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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?"

Chinese repression in Tibet is like 'Cultural Revolution' days, says Dalai Lama's envoy

October 9, 2008

Daily Mail, Foreign Service (UK)
October 8, 2008

Chinese repression in Tibet is as bad as it was during the Cultural
Revolution, a senior envoy to the Dalai Lama said today.

Kelsang Gyaltsen warned the situation inside Tibet was "very
alarming" and continuing to deteriorate after the violent protests in
the region earlier this year.

Mr Gyaltsen, a lead negotiator for the exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader, made the statements in London ahead of a fresh round of talks
with the Chinese government later this month.

During those negogiations the Dalai Lama's representatives will
present their detailed plans for a "genuinely autonomous" Tibet.

But Mr Gyaltsen, a former Swiss banker, said Beijing was only taking
part to "deflect international criticism".

The Dalai Lama has called a special general meeting of all Tibetan
exile groups for next month - only the second time this has happened
- to discuss the progress of the talks and the situation inside Tibet.

Mr Gyaltsen said he did this in response to the "lack of any signs of
progress in the dialogue process" and the worsening state of affairs
within Tibet.

"At the moment the situation inside Tibet is for us Tibetans the
greatest concern," he added.

"First of all, now the Olympic Games are over, with that there is
also the possibility that the world attention on China will weaken.

"Against this background we feel it is important that the focus is
kept on Tibet because the situation inside Tibet is very alarming and
very gloomy."

China's policies - ranging from movement restrictions and
confiscation of computers and mobile phones to its "patriotic
re-education" campaign - have made Tibet like a "giant prison", he said.

"Tibetans inside Tibet speak of a return of the atmosphere of fear
and intimidation just like in the days of the Cultural Revolution," he added.

The last round of talks in July ended with the Dalai Lama's
negotiators telling their Chinese counterparts they were losing hope
that the dialogue process served "any useful purpose", he said.

But the Chinese team responded by saying they had been helpful in
giving both sides a better understanding of each other's position.

And they invited the Tibetans to submit a detailed outline of their
proposals for solving the long-running dispute at the eighth round of
talks in Beijing at the end of this month, Mr Gyaltsen said.

The Dalai Lama is not seeking independence, but wants "genuine
autonomy" within the People's Republic of China for all Tibetans.
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