November 3, 2007

Dalai Lama accused China of what he called "demographic aggression"

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama accused China of what he called "demographic aggression", saying his people had been reduced to a minority in his homeland under Beijing's rule. The Dalai Lama said Tibetans were being denied an opportunity to learn their language and monasteries were being politicised under what he called a "cultural genocide." The 72-year-old leader said a railway launched last year, linking Tibet to the rest of China, was being used for "exploitation of natural resources." The Tibetan leader added he was semi-retired and was looking forward to retirement from his political role. He has lived in the northern Indian hill town since fleeing Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. His office has previously said that the Tibetan leader will keep his spiritual role but lessen his political responsibilities.

China has ruled Tibet since sending troops in to "liberate" the region in 1951 and has violently suppressed a number of uprisings since then.

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