I strongly support Beijing Olympics: Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama on Sunday strongly supported the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing later this year.

updated: March 23, 2008 12:10 IST
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New Delhi:

The Dalai Lama on Sunday strongly supported the staging of the Olympic Games in Beijing later this year, saying the show must go on despite the present confrontation between Tibetans and Chinese authorities in Tibet.

"I support the Olympics being held in Beijing," the Dalai Lama told reporters here on the sidelines of a five-day meditation camp he is leading here.

"I have always supported (the games). They should take place in China," he added.

"They are the hosts. The Olympics should take place in Beijing," the Tibetan spiritual leader maintained.

His statement came on the day Beijing accused the Dalai Lama of plotting "terror" in Tibet and colluding with Uighur separatists in Xinjiang as it attempts to stamp out anti-Chinese unrest ahead of the Olympics.

The People's Daily, the ruling Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, said Sunday that the Dalai Lama had never abandoned violence after fleeing to India in 1959.

"The so-called 'peaceful non-violence' of the Dalai clique is an outright lie from start to end," the paper maintained.

"In 2008, the Beijing Olympic Games, eagerly awaited by the people of the whole world, will arrive. But the Dalai Lama is scheming to take the Beijing Olympics hostage to force the Chinese government to make concessions to Tibet independence," the newspaper added.

Also on Sunday, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said a boycott of the Beijing Olympics should be considered if China does not re-evaluate its actions in Tibet.

"Beijing must decide. It must negotiate with the Dalai Lama immediately," he told the mass circulation Bild newspaper.

Boycott measures were justified if there was no attempt at reconciling the differences, Poettering said.

"We should not exclude the possibility of a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. We want a successful Games, but not at the price of the cultural genocide of the Tibetans," he said.

The European Parliament is to discuss the situation in Tibet Wednesday.

New Delhi has been witnessing violent protests against the alleged Chinese repression in Tibet.

On Friday, a group of Tibetan activists broke into the Chinese embassy here after scaling its boundary wall.

The police later detained an unspecified number of Tibetans outside the embassy in the capital's diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri.