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Apr 29, 2008

Tibetan suicide bombers?

ROME, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Cewang Rigzin, president of the separatist "Tibetan Youth Congress" (TYC), has preached seeking "Tibet independence" through suicide attacks.

"Maybe it is time now for the 'Tibetan People's Uprising Movement' to use the means of suicide attacks to carry on the struggle," Cewang Rigzin said in an interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper recently.

It was time to change the "tactics of struggle" as "there are opportunities for the Chinese to take advantage of the line of non-violence," the TYC head said in the interview made in Dharamsala, India.

The TYC would seek to achieve "Tibet independence" as soon as possible at any cost, and the means of suicide attacks could be used, he said.
OK, I thought this sounded fishy. I believe Beijing wants the Tibetan Independence movement to be classified as a terrorist outfit, and they're looking for any "proof" they can find. China already arrests these guys within the country; the objective is probably to sully their international reputation.

But I thought it would be prudent to check the source, since it seems no English media other than Chinese ones are carrying the story. A few notes on what I found:

First, Tsewang appears to be the spelling Corriere della Sera used. He is from Portland, USA and was elected President of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest Tibetan non-governmental organisation in exile.

Here is the interview in question. Babelfish translation of the relevant part:
"I answer that the pacifism has lead to us on a dead-end track. About we it is spoken alone in episodic way, limited. We are forgets to you from the international community. Many beautiful words and then the null one. We watch instead as they are made to feel the Palestinian and the activists in Iraq thanks to the attacks you kill. The world-wide attention of the average is all for they ". Yes, but attention does not mean support. "We are in one deprived of hope situation. If the violence were not winning it would mean that also our cause it is. Instead we are losing ".
He specifically repudiates the Dalai Lama's non-violence as a failure.

So it appears the story is legitimate.

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