September 1, 2005

China denounces Dalai Lama amid Tibet celebrations

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese state media questioned the
Dalai Lama's assertion he only wants greater autonomy for Tibet
the same day China marked the 40th anniversary of the founding
of the Tibet autonomous region.

In a pointed commentary published late on Thursday, hours
after goose-stepping soldiers and singing Tibetans marched in a
celebratory parade in Lhasa, Xinhua news agency criticized the
Dalai Lama for bringing foreign influence into "an internal

"It might not be respectful to doubt the wisdom of 'His
Holiness' for not waking up to reality, but we have to wonder
what on earth the Dalai Lama wants for the claim of 'greater
autonomy'," the commentary said.

The Buddhist god-king fled to India after a failed uprising
in 1959, nine years after China's People's Liberation Army
marched into Tibet to establish Beijing's rule.

He has since renounced independence and says he only wants
more autonomy for Tibet, while China charges the spiritual
leader with continuing to provoke separatism.

Xinhua said the Dalai Lama's reaching out to foreign
governments for support was proof he did not want to find a
peaceful resolution to the Tibet question.

"A person who is pure-hearted in seeking compromise
certainly will not sling mud on the other part, while an
attempt to win international interference in an internal affair
is an obvious denial of the framework that Tibet is part of
China," it said.

The commentary echoed China's standard defense of its rule,
pointing to the freeing of "serfs and slaves once oppressed by
the hierarchical regime" of the Dalai Lama and the improvement
of living standards among Tibetans.

"He must face the fact that Tibet, under the current
autonomous mechanism, has witnessed changes which would be
impossible under his rule," it said.