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His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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Dalai Lama condemns 'Cultural Genocide', calls for International probe
Sky News[Sunday, March 16, 2008 15:27]
The Dalai Lama has called for an international probe into the current unrest and violence in Tibet.

At a press conference in India, the exiled spiritual leader condemned what he described as China's 'cultural genocide'.

"The Tibet nation is facing serious danger. Whether China admits or not, there is a problem," he told reporters at his base in Dharamsala.

He said that the international community had the "moral responsibility" to remind China to be a good host for the Olympics, but added that China deserved to host the games.

His comments come as police and troops lock down the capital of Tibet with tensions still high following protests against Chinese rule.

Shops and vehicles were set alight while shots echoed through the streets as Buddhist monks clashed with troops in the ancient city of Lhasa.

Witnesses reported crowds hurling rocks at security forces and retaliatory violence.

Chinese authorities have set rioters an ultimatum, urging them to hand themselves in to police by midnight on Monday or face harsh punishment.

China has said at least 10 "innocent civilians" died, mostly in fires lit by rioters.

But the Tibetan government in exile said there had been "30 confirmed deaths and over 100 unconfirmed deaths" in the biggest pro-independence protests in 20 years.

"We don't dare go out, not for anything. There's too much trouble," said a Tibetan businesswoman from Lhasa, a remote city high in the Himalayas.

Like other residents, she spoke only briefly and anonymously out of fear of punishment. The angry protests came after days of peaceful demonstrations by monks and struck a sharp blow to Beijing's preparations for the Olympic Games in August, when China wants to showcase prosperity and unity.

China has declared a "people's war" of security and propaganda against support for the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.

Beijing's stance saw Pro-Tibet supporters gathering in protest in cities around the world.

In London, protesters banged on the doors of the Chinese embassy before holding a prayer vigil.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "We are very concerned about what is happening in Tibet.

"We have asked for more information about what is going on and we will keep this matter under review."

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg called on the PM to meet the Dalai Lama during his forthcoming visit to the UK.

Downing Street said no decision had been made over the possibility of a meeting between the two men.
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