Plain clothed security officers detain Associated Press photographer Ng Han Guan, center, after pro-Tibet protesters held a demonstration opposite the National Stadium, where Olympic athletics competition had just finished, early Thursday July 21, 2008 in Beijing. Swarms of plainclothes police took away four foreign activists protesting Chinese rule over Tibet – the latest in a series of such demonstrations during the Olympics. Ng, and one other AP photographer were roughed up by the security officers, forced into cars and taken to a nearby building where they questioned before being released. (AP Photo/Greg Baker) 

As the Olympics are beginning to wind down, the Dalai Lama said on Thursday that Chinese security forces opened fire on a crowd this week in eastern Tibet and may have killed 140 people. “The Chinese army again fired on a crowd on Monday August 18, in the Kham region in eastern Tibet,” he told Le Monde. “One hundred and forty Tibetans are reported to have been killed, but the figure needs to be confirmed.”

He said that since March, when China cracked down on protests against Chinese rule in the Himalayan territory, “reliable witnesses say that 400 people have been killed in the region of (Tibetan capital) Lhasa alone.”

“Killed by bullets, even though they were protesting without weapons. Their bodies were never given back to their families,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader who is in France for a 12-day visit.

France is struggling to mend ties with China after President Nicolas Sarkozy angered Beijing by threatening to boycott the opening of the Olympic Games following the Chinese crackdown in Tibet.

“Mend ties”? With China after all they’ve done? It blows my mind. It also angers me that the Tibetan people are worth less than political machinations. I really thought the games would provide a venue for people to speak up and speak out for freedom–but it seems as though athletes are just focused on self-glory and getting a damn medal.