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Dalai Lama's tour sparks protest in Michigan

China Daily | Updated: 2008-04-22 07:26

 Dalai Lama's tour sparks protest in Michigan

Demonstrators wave flags and hold placards outside the University of Michigan yesterday. China News Service

MICHIGAN, United States: Hundreds of Chinese Americans and Chinese nationals working or studying in the United States gathered in this northeastern state on Sunday to protest against the crime and violence fomented by the Dalai group and to voice their support for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

The protest, organized by Chinese students studying at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, took place outside the Ann Arbor stadium where the Dalai Lama was delivering a speech.

The protesters, from teenagers to the grey-haired, all chanted "One World, One Dream", while waving signs adorned with slogans such as "Politics off Olympics, we want sport" and "We seek peace".

Dalai Lama's tour sparks protest in Michigan

The demonstrators repeatedly chanted "Dalai Liar!" and cheered when a plane circled overhead trailing a large banner reading "Dalai Please Stop Attacking Olympic Flame".

"We overseas Chinese students were infuriated by the violence in Tibet on March 14, and the interruption of the Olympic torch relay wire-pulled by the Dalai clique, so we decided to stage this protest to make our voices heard," Chen Jinhui, a student at the University of Michigan and one of the organizers of the protest, said.

People have donated $10,000 to support the protest, Chen and other fund-raising volunteers said.

The protesters' signs displayed pictures, diagrams and historical records they collected from the Internet, foreign media reports and books written by Chinese and Western scholars, on Tibet's history and development, as well as last month's violence and riots in Lhasa and the interruption of the Olympics torch relay in Paris and London.

They also offered detailed introductions and explanations of the central government's policy on Tibet and contributions to the improvement of the living standards of the Tibetan people.

Some talked with local residents and media to address the latter's questions.

Some Americans asked for sources and links where they could find more information and facts about Tibet, a Chinese volunteer said.

Several demonstrations against Tibet separatists' attempts to sabotage China's sovereignty and the forthcoming Beijing Olympics in August have been held in US cities as the Dalai Lama has toured the country since last week.


(China Daily 04/22/2008 page6)

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