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Tibetans in US denounce China 'propaganda'

14 july 2011, 13:43
Tibetans rallied Wednesday outside of China's embassy in Washington to demand greater freedoms, denouncing Beijing for its commemorations of the territory's "peaceful liberation," AFP reports.

Shouting "Free Tibet" and "China is a liar," more than 20 Tibetans and supporters criticized Beijing for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the territory's incorporation but banning observance of the Dalai Lama's birthday.

"We wanted to show the world that the Chinese propaganda is not fooling anyone," said Tenzin Dorjee, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, the advocacy group that organized the protest.

"Tibet has a stronger desire for freedom now than ever," he said. "We need to show the world that Tibet can't be stopped by the Chinese government."

In Washington's high-security embassy district, the activists handed out fliers called "17 Points of Disagreement," a play on the China's "17 Points of Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet" in 1951.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and nine years later the Dalai Lama, the predominantly Buddhist region's spiritual leader, fled into exile in India. The Dalai Lama has since built a wide global following and is visiting Washington to lead a religious ritual known as a Kalachakra.

The Dalai Lama says he is peacefully seeking greater rights for Tibetans. The US State Department in its latest human rights report charged that China has severely restricted freedoms in Tibet and other ethnic minority regions.

Beijing says it has brought progress to Tibet and in a white paper Monday wrote that Tibetans have been linked to China's majority Han ethnic group "since ancient times."

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