Tuesday, October 09, 2007

China cracks down after Dalai Lama protest

China appears to be cracking down on Tibetan activists after a pro-Dalai Lama protest led by nomad Runggye Adak in August.

A political prisoner was recently executed and increased detentions have been reported. Beijing also described the Dalai Lama as a supporter of "evil cults" like Falun Gong and Japan's Aum Shinrikyo.

Runggye Adak staged a protest in support of the Dalai Lama at the Lithang horse festival before thousands of people. He was originally at the Lithang police detention center, but reportedly he has been moved closer to the provincial capital of Chengdu. Immediately after his detention, local Tibetans and nomads in the area for the summer horse festival, where he made his protested his detention before being dispersed by authorities. Several days afterwards, Tibetans gathered outside the town were dispersed by riot police using tear-gas and firing guns into the air.

Last month, China blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for meeting the Dalai Lama and demanded Berlin make amends to restore bilateral ties. Beijing has opposed any official recognition of the Dalai Lama by foreign countries.