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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has backed away from a DMCA take-down request to remove a YouTube video of a Tibetan protest at the Chinese consulate in New York.

The video in question (see below) was clearly not an example of copyright infringement. YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint. As the EFF notes, however, the inaccurate title of the video was “Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony,” so in all likelihood, the IOC was filing DMCA notices for Olympics content, which has been springing up on YouTube faster than they can take it down.

Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, was impressed that YouTube went beyond the call of duty in pushing back at the IOC. With the sheer volume of DMCA requests that YouTube must be fielding with the Olympics, taking the time to double-check the content is certainly impressive. At the same time, however, it highlights how much work YouTube has to do in terms of policing copyrighted content. The number of legal notices they have to respond to consume time and resources that might be put to better use.

{This post is long, but I did not want to hide it away behind a “read the rest of this…” link. It’s important that information like this is disseminated as far and wide as possible…}

A rare testimony in detail of a Tibetan youth who was arrested in the aftermath of Lhasa unrest in March‭ ‬2008‭ ‬is obtained by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy‭ (‬TCHRD‭)‬.‭ ‬The interviewee describes the use of extreme torture in prison,‭ ‬cries of pain in the corridors of the prison,‭ ‬harrowing stories that he constantly hears,‭ ‬unwavering hope of support from the outside world,‭ ‬and perception of life post imprisonment.‭ ‬The interview which is reproduced below has been dictated to a third party and edited by TCHRD in order to protect the identity of the youth.‭ ‬While (*) denotes information withheld, further details,‭ ‬comments or explanations are provided in square brackets.

“On‭ (*) ‬March,‭ around‭ ‬one‭ ‬hundred soldiers entered my house,‭ ‬broke down five doors,‭ ‬checked everything and threw it all on the floor and hit everyone present there.‭ ‬It was like a robbery or burglary.‭ ‬There were a lot of firearms and they were very rough with us.‭ ‬I was arrested.‭ ‬They took me with them,‭ ‬with my thumbs tied behind my back,‭ ‬very tightly,‭ ‬resulting in the whole area being numb for the last two or three months‭ [‬all of his left thumb‭]‬.‭ ‬They treated us very harshly.‭ ‬Talking to each other,‭ ‬they said,‭ “‬This is our chance‭”‬,‭ ‬and they beat us.‭ ‬At first I thought that they were going to kill me,‭ ‬they hit my head a lot,‭ ‬and skull can be broken easily.‭ ‬It is not like the rest of the body.‭ ‬They took me to prison.‭ ‬For four days they didn’t ask me anything,‭ ‬they just threw me in.‭ ‬They gave us half a steamed bun a day.‭ ‬That’s very small.‭ ‬Everyone were very thirsty and a lot of people drank their urine‭ [‬the detainees were not provided with water‭]‬.‭ ‬We had no clothes,‭ ‬no blankets,‭ ‬nothing to lie down on,‭ ‬nothing‭ [‬just cement floors]‬ and it was very cold.‭ ‬For four days nobody spoke to us,‭ ‬they just left us there.”

“During the day it’s quiet,‭ ‬there’s nothing in Lhasa during the day.‭ ‬Between‭ ‬11:00‭ ‬at night and‭ ‬5-6:00‭ [‬in the morning‭] ‬they arrest thousands of people. In that room,‭ ‬after four or five days,‭ ‬they gave us two steamed buns with hot water.‭ ‬We were‭ ‬(*) ‬people in that room.‭ ‬Very bad.‭ ‬We heard a lot of things.‭ ‬Many people had their arms or legs broken or gunshot wounds but they weren’t taken to hospital.‭ ‬They were there with us.‭ ‬It was really terrible.‭ ‬I can’t believe that we are in the‭ ‬21st century.‭ ‬For instance,‭ ‬one boy who was shot four times,‭ ‬one from here to there‭ [‬the bullet entered from the left side of his back and exited from the left side of his chest,‭ ‬near his heart‭]‬,‭ ‬one from here to here‭ [‬from inner left elbow to inner left wrist‭]‬,‭ ‬and one here‭ [‬a horizontal wound on his upper right arm‭]‬.‭ ‬Some people had their ribs broken.‭ ‬One man was punched in his‭ [‬right‭] ‬eye,‭ ‬and it was all swollen and black and blue,‭ ‬very bad.‭ ‬People had their teeth broken,‭ ‬these are just examples.‭ ‬A lot of terrible things were done.”

