Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dalai Lama press conference, Dharamshala

It's 16:30 in Bangkok, 15:30 in Dharamshala, India

The audio on the interview -- which I watched on CNN -- was bad. Here is a summary from an Indian* news source:
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday condemned what he said was China's "cultural genocide" in Tibet and called for an international investigation into unrest there.

"Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some cultural genocide is taking place," he told reporters, saying Tibetans were being treated as "second-class citizens" in the Chinese-controlled Himalayan region.

"Please investigate, if possible some international organisation can try firstly to inquire about the situation in Tibet," he said.
Indeed, for too long Tibetans have been treated like "second class citizens" in their own land.

CNN has a story about the live video feed being broadcast from Tibet via Hong Kong. It shows Chinese troops going door-to-door in the Muslim district of Lhasa arresting Tibetans, and looking for Tibetans who may be in hiding. The video was first shown on Hong Kong Cable TV, and then carried live on CNN International. Surprisingly, mainland China television began broadcasting the live video feed within China. Why?

The CNN reporter in Beijing speculated that the government of China -- over the past week -- seems to have used foreign TV reports to help keep themselves informed of events in Tibet. That may be what is happening now. Another possibility is that the person holding the camera on a rooftop in Lhasa is working with China's army (otherwise presumably agents would have been sent to the building from which the live-feed was being shot and arrest the photographer). On the bright side, at least people in China can see for themselves that is not well in Tibet. But we can easily anticipate how the Chinese regime will spin this story.

Protest timeline and recent reports here.
* ET

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