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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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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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