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Taiwan-based Tibetans on Sunday urged Taiwan’s president-elect Ma Ying-jeou not to visit Singapore because the city state has supported China’s recent crackdown in Tibet. The Tibetans made the appeal at Taipei’s Liberty Square where they are holding a sit-in protest against Beijing’s crackdown in Tibet.
Ma, who won the presidential election on March 22, hopes to visit the United States, Japan, Singapore and South Korea before his May 20 inauguration.
None of these countries have approved Ma’s visit as they recognize China and are barred by Beijing from having formal ties with Taipei.After China cracked down on the riots in the Tibetan capital in mid-March, Singapore and Russia were the first countries to issue a statement supporting China’s suppression, saying they were legitimate moves to maintain social order.
Also on Sunday, Ngaba Tsegyam, head of the Dalai Lama’s representative office in Taipei, accused Chinese police of attacking the ethnic Han Chinese in Lhasa and then blaming Tibetans for burning and looting their property and attacking them.
“We have received reports that Chinese police wearing Tibetan clothes and holding knives, which are not Tibetan knives, attacked the Han Chinese. When they were done, the Chinese police ran back to their police stations and changed back into police uniforms,” he said.
China accused the Dalai Lama, exiled in India since 1959, of directing the riots in Tibet, but the 72-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader denied involvement and said he was opposed to using violence to solve the Tibet problem.
The Dalai Lama has asked China to hold talks with his government to find a solution to the Tibet problems, but Beijing has rejected his request.
China says only 18 Tibetans have died in the riots in Tibet, but the Tibetan government-in-exile said 135 Tibetans had been killed, 500 injured and 1,300 detained.
Over the weekend, a second wave of protest erupted in the two main temples in Lhasa, prompting China to seal them off to prevent news of the protests from leaking out, Tsegyam said.