China’s premier speaks on Tibet

The World

It wasn’t your usual news conference with China’s premier. But with the ongoing Tibetan protests and a crackdown that Tibetans say has killed 100 or more people, not all questions followed the script. One journalist asked the Chinese government why they didn’t let foreign journalists into Lhasa. Jaibao said the situation in Lhasa is returning to normal and is quiet and calm, and it will be reopened to the rest of the world. Eye witnesses in Tibet say armored vehicles are on the street and security vehicles are going house to house rounding up hundreds of Tibetans, and that’s just in Lhasa. Much of these areas were historically part of Tibet and many Tibetans still live there. so protests spread easily to these regions but Jaibao has accused the Dalai Lama of spreading the anger. The Dalai Lama spoke today too and said he is against violence, Tibetans shouldn’t do it, and he’ll resign if the protests get out of hand. The Dalai Lama advocates autonomy within China rather than outright independence. Some Tibetans see no reason to compromise or keep their protests peaceful and think dialogue with China has not worked. And that could lead to more protests. Many Tibetans say the time to save Tibetan culture is now. the Dalai Lama has called all this cultural genocide, but Jaibao says China has helped develop Tibet. But Jaibao is also concerned with the Olympics and China’s perception worldwide in the run up.

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