China Rips Dalai Lama for Olympic 'Sabotage'

Leader plotting to hold games 'hostage,' says Beijing
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2008 6:00 AM CDT
A Chinese Buddhist monk stands behind a burning incense at a Lama temple in Beijing. China accused the Dalai Lama on Sunday of orchestrating the recent anti-government riots in Tibet.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Beijing is charging that the Dalai Lama incited recent protests in Tibet as part of a "terror" plot to ruin the Olympic games, Reuters reports. "The Dalai Lama is scheming to take the Beijing Olympics hostage to force the Chinese government to make concessions to Tibet independence," writes China's official newspaper. The Dalai Lama has condemned the violence.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning spiritual leader of Tibet, in exile since 1959, has called for talks with Beijing about giving the tiny nation autonomy, rather than outright independence. The anti-government rallies have left dozens dead and more injured since March 10, prompting the president-elect of Taiwan to consider pulling his athletes from the games "if the situation in Tibet worsens."