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Pelosi denounces China's Tibet crackdown

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080321/ap_on_re_as/pelosi_dalai_lama;_ylt=AnSxxPdjRjWX2p5oHpydEh9n.3QA Pelosi denounces China s Tibet crackdown 2 hours, 4 minutes
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 21, 2008
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      Pelosi denounces China's Tibet crackdown

      2 hours, 4 minutes ago

      DHARMSALA, India - House speaker Nancy Pelosi called
      on the world Friday to denounce China's crackdown of
      anti-government protests in Tibet, calling the crisis
      "a challenge to the conscience of the world."

      Pelosi, one of the fiercest Congressional critics of
      China, was greeted by cheering Tibetans as she arrived
      to meet the Dalai Lama. She is the first major
      official to visit the leader of Tibet's exile
      community since peaceful protests turned violent last
      week in the Chinese-ruled region.

      "If freedom loving people throughout the world do not
      speak out against China and the Chinese in Tibet, we
      have lost all moral authority to speak out on human
      rights," Pelosi said before a crowd of thousands of
      Tibetans, including monks and schoolchildren.

      "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the
      conscience of the world," she said.

      Pelosi, heading a Congressional delegation, was
      greeted warmly by the Dalai Lama, who draped a gold
      scarf around her neck.

      Hundreds of people lined the roads to the Dalai Lama's
      compound, some with signs saying "Thank You for Your
      Support" and "Long Live America-Tibet Friendship."
      About 2,000 more people waited in the temple's main
      courtyard, many waving Indian, U.S. and Tibetan flags.

      The crowds roared when she arrived, applauding for
      about ten minutes.

      "Today we are here at this sad time together in
      shedding the bright light of truth on what is
      happening inside Tibet," Pelosi said. "We insist the
      world know what the truth is inside Tibet."

      Kalsing Phuntsok, 37, a teacher who was in the crowd
      welcoming Pelosi, called her "a very good friend of

      "America has a big role to play, a very big role," he

      The visit was planned before protests against Chinese
      rule in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa erupted into
      rioting on March 14, sparking a brutal crackdown by

      Thousands of Chinese troops have converged in Tibetan
      areas of western China, ready to clamp down on any
      signs of further unrest.

      "Perhaps it our karma, our fate, to be with you at
      such a sad time," Pelosi said. "It is our karma, we
      know, to help the people of Tibet."

      The protests have been the biggest challenge in almost
      two decades to Chinese rule in Tibet, a Himalayan
      region that the People's Liberation Army occupied in
      1950 after several decades of effective independence.
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