Rioting Blamed on Dalai Lama, Who Threatens to Resign (Updated)

Update (12:30 PST): The U.S. has responded to China’s claim that the was behind rioting in Tibet. Reuters reports (via the Guardian):

“We don’t have any evidence one way or the other on that score and I think you have to ask the spokespeople in Beijing what evidence they have to support that,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Christensen said.

“The information that we have from the Dalai Lama himself is that he’s calling for peace and he’s calling for restraint on the Tibetans. He’s been critical of the violence,” he told a U.S. congressional advisory panel hearing on China.

Washington was “encouraging China to reach out to the Dalai Lama and his representatives and to address the very long-term and very real grievances of the Tibetan people,” Christensen told the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.


Update: Reports have come out which indicate the difficult position the Dalai Lama is finding himself in as violent protests continue in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China. The BBC reports:

“I received a call from Tibet – they said please don’t ask us to stop,” the Dalai Lama said referring to the protestors.

He has conceded the demand. But he has reiterated his support for the policy of non-violence and the middle path.

“Independence for Tibetans is out of the question. Tibetans and Chinese have to live side by side,” he told a press conference in Dharamsala on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama has said he will step down as the political leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile if the violence in China continues. From AP:

The Dalai Lama, speaking to reporters, urged his countrymen to show restraint.

He said that “if things become out of control” his “only option is to completely resign.”

Later, one of his top aides clarified the Dalai Lama’s comments.

“If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence he would have to resign because he is completely committed to nonviolence,” Tenzin Taklha said. “He would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama.”

Jampa Phuntsog (Xiangba Pingcuo/向巴平措), Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, a Tibetan himself, condemned the Lhasa incident at a press conference today, via Xinhua and translated by CDT:xb.jpg

The vandalism in Lhasa is “an organized, premeditated and carefully plotted incited” by the Dalai clique who colluded with “inside and outside” Tibet independence “separatist forces”. Any breaching of Tibet’s stability in the hopes of splitting Tibet from China is unpopular and doomed to fail.

张庆黎, Secretary of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee, Member of the 17th CPC Central Committee, deflected blame from the Communist Party saying (h/t Shanghaiist):zhang.jpg

“The Communist Party is like the parent to the Tibetan people, and it is always considerate about what the children need.
The Central Party Committee is the real Buddha for Tibetans.”

And here’s Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao in a report from the BBC:

“There is ample fact and plenty of evidence proving this incident was organised, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique,” he said.

“This has all the more revealed the consistent claims by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence, but peaceful dialogue, are nothing but lies.”

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