Eklat in der Hamburger Bürgerschaft. Linke-Fraktionsvize Christiane Schneider hat im Parlament das kommunistische China gewürdigt, das sich „aus der Erniedrigung kolonialer Abhängigkeit durch das imperialistische Ausland durch einen langen Krieg befreit“ habe. Anschließend verglich sie den Dalai Lama mit dem iranischen Revolutionsführer Ayatollah Chomeini. Die Uno habe „keine guten Erfahrungen mit Religionsführern gemacht“, das gelte für Chomeini wie für den Dalai Lama.

Empörung bei CDU, SPD und Grünen, SPD-Fraktionschef Michael Naumann verließ den Saal.

Chomeini hatte nach der „islamischen Revolution“ 1979 zehntausende Schah-Anhänger und Andersdenkende hinrichten lassen. Der Dalai Lama dagegen musste nach der chinesischen Besatzung Tibets 1959 fliehen, ruft zu Gewaltlosigkeit auf.

1000 Tibeter vor Gericht

China will in Lhasa noch im April mehr als 1000 Tibeter vor Gericht stellen. Der Menschenrechtler Hu Jia wurde gestern in Peking wegen „umstürzlerischer Absicht“ zu 3 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Hu setzt sich für Aids-Kranke und Religionsfreiheit ein.

Gruppe: Acht Tote bei erneuten Tibet-Unruhen in China

Peking (Reuters) - In China sind nach Angaben einer tibetischen Gruppe bei erneuten Unruhen mindestens acht Menschen getötet worden.

olizisten schossen in der südwestlichen Provinz Sichuan auf eine protestierende Gruppe von Anwohnern und Mönchen, wie die Internationale Bewegung für Tibet am Samstag auf ihrer Internetseite berichtete. Die Menschenmenge habe gegen die Durchsuchung eines Klosters in der Region Ganzi protestiert. Bei der Razzia seien mehrere Mönche festgenommen worden, weil Bilder des Dalai Lamas gefunden worden seien.

Die staatliche Nachrichtenagentur Xinhua meldete dagegen, dass ein Behördenvertreter bei Unruhen in der Region schwer verletzt worden sei. Die Polizei habe Warnschüsse abgefeuert und den Gewaltausbruch schließlich unterbunden.

Seit Beginn der tibetischen Unruhen in China Mitte März sind nach offiziellen Angaben 19 Menschen bei Protesten getötet worden. Die Exil-Tibeter sprechen dagegen von etwa 140 Toten und Hunderten Festnahmen. Das harte Durchgreifen der chinesischen Sicherheitskräfte hat Rufe nach einem Boykott der Olympischen Sommerspiele in Peking laut werden lassen.

The world cannot be blind to Tibet’s tears


One of the most pleasing sights in the bazaars of Indian cities and towns is that of Tibetans selling their wares, usually woolens or other creations of their honest and hard-working hands. Tibetans live quiet lives, proudly preserving their community identity, zealously adhering to their customs, and remaining deeply devoted to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. They scrupulously respect the local social milieu in which they live — be it Manali in Himachal Pradesh or Mundagod in north Karnataka, where they have established a wonderful township — and are in turn respected by the locals. It is rare to find a Tibetan involved in any criminal activity.

Every time I see a Tibetan on the street, I feel proud of my country that it has continued its tradition, since time immemorial, of providing shelter to any immigrant community that suffered religious persecution in its own land. India does not treat such refugees as aliens, nor does it force them to give up their culture and customs. In this sense, India is unique in the world, and this uniqueness must be safeguarded and cherished. Indeed, in the case of Tibetans, it is a matter of honour for us that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the greatest living exponent of the Buddha’s ideals of universal peace brotherhood and compassion, has made India his home.

