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China condemns Dalai Lama of abusing child rights

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-10-15 18:29

BEIJING - China accused the 14th Dalai Lama on Tuesday of tearing hundreds of Tibetan families apart and causing serious abuses of children's rights by orchestrating a Swiss campaign in the 1960s to adopt Tibetan orphans.

The condemnation came after a Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung published a series of stories in September questioning the privately run campaign, masterminded by a Swiss entrepreneur and the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama had expressed a wish to turn the children into an elite for the "Tibetan government-in-exile".

"The stories in the Swiss media have highlighted how the Dalai Lama and his clique fabricated so-called orphans and sent them to Switzerland," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing.

Charles Aeschimann, director of an energy company, adopted Tibetan children after reading about the Tibetan refugees and the Dalai Lama's call to American and European families to take Tibetan child refugees into care and give them a Western education.

"The Dalai Lama manufactured the orphan incident out of his Tibetan independence initiative, which caused hundreds of families to be torn apart, " Hua said.

Of the some 200 children placed in Swiss families and the Pestalozzi children's village in Trogen, only 19 of them are true orphans. The others either have both father and mother or at least have one living parent, according to the Swiss reports.

"The Dalai Lama's deeds have trampled on the children's individual rights and publicly violated common ethics and morality. All humane,  justice-loving people should condemn such acts," Hua said.