China Weighs Olympic Invitation for Dalai Lama

Effort at damage control marks shift by Beijing
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2008 9:41 AM CDT
Children hold flags of China and the Beijing Olympics as they cheer a torchbearer during the Olympic Torch Relay in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, Wednesday, May 7, 2008.    (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – Battered by backlash over the Tibet crackdown, China has proposed inviting the Dalai Lama to the Beijing Olympics. An unnamed top Chinese official called a legislator in Tibet's exiled government to discuss the possibility, Reuters reports. The spiritual leader would consider attending, said the Tibetan lawmaker.

The most significant Tibetan unrest in decades prompted worldwide Olympic protests and frequent Chinese government attacks on the Dalai Lama. "If they want to invite His Holiness to the Olympics, that would be a big change," said the lawmaker. "I'm sure he would consider this."