It is, therefore, shocking that the China’s communist rulers have targeted such a proud and peace-loving community for a violent crackdown in Lhasa, and, furthermore, resorted to the most offensive language to malign the Dalai Lama. They have called His Holiness a “serial liar” and accused him of “pretending to be a peaceful, angel-type of figure” while instigating violent protests in Lhasa. One cannot expect them or China’s government-controlled media to admit that Tibetans may have a genuine reason to protest.

The reason, however, is loud and clear: systematic marginalisation of Tibetans in their own homeland, denial of religious freedom, consistent and persistent human rights violations and, worst of all, what the Dalai Lama has called the “cultural genocide” of his people.

The issue here is not whether Tibet is a part of China or not. India has acknowledged, and this was explicitly stated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit to China in 2003, that “the Tibet Autonomous Region is an integral part of the People’s Republic of China”. Therefore, if any Indian condemns the Chinese communists’ brutality in Tibet, it is not to be interpreted as questioning our government’s “One China” policy. The real issue is: whether or not India’s civil society, political parties and government have a duty to express concern over China’s repressive measures in Tibet and to show our solidarity with our Tibetan brethren in their hour of suffering.

There are two parties in India — Congress and the CPM — which, instead of expressing concern, have chosen the path of cowardice. Congress leaders have been discouraged from meeting the Dalai Lama. To the best of my knowledge, Sonia Gandhi has never called on His Holiness. (I do know that she never bothered to even reply to any of the letters written by Taslima Nasreen.)

As far as the leaders of the CPM are concerned, they have covered themselves with ignominy with their silence over — nay, justification of — the Chinese government’s repressive measures in Tibet. Here is their ludicrous poser: “How can we condemn the incidents in Tibet? How would India react if any other nation were to raise the issue of what is happening in Kashmir?” Only those who consider India’s stand on Kashmir to be inherently insupportable, and are also blind to the Pakistan-aided and jihad-inspired campaign of cross-border terrorism in India, can see a parallel between the situations in Kashmir and Tibet.

It goes without saying that India must seek friendly and cooperative ties with China. However, we must beware of those who believe that friendly ties with our northern neighbour are possible only by keeping quiet over all its acts of bullying — be it the question of its repression in Tibet or its frequent upping of ante in Arunachal Pradesh.

China has every reason to feel proud of showcasing its greatness during the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing. But it too must know that its greatness is sullied by its unacceptable behavior in Tibet. India should work with the rest of the world community in urging the Chinese authorities to open meaningful talks with the Dalai Lama. The latter, on his part, has repeatedly stated that he is not seeking Tibet’s secession from China. Now it is China’s responsibility to ensure, by working constructively with His Holiness, that Tibetans can live with honour, dignity and genuine autonomy in their ancestral homeland.

Tibetan deaths prompt Olympic torch fears

LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- London authorities are growing increasingly concerned regarding security for this weekend's Olympic torch relay after the deaths of eight Tibetan protesters.

The news of the protesters' deaths, allegedly at the hands of Chinese police officers, has left police in London fearing Sunday's 31-mile torch relay route could draw both pro-Tibet protesters and Chinese students, The Times of London reported Saturday.

More than 80,000 people expected to attend the Olympic event, The Times said.

Pro-Tibet campaigners vowed to increase protests of the Beijing Games immediately following Friday's deadly protest in China's Sichuan province, The Times said.

Chinese paramilitary police reportedly attempted to quell a protest by Tibetan monks and villagers by using force, leaving eight people dead.

