(AFP) – Apr 18, 2008
DHARAMSHALA, India (AFP) — Tibet's exiled government on Friday accused Beijing of planning to extend its crackdown on Tibet and appealed for the international community to intervene.
The plea came a day after China said it was putting off plans to reopen Tibet, which was closed to visitors after authorities cracked down on Tibetan riots that erupted last month and spilled over into other regions.
"Tibet is virtually sealed," prime minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said in the Tibetan enclave of Dharamshala in India, adding "in a short period the Chinese authorities will destroy all evidence by executing the innocent Tibetans."
Rinpoche's remarks also came a day after a brief, high-security leg of the global Olympic torch relay in New Delhi that saw the heart of the Indian capital emptied of people except for thousands of police.
Indian and Chinese authorities had feared that some of India's more than 100,000-strong Tibetan refugee community would try to disrupt the relay to draw attention to what they say are human rights violations in the region.
Beginning March 14, rioters went on a rampage that claimed the lives of 20 people, China said, while exiled Tibetan leaders say more than 150 Tibetans in their Himalayan homeland died in the subsequent Chinese crackdown.
"Normalcy did not return even after more than five weeks and more protests and repressive measures are happening day after day. This arouses the suspicion about the intentions of the Chinese authorities," said Rinpoche.
"We are very much concerned such repressive action may continue for many more months to come."
He pleaded for the international community to act to prevent China carrying out "brutal acts against the Tibetan people."
The Tibetan exile government has reported protests have also continued inside Tibet and other areas in China, citing anonymous sources from the region.
Rinpoche repeated allegations made by the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama that the violent protesters were actually ethnic Chinese masquerading as Tibetans.
"Most of protestors involved in the violent acts on that day were unfamiliar to the local people," he said.
"In particular, there are cases where people have seen Chinese policemen in Tibetan dress and in monks robes taking the leading role during the protests," he said.
The Dalai Lama has been living in India since 1959 after fleeing Tibet following a failed uprising in Lhasa against Chinese troops.
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