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China tells NZ of a stable Tibet

July 30, 2008

The Dominion Post (New Zealand)
July 29, 2008

Ten days before the Olympics, China has sent a delegation to New
Zealand to put its view on the crackdown in Tibet that prompted
global protests and threatened to disrupt preparations for the Games.

The visit by three "Tibetologists" coincides with reports from
Beijing that the Chinese Government is planning a purge of Tibetan
monasteries, aiming at monks accused of inciting subversion in
protests and by flying Tibetan flags.

The Beijing officials arrived in Wellington yesterday and are
scheduled to meet MPs, Foreign Affairs Ministry officials and academics today.

Delegation leader Shes-rab-nyi-ma, vice-president of Beijing's
Central University for Nationalities, said they wanted to correct
erroneous reports of a violent crackdown on Tibet.

The delegates wanted to show "the real picture" of Tibet. He was
confident the territory would remain stable and calm during the
Olympics, which begin on August 8.

Professor Shes-rab-nyi-ma said those arrested after violent incidents
in March were being released after being educated in Chinese law that
prohibits any activity that undermines stability in China. China
regards Tibet as a province and any talk of independence is described
as "splittist".

The Communist Party has posted new orders halting religious
activities in monasteries till monks and nuns are re-registered.
Those who fail loyalty tests are to be dismissed and their
accommodation demolished.

Commenting on these moves, Tibet University vice-president Tseyang
Changngopa said monks had to abide by Chinese law and religious regulations.

Green MP Keith Locke, who has agreed to meet the delegation, said the
buildup to the Olympics had brought a worsening of human rights in Tibet.

He planned to express his concern at the persecution of Tibetans who
wanted to control their affairs in what was supposed to be a
semi-autonomous territory.
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