Press Release, March 8, 2008: Yesterday, according to media reports, China’s top official in Tibet, Zhang Qingli quoted a distorted interview by His Holiness the Dalai Lama accusing him of trying to sabotage the forthcoming Beijing Olympics.
In making this highly inflammatory accusation, the party secretary of Tibet based his information on an interview of His Holiness the Dalai Lama carried on Britain’s ITV network in the third week of January, which misleadingly attributed the Tibetan leader of supporting peaceful protests in the run-up to the Olympics.
When the international media picked up the excerpts of the interview, the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama through its London office issued a clarification on 23 January, which was covered by the media.
In response to the reporters’ question whether His Holiness supported the calls by some NGOs, including Tibet support groups, for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, His Holiness answered by stating categorically that it was too radical.
When the interviewer subsequently asked if the NGOs should continue with their protests, His Holiness had said that they could remind the international community, including the Chinese people about the repression and urgency of the situation in Tibet.
On the issue of the Beijing Olympics, it is common knowledge that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently supported the right of China to host the 2008 Olympic Games.
Contact: Thubten Samphel
Sonam N Dagpo
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Tel: +91 1892 222510
+91 1892 222457
+91 1892 224662