Dalai Lama "did not mention any number of casualties” on alleged Tibet shooting, His Holiness’ Office clarifies
Phayul[Friday, August 22, 2008 15:58]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, August 22: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s office has denied he mentioned any specific number of casualties from an alleged shooting by Chinese security forces on Tibetan crowd in eastern Tibet.

People wait for the arrival of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the temple of Lerab Ling in Roqueredonde, southern France. The Tibetan leader is in France for a 12-day visit, starting August 12. (Photo: AFP/Pascal Guyot)
People wait for the arrival of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the temple of Lerab Ling in Roqueredonde, southern France. The Tibetan leader is in France for a 12-day visit, starting August 12. (Photo: AFP/Pascal Guyot)
In an official statement from the Dalai Lama's representatives in France, the Tibetan Spiritual leader has denied saying that 140 people might have been killed by Chinese troops this week.

In an interview published Thursday by the French newspaper Le Monde, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was reported to have said that 140 people were reportedly killed in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi), in eastern Tibet, by the Chinese security forces.

“We would like to clarify that His Holiness did not mention any number of casualties,” the statement said.

“In response to a question from the journalist about recent news stating that Chinese troops had fired on a demonstration, His Holiness clearly stated that we had no specific information on the number of casualties,” it added.

“We just heard that, but no possibility to cross-check. So I don't know," the statement quoted the Dalai Lama as actually saying in his interview with the French daily.

The statement goes on to say that efforts have been made without success to communicate with the local affected population in Karze, which is currently incorporated into Sichuan Province under China’s administrative division.

In his interview with AsiaNews, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of Tibet's Government-in-Exile, also confirmed there was no such massacre by the Chinese army in Tibet in recent days.

He attributed the controversy as having stemmed from a wrong translation during the Tibetan leader's interview with the French daily.

"There was a language problem in the translation of the comments by His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Rinpoche was quoted as saying.

Tibetans in Kardze have, in recent years, been one of the most active and persistent in opposing Chinese rule in their Himalayan homeland. Since March this year, the region witnessed renewed and some of the most vigorous anti-China unrests in Tibet.

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