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'World leaders must push China on Tibet'

world Updated: Mar 15, 2008 18:36 IST

AFP
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World leaders should hold China to account over its suppression of protests in Tibet, British newspapers said Saturday, warning Beijing that the Olympic Games mean it cannot escape closer scrutiny.

Coverage of unrest in Lhasa that the Chinese authorities said claimed 10 lives was confined to the "quality" press, but all featured photographs of burnt out cars and the aftermath of demonstrations and lengthy commentary.

A number agreed that Beijing's strategy to quell the protests had backfired, but none was surprised at the tactics employed given President Hu Jintao's previous role as the head of the communist party in the mountainous region.

The Daily Telgraph's correspondent in Beijing said Hu, who was re-elected president Saturday, had maintained China's grip on Tibet "with ruthless efficiency" and his government's response this time around was unsurprising.

All were agreed that it was the latest attempt by China to suppress ancient Tibetan culture.

The Independent highlighted what it said was Beijing's policy of encouraging Chinese Han immigrants to settle and intermarry in Tibet plus its control of tourism was a way of subsuming indigenous culture.

The Guardian's correspondent pointed out that "the eyes of the world were distracted" from similar protests in 1989 by pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square and the fall of communism in eastern Europe.

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