language and culture,
they should allow free access to the international media," spokesman
Thupten Samphel said Thursday.

The March demonstrations were the most significant challenge to Chinese
rule in nearly two decades. Beijing has said 22 people died in the
violence, but Tibetan supporters say many times that number were killed
in the protests and subsequent military crackdown. China's harsh
response garnered worldwide criticism.

Associated Press reporter Ashwini Bhatia contributed to this report from
Dharmsala, India.
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