Tibetans' Comments to Foreign Reporters

Here are excerpts of comments made by Tibetan monks and prisoners to foreign journalists on a Chinese government-guided trip to the Tibetan city of Lhasa. The statements were translated by Tibetan scholars in the U.S. who listened to audiotapes of the outburst made by AP Television News.

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Buddhist monks spoke out during an orchestrated tour on Thursday of Jokhang Temple, Tibet's holiest site. Here are their comments:

"The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) tricked the people."

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"The government is always telling lies, it's all lies."

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"They killed many people. They killed many people."

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"They (the government) has destroyed the way we are seen by the people."

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"The cadres and the army killed more than 100 Tibetans."

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"They arrested more than a thousand."

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"There were monks and lay people, both."

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"We want freedom and we want peace."

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"But after you leave, we are probably going to be arrested."

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At a detention center, reporters interviewed Tibetan prisoners as police stood and interpreted into Mandarin. Here are excerpts of the prisoners' comments translated from Tibetan into English by the U.S. scholars:

Reporter: "Usually how are relations with you and those Chinese shop owners?"

Prisoner: "They're good. If I need something they let me have it straightaway."

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Reporter: "Did you burn the motorcycles because he (the owner) was Chinese?"

Prisoner: "I didn't go because he was Chinese. I participated because my friend was burning ... I went to help him burn."

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Reporter: "Who required you to come meet with us today?"

Prisoner: "I came myself."

Reporter: "Why?"

Prisoner: "Because I wanted to get leniency."

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Reporter: "How do you think life is for Tibetans in Lhasa?"

Prisoner: "Life is good. Before, we used to wear clothes full of patches, life was poor. Now no one wears clothes with patches. Life has improved, and technology has improved as well."


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