Even as Beijing launched a strong verbal assault on the Dalai Lama, the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibetans on Tuesday threatened to resign if the violence in Tibet did not stop.
He appealed to the Tibetan people to remain committed to non-violence. “Should the majority of the Tibetan people want to use violence, I would have no other option but to resign from leading the Tibetan struggle,” he told reporters in Dharamsala. He expressed concern over the turmoil in Tibet, but said the situation was gradually improving.
The Dalai Lama spoke after Chinese premier Wen JiaBao blamed him for the violence. “There is ample fact — and we also have plenty of evidence — proving that this incident was organised, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique,” Wen said at his annual news conference at the end of China’s national legislative session in Beijing. “This has revealed that the consistent claims made by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence but peaceful dialogue are nothing but lies,” he added.
China’s deadline for protesters in Lhasa to turn themselves in ran out on Monday night. The Tibetan Communist Party Committee refused to confirm if people had been arrested.