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article imageOp-Ed: China Vs. The Dalai Lama, It All Depends On Who You Believe

By KJ Mullins     May 4, 2008 in World
As the Dalai Lama's envoy meets with Chinese officials what is the feeling in China? In the West we hear the side of the Dalai Lama and often not the China's version. The Chinese version is generally the opposite of what is being said in the West.
Both governments are hoping for positive results with the current talks. The four representatives are China's Zhu Weiqun and Sitar (who uses only one name) and the Dalai Lama's two private representatives Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen meeting in Shenzhen, north of Hong Kong.
"Our policy toward the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent, and the door for dialogue remains open," President Hu told journalists from 16 Japanese media organizations during an interview.
"During this brief visit, the envoys will take up the urgent issue of the current crisis in the Tibetan areas," Chhime Chhoekyapa, a secretary to the Dalai Lama, said earlier.
"They will convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama's deep concerns about the Chinese authorities' handling of the situation and also provide suggestions to bring peace to the region.
China's position is that the local government was right to take accordance with the law when the peaceful protests in Lhasa turned violent. The government simply moved in to safeguard the legal system and was in the best interest of the Tibetan residents.
The government wishes for the Tibetan government-in-exile to stop plotting against the Chinese government in order to have a peaceful Olympics in Beijing this summer. During the torch run to Beijing there have been several protests urging for a Free Tibet.
But do the Chinese people believe that Tibet's human rights issues really matter in the wide scope of things? The Communist Party of China published in the The People's Daily an article that said the Dalia Lama has no right to even talk about human rights issues. the article "The 'Tibet Issue' has nothing to do with human rights" was written by He Zhenhua. The columnist has recently published several other articles that supports patriotism in China and criticizes the Dalia Lama.
According to He the old Tibet was a maze of human slavery with Tibetans divided into different classes. Slave owners were only 5% of the population and reigned over all other Tibetans. He goes on to say that the Dalai Lama should be more concerned about his fellow Tibetans in exile who he claims have no human rights at all in India.
Tibet has maintained an average of 12 percent annual growth with free medical services and education. Private housing in the region is also growing. That's the Chinese line.
Yet the Tibetan refugee community in exile is considered one of the most successful refugee communities worldwide. The India government provides medical and educational facilities for these refugees.
It's all a matter of which side you believe.
The Chinese government has been accused of denying religious freedoms. On the other hand that same government has accused the Dalai lama of stirring up trouble within Tibet.
The world has been watching the explosive situation in Tibet for months as Beijing prepares to host the Games. This international microscope has highlighted human rights issues that had been underscored in recent years. It doesn't seem likely that the two sides of the coin will merge as one in the near future. Depending on which side of the coin you believe tells the history of this story.
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