Posted by: becketfund | November 25, 2008

China: Police Disrupt Buddhist Pilgrimage

XIAHE – Chinese paramilitary police with riot shields and batons took up posts in the Tibetan town of Xiahe during a Buddhist pilgrimage on November 24, the AP reported on November 25. The increased police presence is viewed as China’s attempt to pacify the region as Tibetans have begun to push harder against its rule. The show of force Monday was meant to deter unrest while a local court sentenced a group of Tibetans for taking part in large anti-government protests March 2008 in Xiahe. Beijing maintains that the Dalai Lama is promoting secession, not reconciliation, and that the government is bringing economic development to an impoverished area, while preserving Tibet’s culture and religion. After the week-long meeting called to discuss a so-far failed policy of rapprochement with China after 50 years in exile, the Dalai Lama and other exiled leaders said they would maintain their push for genuine autonomy from China.

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