China Accuses Dalai Lama of “Sabotage,” but Olympics Still On For Beijing


Chinese premier Wen Jiabao today accused the exiled Dalai Lama of orchestrating the protests sweeping through Tibet in recent days, with the express purpose of inciting “the sabotage of the Olympic Games.” (The Dalai Lama denied the charges.)

But the Chinese needn’t worry. Though the information emerging from the region is intermittent and often secondhand—estimates of the number of dead range from the Chinese government’s 13 to the Tibetan’s 99—what news there is seems to have satisfied the international community: The games must go on.

Over the past few days, representatives from the EU, the UN, and the international Olympic committees have stated unequivocally that any disruption of the summer event is out of the question. “Not one government leader has called for [an Olympic] boycott. A boycott is only a punishment of the athletes,” said Patrick Hickey, head of the European Olympic Committees, on Monday. Likewise, while both the EU and the U.S. called for restraint on both sides, they made no mention of any reprisal against the Chinese government.

The muted official response to the violence is surprising, given that the Olympic torch is due to pass through Tibet in roughly two weeks. A boycott may not be the best way to register the world’s disapproval. But in assuring China that the games will take place no matter what, the international community is tacitly, if unintentionally, endorsing whatever measures China might take to make that possible.

—Casey Miner

Photo used under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.