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China Fears Another Uprising

November 11, 2008

November 10, 2008

Dharamshala Nov. 10 -- China is fearful of yet another political uprising like the one seen in March this year. Tibet Autonomous Region’s Vice Governor Pema Tsewang told in an interview with The Australian that security had been beefed up to counter the threat of an uprising similar to the one on March 14.

Media reports say that China’s strengthening of military might comes at a time when the Tibetans in exile are set to hold a Special Meeting on Tibet’s future starting November 17, and after the 8th round of talks between China and envoys of the Dalai Lama made no progress.

Despite media reports about growing military presence on the streets of Lhasa Pema claimed that the Tibetans were enjoying full rights.

"As for the human rights situation in Tibet, people enjoy full management of their own affairs," said Pema.

It is the first time a Tibetan official has responded directly to Mr Rudd's comments and it comes at a time when Beijing is increasingly sensitive to international criticism over Tibet.

A spokesman for the Australian Prime Minister said Australia would continue to press its case about the situation in Tibet. "We continue to urge China to respect human rights in Tibet," the spokesman said. "We continue to urge China to continue to engage in a dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives."

Journalists of The Australian last week spent four days in Lhasa and witnessed a heavy Chinese military presence in the provincial capital, with snipers deployed on rooftops and armed patrols passing through each main street in the Tibetan quarter in roughly five-minute intervals.

Reacting to The Australian's reports and pictures on the Chinese military presence in Lhasa the Dalai Lama's representative in Australia, Tenzin Phuntsok Atisha, said they revealed a deep and growing mistrust between Chinese and Tibetans.

"Tibet is becoming a big prison and it is clear from The Australian's reports that the situation is very tense. This (the military build-up) shows they are really worried and there is very little trust on both sides. I fear it will get worse rather than better in the next few months."

China has always feared that the "separatists" from exile could fuel anti China sentiments in Tibet. It accused the Dalai Lama for the March protests in Tibet saying that the exiled Tibetan leader masterminded the demonstration of strong anti China feelings in Tibet earlier this year, an accusation that the 73 year old Tibetan leader out rightly denied inviting independent body including even Chinese representatives to examine his office, files and computers.
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