“One of the problems is that people have no food,‭ ‬they are very hungry,‭ ‬they are just falling over.‭ ‬One boy fell into the toilet,‭ ‬all in the same room,‭ ‬and he was cut right across his face‭ [‬under his chin along the jaw‭]‬.‭ ‬For instance,‭ ‬a lot of people have psychological problems,‭ ‬and they’re the first to collapse.‭ ‬A boy from Tse-Tang ,‭ ‬he has a problem of the‭ “‬heart‭”‬,‭ ‬a psychological problem,‭ ‬and he was very thin.‭ ‬At first he fell two or three times every day but they didn’t care.”

“The worst thing‭ – ‬this is Gondzhe‭ [‬the name of the prison‭]‬,‭ ‬in Lhasa there are nineteen prisons,‭ ‬the biggest is Drapchi and there is one in Chushul‭ [‬Ch:‭ ‬Qushu County‭]‬,‭ ‬they are empty,‭ ‬they showed the visitors that nobody is in prison,‭ ‬it’s just for show.‭ ‬Usually there is no prison at the train station,‭ ‬but they rented a very big building and they put people there and in Du-Long‭ [‬Toelung Dechen County‭] ‬and at the train station,‭ ‬and in Gondzhe‭; ‬they put people in these three places.‭ ‬At night they bring a big bus,‭ ‬and many soldiers come,‭ ‬and one hundred to one hundred and fifteen go to Du-Long.‭ ‬They say it’s time to go home,‭ “‬You haven’t done anything wrong,‭ ‬you’re going home,‭” ‬but they put them in a huge bus to Du-Long or to the train station.‭ ‬They’ve mixed up the people and transferred people from here to there‭ [‬from prison to prison‭]‬.‭ ‬I didn’t see this myself,‭ ‬but friends told me what they saw at Du-Long.‭ ‬Some monks had sacks put over their heads and they were taken away and didn’t come back,‭ ‬so maybe they were killed.”

“I met an old man,‭ ‬65‭ ‬years old,‭ ‬who had two ribs broken and he was all bent over‭ [‬demonstrates a bent man‭]‬,‭ ‬and he couldn’t stand up straight,‭ ‬he was dying,‭ ‬so the police took him to People’s Hospital,‭ ‬where one or two people die every day‭ [‬due to police violence‭]‬.‭ ‬The people who are taken to hospital are usually people who have been shot or beaten,‭ ‬and they usually die there.‭ ‬A brother and sister from (*‭)‬,‭ ‬the brother was younger,‭ ‬were sleeping in the same room and all of a sudden soldiers came and threw them out of the window from a high floor to the ground,‭ ‬the brother was killed on the spot.‭ ‬Yes,‭ ‬right outside the building.‭ ‬The sister didn’t die,‭ ‬but she can’t lie down,‭ ‬she has to remain in a sitting position all the time.‭ ‬They took the body away and told her that she is forbidden to tell anyone.‭ ‬(*).These are just a few examples.‭ ‬There are many problems like this.”

“Many questions were asked of people who were not guilty of anything.‭ ‬They are just‭ [‬guilty of being] Tibetans.‭ ‬There are many counties in Tibet,‭ ‬they call the police from each county,‭ ‬and the people from the counties aren’t in Lhasa so they show them that the prisons are empty,‭ ‬but they were taken to all kinds of places,‭ ‬because in Lhasa there are so many people watching so they keep everyone away.‭ ‬Now the monks from‭ (*)monastery‬,‭ ‬friends and relatives,‭ ‬we don’t know where they are.”

“You know that they say that there are no soldiers in Lhasa,‭ ‬but they’re in civilian dress and they check identity papers.”

“I want to talk and that people should know what’s happening in Tibet.‭ ‬If they beat me that’s okay‭ [‬he means that his family may be hurt as well‭]‬,‭ ‬I didn’t do anything bad in Lhasa.‭ ”

“Many young people in Lhasa,‭ ‬for example,‭ ‬if we were together on the‭ ‬14th‭ [‬of March‭]‬,‭ ‬I was beaten,‭ ‬so I was‭ “‬sold‭” ‬and then you’re with me‭ [‬with the prison warden doing the beating‭]‬.‭ ‬But I have friends in‭ (*) monastery,‭ ‬I would rather die than give them away.‭ ‬I saw a lot of things that they did in prison.‭ ‬A guy from Dhadezhe [possibly Dartsedo County]‭ ‬had a new jacket,‭ ‬so they beat him and he died,‭ ‬because of the jacket,‭ ‬because it was very new,‭ ‬so they said he stole it,‭ ‬so because of his new coat he was killed.”

