China Plans Tour For Select Journalists As Western Opinion Sides With Dalai Lama and Tibet

First, more news about brutality being used against protesters in Qinghai:

"They were beating up monks, which will only infuriate ordinary people," the source said of the protest on Tuesday in Qinghai's Xinghai county.

A resident in the area confirmed the demonstration, saying that paramilitaries dispersed the 200 to 300 protesters after half and hour, that the area was crawling with armed security forces and that workers were kept inside their offices.

The Beijing source said resentment at the paramilitary presence around Lhasa's monasteries prompted one monk at the Ramoche temple to hang himself.

snip

"It's very harsh. They are taking in and questioning anyone who saw the protests," the source said. "The prisons are full. Detainees are being held at prisons in counties outside Lhasa."

link: http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCri sis/idUSPEK369654

After repeated headlines in the Western press about the Chinese government's censorship of the events in Tibet, authorities there have decided to invite a select group of western journalists to view places and events that support their side of the story:

The small delegation of selected foreign journalists landed in Lhasa on Wednesday afternoon for a three-day reporting trip expected to be tightly controlled and slanted toward China's version of the Tibetan unrest.

China has indicated the journalists -- the first allowed into Tibet since the unrest -- would be allowed to speak with victims of the violence and shown property damaged by rioters, but gave no assurances on reporting freedom.

link: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hMd6 Zq7QlT12WpiRxAdLqC0x-SnA

It is unclear how much this public relations event will reverse - or even stem - the tide of Western criticism of China over their handling of the continuing protests.

For a sample of how much big that tide is, let's turn first to the European Union, which has issued a strong statement on the heels of Nicolas Sarkosy threatening a boycott of the opening ceremonies by France:

Geneva, Switzerland (AHN) - The European Union recently let out a series of criticism aimed at China regarding its violent crackdown and tight-grip rule on the region of Tibet. The collection of European nations called for the Asian giant to halt its forceful control over Tibetan protesters demanding the return of their exiled leader, the Dalai Lama.

At a meeting with the United Nations Human Rights Council, the EU expressed its disapproval of China's authoritative tactics on Tibet, while showing concern over the growing unrest and violence spreading throughout the region, as well as the Tibetan provinces in other parts of China.

"We urge Chinese authorities to refrain from using force against those involved in unrest and call on demonstrators to desist from violence," stated Slovenia's ambassador to the U.N., Andrej Logar.

link: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/ 7010443002

The Telegraph highlights Germany's calls for a dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama, is reporting that Britain is continuing its criticism of China's crack-down of the protests:

Britain also criticised Beijing, with an annual report by the Foreign Office highlighting Beijing's "violation" of human rights in Tibet.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said worldwide concern about the situation in Tibet was "justified and proper".

"There needs to be mutual respect between all communities and sustained dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities," he said.

link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jht ml?xml=/news/2008/03/26/wchina126.xml

Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias is adding his voice to those calling for dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama:

"Nobody is asking for independence for Tibet," Arias said. "The Dalai Lama has never asked for that. What is at stake is preserving the autonomy of Tibet."

snip

Arias described the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as a personal friend, and said he was disturbed by the scenes of violence in Tibet.

"I saw scenes on television in which Tibetans were busting up Chinese stores, which led to the army being called in and the death of innocent people," he said. "That just shouldn't happen."

link: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/03/2 5/america/LA-GEN-Costa-Rica-Tibet.php

Finally, Hillary Clinton has called out President Bush's "closet diplomacy" with China:

"I think that what's happening in Tibet is deeply troubling, and this is a pattern of the Chinese government with respect to their treatment of Tibet," she told reporters after a campaign event in Pennsylvania.

"I don't think we should wait until the Olympics to make sure that our views are known," Clinton said, while saying she did not have an opinion now on whether the U.S. team should not go to the games.

Clinton said President George W. Bush's administration should be more forceful about the Tibet issue.

"I think we should be speaking out through our administration now in a much more forceful way and, you know, supporting people in Tibet who are trying to preserve their culture and their religion from tremendous pressure by the Chinese."

link: http://sport.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews /feedstory/0,,-7411430,00.html

Earlier this month, Barack Obama issued his own statement on the situation in Tibet, which can be found here: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gYNr WbklSBpsRs1XZi1FyS8L0qrA

Please keep all sides of this conflict in your thoughts, prayers and meditations.

Tags: Barack Obama, Britian, china, Costa Rica, Dalai Lama, EU, France, Germany, Hillary Clinton, Olympics, Oscar Arias, press, propaganda, Tibet (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Glad to see more folks speaking out...

...now, if only Bush would come out of the diplomacy closet...

by grannyhelen 2008-03-26 05:32AM | 0 recs
The problem with Bush's diplomatic...

...closet is that it's inside 10 other closets that he's been hiding in for the past 8 years.  Sigh.

Also, Bush has put the US in such a horrible position with China - in all respects - even if he says something at this point, it will drift away on the winds.

I believe you said yesterday that China is spinning this thing as a terrorist insurrection - and we all know that if a statement has the word terrorist in it, Bush nods his head up and down.

by Shazone 2008-03-26 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The problem with Bush's diplomatic...

That is exactly how they're spinning it...even going to the point of - gasp! - saying Muslims were involved.

But even that one didn't get Bush out of the closet...

by grannyhelen 2008-03-26 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Dalai Lama and Tibet

This is such a tragic thing to happen in a part of the world that for centuries lived by non-violence.  The Dalai Lama has set an exemplary model for all of us to learn from.  I can only send my prayers and my thanks to you grannyhelen for keeping our attention on this picturesque part of the world and this group of people who have been treated inhumanely and who deserve better.

by macmcd 2008-03-26 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: China Plans Tour

It is important to remember what is really important as we wrestle with each other about the politics in this country...and perhaps there is some confluence of values going on here...and I think it's Hillary who is being disparaged by the BIG SHOT and POWERFUL MSM...and sometimes it seems like all we can do is standby and watch...but we can make calls and donate and spread the truth where we can...susanclare

May the people of Tibet know we are supporting them as well!!!!! BECAUSE WE ARE!!!!!!!!!

by susanclare 2008-03-26 04:49PM | 0 recs

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