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China Says Anti-Dalai Lama Rant Not Politicising Games བོད་སྐད།


China has denied politicising the Olympic Games following a rebuke by the International Olympic Committee over remarks made by an official in Tibet.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said he was unaware of the details of the IOC letter. But he insisted Mr Zhang was trying to foster a "stable and harmonious environment for the Olympics".

"China's solid position is against the politicising of the Olympics," Mr Liu said.

The International Olympic Committee urged China to keep sports and politics separate, after a Communist party official criticized the Dalai Lama at a torch relay ceremony in Tibet.

The IOC says it sent a letter to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic games asking for its support to make sure such situations do not happen again.

Reuters reported the Communist Party secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region Zhang Qingli made the comments at a ceremony marking the end of Saturday's two-hour parade of the Olympic flame through the streets of Lhasa, the scene of anti-Chinese riots in March.

"Tibet's sky will never change and the red flag with five stars will forever flutter high above it,'' the news agency quoted Zhang as saying. "We will certainly be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai (Lama) clique.'' he said in front of the Potala, the traditional seat of the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Anti-Chinese government riots that erupted in Lhasa in March sparked a harsh crackdown by Chinese troops.

The crackdown led to chaotic demonstrations at several stops on the international leg of the torch relay for the Beijing Olympics that begin in August.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters, AFP and BBC.
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