Tibet isn't China's only problem, resentment still simmers among Muslims in Xinjiang



HOTAN, China (AP) - The chirpy Chinese coffee shop waitress smiled Saturday as she rattled off sites travelers should see in this jade-trading Silk Road town in Xinjiang _ a vast western region of China that like Tibet has a long history of unrest.
But the woman frowned and her brow furrowed with worry when

she mentioned Hotan's main tourist draw: a sprawling bazaar popular among the Muslim minority Uighurs (pronounced WEE-GURS).
«Oh, don't go to the bazaar on the weekend. It gets too crowded and things can get chaotic. A couple weeks ago, there was a protest. Some Muslim separatists caused some trouble. It's terrible,» said the waitress, who would only give her surname, Zheng, because she was afraid she would run afoul of officials for discussing the sensitive subject.
The fear and distrust she felt about the Uighurs is common among many Chinese, even though the situation seemed calm in Hotan since the brief March 23 protest. Animosity against the Chinese runs deep among the Uighurs as well, and the recent trouble was a new reminder that Tibet isn't China's only problem. Resentment still simmers in its traditionally Muslim Central Asian frontier.
Chinese authorities blamed the demonstration on Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, a radical group that wants to create a worldwide Islamic state, the China News Agency reported late Friday. The group, which has claimed to disavow violence, has been banned in Russia and Central Asia, where it reportedly has a large following among the predominantly Muslim former Soviet republics.
Xinjiang leaders have accused the group of handing out «reactionary» leaflets and calling for people to demonstrate in Hotan as well as Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi, the state-run China News Agency reported on its Web site.
The protest came at a bad time for China. The Communist government was already grappling with Tibetan unrest that has spread to neighboring provinces. Pictures of police and troops cracking down on the Tibetan protests have turned into a public relations nightmare for the government, which is trying to paint a peaceful and prosperous image of the country ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
But in Hotan on Saturday, the situation seemed to have cooled off. Only a small number of uniformed police were patrolling the massive bazaar, where the air was thick with smoke from charcoal ovens and grills cooking sizzling lamb kebabs and wheels of flat bread that looked like large pizza crusts.
Hawkers selling mangos yelled over the din of honking taxis and the clip-clopping of donkey carts hauling mountains of vegetables and eggs from the countryside. Women wearing spectacularly colorful head scarves watched over stands piled high with walnuts, almonds, dates and raisins for mostly Uighur customers. Men wove through the crowds on motorcycles with the bloody carcasses of freshly butchered sheep draped over the passenger's seat.
Although things seemed calm, animosity between Muslims and Chinese was almost palpable. People on both sides were quick to criticize each other.
«The Chinese are too bad, really bad,» said a Uighur fabric merchant who would only provide his given name, Hama.
«The protesters two weeks ago wanted the Chinese to get out of here. There were a couple hundred. Then the Communists came in and broke it all up. I can't say more or I'll get arrested,» he said, putting his wrists together as if they were handcuffed.
«We aren't free to talk,» he said, pinching his lips together with his fingers.

China has often used harsh repression to control the Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language and whose customs and religion are distinct from the ethnic majority Han Chinese. The government has also flooded Xinjiang, which means «New Frontier,» with military personnel and migrants who control much of the economy.
The Chinese are also quick to voice their fears, disdain or distrust of the Uighurs. They often say the Uighurs are ungrateful for all the government investment that has modernized the region _ bigger than Alaska and one-sixth of China's territory.
«They have no culture and they don't try to study and improve themselves,» said a Chinese delivery driver who would only give his surname, Wang, because he said the government didn't want him to speak ill of the Uighurs. «Most businesses don't want to hire them. That's why they hire Han Chinese. Their religion, Islam, it's no good. It fills their heads with nonsense.
Often, it seems the two groups are content to live in their own worlds and make little effort to bridge differences. During the two-hour China Southern Airlines flight from Urumqi to Hotan, none of the young Chinese flight attendants spoke Uighur to the passengers. Even basic phrases like «Please sit down» or «Fasten your seat belts» were spoken in Mandarin to the Uighurs, who often asked the attendants to repeat themselves.
A Uighur university student who would only give his English name, Steve, said he didn't have to go to class last Friday because it was a national holiday _ Ching Ming, a day when Chinese clean their ancestors' graves.
«I don't know what the holiday is called or what it's about,» the 20-year-old student said. «It's a Chinese holiday. It has nothing to do with me.