“There are a lot of high school students from Sauko‭ .‭ ‬A seventeen-year-old who had not participated in the events of the‭ ‬14th‭ [‬of March‭]‬,‭ ‬all his clothes were taken away,‭ ‬they tied his hands and they pushed a wagon at him until he fell,‭ ‬there are all kinds of torture methods.‭ ‬This kid was very young and he didn’t even do anything.‭ ‬Afterwards he said that he’d done all kinds of things,‭ ‬that happens to a lot of people,‭ ‬they pressure people to admit things they never did. I didn’t see the dead people,‭ ‬but in prison people called out to the police or soldiers,‭ “‬Someone’s dead‭!”‬,‭ ‬every day people shout that.‭ ‬At Gondzhe there are nine buildings,‭ ‬and each building has eleven rooms and in each room there are twenty or thirty people.‭ ‬And one day,‭ ‬a Chinese man was asked some questions,‭ ‬someone called and asked how many people had been arrested and he said less than ten thousand,‭ ‬and that doesn’t include Drepung,‭ ‬Sera,‭ ‬Ramoche,‭ ‬Jokhang.‭ ‬After they let us out they arrested the monks.‭ ‬When I got out‭ [‬of prison‭]‬ I heard that many were arrested at Drepung Monastery.‭ ‬I was released on‭ (*) ‬April‭ ‬.”

“I met a monk from Ramoche before I was released.‭ ‬I am very worried about the monks.‭ ‬The soldiers regard the monks as something very different,‭ ‬because a monk from Dezhe‬ [possibly Derge County],‭ ‬his finger was bent over‭ [‬shows a completely bent finger‭] ‬and he’d been blinded in one eye,‭ ‬he couldn’t see out of it at all,‭ ‬he was beaten more than us but luckily‭ … ‬Really I can’t understand why they do terrible things to monks,‭ ‬very,‭ ‬very painful.”

“I met a boy from (*) [County] in the same prison,‭ ‬and he had two friends in Lhasa who lived near Ramoche and they were shot,‭ ‬and his two friends,‭ ‬one,‭ ‬there’s a hospital near Anichenko‭ ,‭ ‬he was taken to a nunnery and he died there,‭ ‬21‭ ‬years old,‭ ‬I’ve forgotten his name‭; ‬the other was‭ ‬20‭ ‬years old,‭ ‬he was shot and he’s in hospital,‭ ‬maybe he’ll die too.‭ ‬He was shot on Gangsu Street.”

“A boy named (*),‭ ‬aged‭ ‬(*),‭ ‬from Anishim‭ ‬ near Lhasa,‭ ‬is in prison,‭ ‬and two of his friends were shot to death.‭ ‬He and his‭ ‬18‭ ‬year-old brother were from Phenpo.‭ ‬In the prison at Gondzhe there are a lot of people from Phenpo.”

“During the day it’s very quiet,‭ ‬everything happens at night,‭ ‬everything’s very secret.‭ ‬There is no telephone contact with Drepung,‭ ‬Sera or the train station.‭ ‬Sometimes we can get in touch with the train station,‭ ‬but not most of the time,‭ ‬so they can’t be reached.”

“I have a relative in India,‭ ‬I wrote just what I heard and saw to send over the internet.‭ ‬I wrote a little and I saved it on Word,‭ ‬and all of a sudden it disappeared,‭ ‬so I was very frightened.‭ ‬So I haven’t checked my e-mail,‭ ‬I have a lot of friends abroad and they send many e-mails but I haven’t opened them.(*).”

