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His Holiness the Dalai Lama talking to media persons on his arrival at Vilnius, Lithuania. June 12, 2018, Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
His Holiness the Dalai Lama attending the 100,000 prayer offering to Guru Padmasambhava at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2018. OHHDL Photo
Players and staff of the Tibetan national football team listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a special audience. The team will participate in the CONIFA world cup in London, May 18, 2018 Photo:OHHDL
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Marriott Hotel chain faces backlash for listing Tibet as a country in survey
[Wednesday, January 10, 2018 18:54]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 10: International hotel chain, Marriott is under fire from Chinese netizens after the company listed Tibet as a nation, in a questionnaire sent among its members for feedback.

Chinese internet users on Tuesday, according to Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times, have called for boycott of the hotel for what they called “hurting national interest”.

GT regarded as a propaganda window, reported that users complained about Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan listed without the word “region” and “now they are going too far by listing Tibet as a country!”

Netizens have called for the boycott of the 124 Marriott hotels in China on Sina Weibo account, a Chinese micro-blogging site. In response, JW Marriott International has issued an apology on the same online platform and suspended the questionnaire survey.

“We realised that this mistake would deeply disappoint our Chinese customers. For now, we have suspended the questionnaires and fix the options at once. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the incident,” the US hotel chain said in a statement.

Infringements on Chinese government narrative, especially on sensitive issues like Tibet, many say, can have severe backlash with CCP showing growing intolerance on what they call to be an attack on their sovereignty. Foreign companies have either been banned completely such as Google and Facebook or have been made to comply by introducing drastic filters to accommodate Beijing’s interests.

Tibetans maintain that Tibet was annexed by Mao’s communist forces in 1949. This was followed by the mass odyssey in 1959 of the country’s leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and over 80,000 of his countrymen into exile as refugees.
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