Dalai Lama warns Tibetans are ‘near extinction’ at 50th anniversary of exile
The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, has marked 50 years of his flight from China and exile in India with a defiant speech praising the sacrifices of those killed during last year’s uprising, but warning that Tibetan identity was “nearing extinction.”
By Dean Nelson in New Delhi
Last Updated: 7:12PM GMT 10 Mar 2009
Despite 50 years of international campaigning and fruitless negotiations with Chinese leaders, Tibetans were still treated like criminals in their own country, he said.
“These 50 years have brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and people of Tibet. Even today, Tibetans in Tibet live in constant fear and the Chinese authorities remain constantly suspicious of them,” he told followers in Dharamsala, the Indian home of his government in exile.
“Today, the religion, culture, language and identity, which successive generations of Tibetans have considered more precious than their lives, are nearing extinction; in short, the Tibetan people are regarded like criminals deserving to be put to death,” he said.
He charted his exiled government’s successive attempts to negotiate a settlement with Beijing which would allow Tibetans to preserve their unique culture and to live in autonomy within the People’s Republic of China, but said repeated promises from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, had come to nothing.
Negotiations continue to break down because Chinese officials insist Tibetans accept their country has always been a part of China, which he said was not only “inaccurate but also unreasonable. We cannot change the past no matter whether it was good or bad,” he said.
The Communist government in China had imposed the Cultural Revolution, commune experiments and violent and repressive campaigns on the Tibetans, and more recently, following the brutal suppression of last year’s uprising, had forced them to endure “patriotic re-education.” These measures had “thrust Tibetans into such depths of suffering and hardship that they literally experienced hell on earth. The immediate result of these campaigns was the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans,” he said.
Though now semi-retired, he pledged to continue campaigning for Tibetan freedom, and urged his exiled followers to “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Ikke et pip om den kinesiske besættelse af Tibet høres i UNHRC. Kina har for mange penge og ressourcer. Så er det lettere at fordømme Israel…
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