“Outwardly they show people that everything is very nice but inside it’s really terrible.‭ ‬People did really bad things and forced us to make this problem.‭ ‬At Ramoche they didn’t do anything,‭ ‬but thousands of soldiers surrounded the monastery and all the temples,‭ ‬and many vehicles closed off the gates like a prison.‭ ‬We can’t be tolerant anymore,‭ ‬we should be tolerant but we can’t be tolerant anymore.‭ ‬There are no human rights and cultural genocide is the reality,‭ ‬that’s the big part,‭ ‬but the small part we see,‭ ‬for instance in Lhasa,‭ ‬on a main street like Beijing Lu‭ [‬Lu means street in Chinese‭]‬,‭ ‬or Gengshu Lu,‭ ‬how many Tibetans have businesses on streets like those‭? ‬This is Lhasa,‭ ‬Tibet,‭ ‬not China.‭ ‬Don’t the Tibetans have to live‭? ‬The Chinese are more talented because they study in big cities.‭ ‬They have experience or enough money to do business,‭ ‬but Tibetans come from villages,‭ ‬they are farmers or nomads,‭ ‬they don’t have money,‭ ‬so how can they do business in Lhasa‭? ‬What is more necessary‭? ‬That the local people do business in Lhasa or the Chinese‭? ‬Why don’t the Chinese police allow Tibetans to do business on one side of the street and the Chinese on the other side‭ – ‬so things will be more balanced‭? ‬There are many Tibetans who are very talented and intelligent,‭ ‬but they don’t have enough money to make it.‭ ‬They have money because they live in Beijing or Shanghai.‭ ‬That’s the small part.‭ ”

“I see a lot of things,‭ ‬I’m okay,‭ ‬I can do many things.‭ ‬But I see many Tibetans,‭ ‬the way they live,‭ ‬and the way the Chinese live,‭ ‬and this is Tibet.‭ ‬The local people shouldn’t be superior to the Chinese,‭ ‬but there should be balance.‭ ‬There are some very old Tibetans who have pensions from the government,‭ ‬you can see them on TV.‭ ‬They said bad things to the Tibetans.‭ ‬I watch them and I just laugh.‭ ‬There are many westerners who are fighting for Tibetan civil rights.‭ ‬I’m very happy that these people are doing this.‭ ‬I want to study more at home every day but I can’t.‭ ‬When I watch TV,‭ ‬everything is lies,‭ ‬so it pains my heart‭ [‬points to his heart‭] ‬and it’s very bad.‭ ‬So I walk in the streets and I see the soldiers asking me for my identity papers,‭ ‬they look at my card and ask me,‭ “‬When were you born‭?” ‬and if there’s the smallest mistake you’re finished.‭ ‬They check the picture and your face,‭ ‬but a Chinese person can pass right by‭ [‬without identity papers‭]‬,‭ ‬that’s okay.”

‎(*). “Before this was the best place, but now it’s like a prison, it’s not like Lhasa. When I was in prison,‭ ‬a Tibetan policeman told me‭ “‬Kneel down here‭!”‬,‭ ‬I had my thumbs tied behind my back.‭ ‬He sat down‭ [‬on a chair in front of me‭]‬,‭ ‬put his foot on my head and kicked my forehead with his foot,‭ ‬pushed my head back and slapped my face over and over again,‭ ‬and I saw this man and I was very sad.‭ ‬He’s Tibetan and now I see him every day,‭ ‬I’ve seen him many times‭ [‬since then‭]‬.‭ ‬‬A lot of Chinese and Tibetans jumped on my back and kicked me and beat me over the head,‭ ‬they twisted my head back so I couldn’t see their faces,‭ ‬but to show me your face and to do those bad things‭ – ‬that’s the worst thing.”

“This is just an experience,‭ ‬I could learn a lot from it.‭ ‬In prison sometimes I dreamed about food and I remembered the food we cook at home,‭ ‬my mother and my sister’s cooking and I could smell it,‭ ‬and then I really appreciated how tasty the food is at home.‭ ‬I usually eat everything and then I say‭ “‬That wasn’t so good,‭” ‬and now I’ve learnt that it’s very,‭ ‬very good.‭ ‬These are the worst things that I’ve ever seen in my life,‭ ‬but you learn how to be a good person.‭ ‬Sometimes,‭ ‬when my (*)’s children are here,‭ ‬and they don’t do their schoolwork,‭ ‬I yell at them and hit them.‭ ‬But now if I yell at them it pains me sometimes.‭ ‬I’ve learned a lot.”

“I’m worried about the small Tibetan population.‭ ‬Many people are dying today or being crippled with broken arms and legs,‭ ‬and that’s very bad.‭ ‬And people are in prison,‭ ‬like me,‭ ‬and I think about the people in prison all the time.‭ ‬I think about the terrible state they are in.‭ ‬Young people,‭ ‬16‭ ‬or‭ ‬17‭ ‬years old,‭ ‬crying all the time‭ – ‬it makes me really sad.‭ ‬I saw people with broken limbs and people who’d been shot‭ – ‬seeing their pale faces is very,‭ ‬very sad.”

