The Dalai Lama has intensified his criticism of China on the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising that led to his exile.
From his base in the Indian town of Dharamsala, Tibet’s spiritual leader said his people were living a “hell on Earth.” He also accused China of killing “hundreds of thousands” of Tibetans and of leading a campaign of “cultural genocide.” He repeated calls for greater autonomy for Tibet under Chinese sovereignty. Beijing launched counter accusations that the Dalai Lama was spreading lies and rumours and claimed democratic reforms in Tibet are the most profound in the region’s history. Eager to avoid a repeat of last year’s violent clashes, China has launched a major security operation in neighbouring provinces with large Tibetan refugee populations. Thousands of troops and paramilitary police have been deployed in Sichuan in anticipation of protests there. Demonstrations have been taking place across the world. Hundreds of people gathered in Washington, where Congress was expected to discuss a resolution recognising Tibetan suffering and calling for multi-lateral support for a peaceful solution to the question of Tibet’s status.