Dalai Lama seeks probe into violence in Tibet

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Dharamshala, Mar 16: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama today sought an international investigation into the crackdown against protesters in Tibet a few days ago, saying it was facing a ''cultural genocide''.

"Whether intentionally or unintentionally, some cultural genocide is taking place there,'' he told reporters here where the Tibet's Government-in-exile is based. The Dalai Lama said respected international organisation should find out what the situation was in Tibet and what was the cause. ''Whether the (Chinese) government there admits or not, there is a problem. There is an ancient cultural heritage that is facing serious danger,'' he said.

Denying China's charge that he was behind the violence, the worst since 1989, he said that he was ''completely committed'' to non-violence and favoured a ''middle path'' which he said was also supported by some Chinese officials and scholars.

The Dalai Lama, who offered prayers before talking to the press, said ''We want genuine autonomy and not independence (from China).'' On the holding of Olympics, the Dalai Lama said he was not opposed to it. However, he said the international community had the ''moral responsibility'' to remind Beijing about human rights violations in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama's comments came after protests by Buddhist monks against Chinese rule in Tibet turned violent, leading to a crackdown by Chinese authorities in the region's capital, Lhasa.

Meanwhile, protests continued here against China over its violent suppression of Tibetans, who took out processions and made fiery speeches.


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