Nepalese police have arrested some 560 Tibetan women, including many Buddhist nuns, after breaking up demonstrations against China’s crackdown in Tibet.

In the first example of all-women protests, three rallies in Kathmandu were quickly stopped by police.

It was the biggest round-up since Tibetan exiles began near daily demonstrations in March.

Protestors wearing black armbands wept and shouted “We want free Tibet” as they were dragged to police vans.

Police said those detained were being held in detention centres around the capital, and would be freed later.

Kathmandu is home to thousands of Tibetan exiles who have mounted almost daily protests against Beijing since deadly riots broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March.

Rioting erupted after days of protests pivoting around the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

More than 20,000 Tibetans have been living in Nepal since fleeing their Himalayan homeland after the failed uprising and China’s subsequent crack-down.

Nepal says it cannot allow Tibetans to demonstrate because it recognises Tibet as an integral part of China.

But the UN says the mass arrests are against the spirit of a society governed by the rule of law.

By Tenzin Choephel
Phayul Correspondent

Kathmandu, April 21: Over 200 Tibetan volunteers staged a peaceful demonstration at the UN House in Pulchowk, Kathmandu this afternoon to request UN’s intervention in alleviating the alleged mal-treatment of Tibetans by Chinese Communist authorities inside Tibet. Tibetans were able to protest for about 30 minutes before they were arrested.

About 139 people were arrested and are now detained at Metropolitan Police Range Lalitpur, Jwalakhel. During the arrest, two women protesters sustained injuries.

The protest started at around 2:20 PM when over 200 Tibetans arrived near the UN House intersection. The protesters tried to push towards the UN House’s main gate but Police stopped and cornered them at the intersection, and started arresting them. As usual, protesters resisting arrest were lathi-charged, kicked and punched.

Many, including women, were dragged and shoved into Police vehicles. Among the protesters was a 13-year old Tibetan boy also.

At the time of filing this story, those arrested Tibetans were still held under detention.

Human Rights Watch on Sunday urged the Government of Nepal to stop illegal detention of Tibetans and to respect their right to peaceful expression and assembly. The rights group noted that the police arrested over 2500 Tibetan protestors in the past five weeks.

“The government cannot be selective about who in Nepal is entitled to such basic rights – Tibetans there are entitled to peaceful expression and assembly too,” Sophie Richardson, HRW’s Asia advocacy director, said in a statement.

Tibetan protestors have been regularly demonstrating in Kathmandu since March 10, the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising day.

At a site in the sacred Swayambhu hill, groups of Tibetans have been carrying out a 24-hour relay hunger strike. The chain hunger strike has entered its ninth consecutive day and over 550 people have participated in the sit-in protest so far.

The Kantipur Daily Nepali language newspaper today said that the Chinese Government has agreed to give Nepali Government a loan of 20 million US dollars at 1.75 % interest rate for the 60-megawatt Upper Trishuli hydro power station. Nepali Government has reiterated that it could not tolerate any anti-China activities on its soil.

China’s lavishing economic aid to Nepal and Nepal’s kowtowing to China has created a hard situation for Tibetan refugees in Nepal.

The regime in Beijing has rebutted Amnesty International claims, accusing the humanitarian organization of “harbouring prejudice against China.”

In a very recent report, Amnesty International has once again targeted the People’s Republic for the human rights situation, especially concerning the repression underway in Tibet, and warned that the crisis is bound to grow worse as the Summer Olympic Games in August approaches: the latter will not result in an attenuation of the crackdown on dissidents, but the very opposite.

“Amnesty International has anti-Chinese prejudices,” said Jiang Yu, spokesman for the Beijing Foreign Ministry, “which is why it is easy to image how useful its report is.”

The humanitarian organization has spoken out on the increase in arbitrary arrests of its opponents, including the journalist Hu Jia, on trial for “subversion of public order,” due to a series of interviews in which he criticized his countries’ authorities, especially concerning the imminence of the Olympics.

“No one in China,” said the ministry spokesman in a press conference, “can arrogate the privilege nor the right to be above the law.”

– From AGI News Italy

China on Tuesday accused “Tibet independence forces” of planning to use suicide squads to trigger bloody attacks — the lastest in a string of accusations that have taken aim at supporters of the Dalai Lama. The prime minister of Tibet’s government-in-exile denied the claims, saying Tibetans are committed to a “nonviolent path.”

“To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks,” Public Security Bureau spokesman Wu Heping said Tuesday.

“They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice,” Wu told a news conference.

