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Tibet Protests Linger Around China’s Olympics Prep

China is determined to prevent the Olympics from becoming a platform for Tibetan rights protests. Independent Television News Channel 4 correspondent Lindsay Hilsum reports from the remote Tibetan province of Qinghai on lingering anti-Chinese sentiments in the region.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Beijing today, the quick quashing of a "Free Tibet" demonstration and a reminder the Chinese government is determined to prevent the Olympics becoming an international stage for pro-Tibet sentiments.

    And in the remote Qinghai province of Tibet, Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News has found that anti-Chinese sentiment remains strong five months after China suppressed anti-government demonstrations.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    A lone pilgrim on a holy quest. With the eyes of the world on China for the Olympics, the government says Tibetan Buddhists are free to worship as they wish.

    We found a different story at Longwu Monastery. Anti-government demonstrations, led by monks, which rocked China in the spring, started here. The authorities blame "The Dalai Clique," in other words, the Dalai Lama.

    Monks told us police and soldiers threatened them with guns and still make occasional raids. Hundreds were arrested, including the head of the monastery. We've disguised the monks' identities for their safety.

  • TIBETAN MONK (through translator):

    They released the abbot recently, but he's only allowed to be out during the daytime. They take him back in at night. We're very afraid. What happened to us before, it can happen again.

  • LINDSEY HILSUM:

    We saw handcuff marks on one monk's wrists. He was too scared to speak.

    We visited several monasteries — I won't say which, because the monks have put back up pictures of the Dalai Lama that government working groups, as they're called, tore down.

    As part of a patriotic education campaign, monks and other Tibetans are being forced to denounce the man they follow as a living saint. They agreed to be filmed, but we tried to hide our small camera from passersby. The monks said there are spies everywhere.

  • TIBETAN MONK (through translator):

    The government handed out a survey, asking people to choose between, A, Dalai Lama is good; and, B, Dalai Lama is bad. Many returned it blank.

    It's hard to choose. If we choose A, we get into trouble with the government, but we can't choose B, because he's great. He's like our parents.

  • TIBETAN MONK (through translator):

    In my heart, the Dalai Lama is as precious as the stars and the moon in the sky. Without him, the world would be dark. I'd rather die then. I'm willing to give up my life for him. If I say anything bad about him, I won't return as a human being in my next life.

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