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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dalai Lama voices support for Uighurs

By Jamil Anderlini and Kathrin Hille in Beijing
Published: March 10 2010, newsessentials.blogspot.com/…/dalailama-voices-support-for-uighurs.html

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, expressed solidarity and support for Muslim Uighurs on Wednesday, raising the spectre for Beijing of closer co-ordination between opponents of Chinese rule and minority groups in territories that have seen ethnic rioting in the past two years.

His comments came in a blistering attack on the ruling Communist party’s policies in his homeland that was timed to mark the anniversary of a Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule in 2008 and the 51st anniversary of the uprising that led to the Dalai Lama’s flight to India.“Let us also remember the people of East Turkestan [China’s Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region] who have experienced great difficulties and increased oppression, and the Chinese intellectuals campaigning for greater freedom who have received severe sentences. I would like to express my solidarity and stand firmly with them,” the Dalai Lama said in his statement.

There has been little co-ordination or communication between Tibetan and Uighur groups. The 2008 uprising in Tibet was separate from the bloody ethnic riots that broke out in Xinjiang last year.

Beijing’s response to the unrest has been heavy-handed, with a massive influx of troops into both regions and “patriotic re-education” campaigns.

The World Uighur Congress, an exile organisation, welcomed the Dalai Lama’s remarks and appealed to Beijing to respect the political will of the Tibetan and Uighur people.

“We both face the threat of suppression of our religion, cultural extinction and large-scale Chinese migration into our homelands,” it said.

A Chinese foreign ministry official referred questions to the United Front Department saying that any issues related to Tibet and the Dalai Lama were a domestic affair and not the foreign ministry’s responsibility. The United Front Department could not be reached for comment.

Posted by World Watch.

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Had China accepted the reality that it needs to allow more self-government to its ethnic and politically different component  regions – there would be no problem with the reintegration of Taiwan as part of a confederation of friendly states and cities.     We say this all the time on this website and we think it would be in China’s interest.

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