Wu offered no firm evidence to support his claims.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama and his supporters of orchestrating anti-government riots in Lhasa last month as part of a campaign to sabotage the August Beijing Olympics and promote Tibetan independence.

The 72-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has denied the charge, condemning the violence and urging an independent international investigation into the unrest and its underlying causes.

Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche of Tibet’s exiled government reiterated that position Tuesday.

“There is no question of suicide attacks,” said Rinpoche. “There is absolutely no doubt in our mind that we want to follow the nonviolent path.”

Rinpoche said the Tibetan exile community fears the Chinese might “masquerade as Tibetans” and plan attacks to discredit the activists.

China’s campaign against the Dalai Lama has been underscored in recent days with showings of decades-old propaganda films on state television portraying Tibetan society as cruel and primitive before the 1950 invasion by communist troops.

The government has sought to portray life as fast returning to normal in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa — the scene of the deadliest violence — although its landmark Buddhist monasteries of Jokhang, Drepung and Sera were closed and surrounded by troops, tour operators said.

Monks from the three temples backed peaceful protests that broke out March 10 on the anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule. The protests turned violent four days later and spread across a wide area of western China inhabited by Tibetans.

Beijing claims Tibet has been Chinese territory for centuries, but many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for much of that time.

China has ignored international calls for mediation and refuses to discuss accusations of discrimination, repression and economic disenfranchisement raised by the Dalai Lama and overseas supporters — as well as complaints over alleged shooting and other excesses in the ensuing crackdown.

Chinese state media has focused overwhelmingly on the victims of the violence in Tibet, releasing the names of 14 of the 18 civilians and one police officer it says were killed in the Lhasa riots. All but one were migrants from other parts of China, among the many who have flooded into the region in recent decades.

Xinhua has reported 12 were killed in arson attacks. The causes of death in two other cases were undetermined, and four bodies had yet to be identified.

The communist government’s leading newspaper called Saturday to “resolutely crush” Tibetan demonstrations against Chinese rule.

The statement came as international criticism against the crackdown on Tibetan protesters swelled.

Monks protest in Dharamsala

Going through the photos coming out of Dharamsala, I intake a breath sharply as I recognize some of the people I met this time last year when I was there. It seems so strange to me now. Only one year later. I feel so USELESS over here. What can I do? It seems so hard to be here and so white.

Faces in the crowd stand out to me. My heart leaps. I remember their kindness and their assuredness that Tibet would once again be home.

From CNN:

Tibetan monks at a monastery in Sichuan province sent word to exiled monks in Dharamsala, India, that two monks were arrested after they e-mailed photographs of monks killed in protests to the news media. Internet and phone service has since been interrupted to the Amdo Ngaba Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County, the exiles told CNN.

The Dalai Lama has threatened to quit as head of Tibet’s government-in-exile in Dharamsala if the violence by Tibetans spirals out of control. He also warned of the consequences of any attempts to push for independence from China.

He met Wednesday with leaders of several Tibetan activist groups, including younger activists who demand Tibetan independence and hope to derail the 2008 Beijing Olympics

The Dalai Lama, who calls for “meaningful autonomy” and supports the Olympics, said Thursday that he will suffer the consequences of the protesters’ actions.

“I have no authority. I have no power to tell the movement to shut up,” the Dalai Lama said during an hour-and-40 minute briefing at his headquarters in Dharamsala.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised him he would be ready to talk with the Dalai Lama if the religious leader renounces violence and demands for Tibetan independence. 

It was not immediately clear if this meant the Chinese leader was ready to start that dialogue anytime soon. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he is not calling for Tibet’s independence from China, but wanted “genuine autonomy.”

Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao has accused the Tibetan spiritual leader of masterminding the protests — which culminated in a riot on Friday in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa — from his base in the Northern Indian town of Dharamsala, where he lives in exile.

Prayer Flags, HHDL Residence, Dharamsala

Prayer Flags outside HHDL Residence, Dharamsala, Northern India, 2007

© CCC 2007

“We are in the midst of a fierce struggle involving blood and fire, a life and death struggle with the Dalai Clique,” Tibet’s Communist Party secretary, Zhang Qingli, told a teleconference of the region’s government and Party leaders.

“Leaders of the whole country must deeply understand the arduousness, complexity and long-term nature of the struggle,” he said in remarks carried online by the China Tibet News.

Photo of children looking on toward dead bodies of protesters in Tibet

Image from FreeTibet.Org