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Protesters Call for Olympic Boycott, Media and UN Access to Tibet

By VOA News
22 March 2008

Demonstrators sympathetic to Tibet carried out large demonstrations again Saturday in London, Tokyo and India while dissidents called for more international access to the region.

In London, hundreds of protesters marched on the Chinese embassy while former Sports Minister Kate Hoey called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

Hundreds more marched in Tokyo and in Dharmsala, India -- home to Tibet's government in exile.

In China, a group of nearly 30 dissidents called on Beijing to open direct talks with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and to allow foreign media and United Nations investigators into Tibet.

Chinese authorities have posted a series of 21 "most wanted" photographs of people wanted in the Lhasa rioting.

The Chinese government puts the official death toll from the past week's riots at 19. Tibetan exile groups say at least 80 people were killed in Lhasa, and that clashes in other Chinese provinces killed nearly 20 more.

Meanwhile, China's Communist Party newspaper is calling on the government to "resolutely crush" Tibet's independence movement.

Reports from China say Beijing has sent elite units of the People's Liberation Army into Tibet to crack down on the protests.

A commentary in the "People's Daily" accuses the Dalai Lama of plotting recent anti-government protests in Tibet in hopes of undermining the upcoming Beijing Olympics and splitting Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama has denied calling for protests.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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