Dalai Lama criticises China over its Nobel opposition

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Liu Xiaobo - 28 Oct 2008
Image caption,
Liu Xiaobo was jailed for 11 years in December 2009

The Dalai Lama has criticised China's opposition to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said the Chinese government did "not appreciate different opinions".

Building an open society was "the only way to save all people of China", he told Japanese media.

Meanwhile, Mr Liu's wife has apparently been placed under house arrest after he dedicated the award to the "martyrs" of Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Mr Liu was a key figure in the protests. He was also involved in drafting Charter 08 two years ago - a document which called for multi-party democracy and respect for human rights in China.

In 2009 he was jailed for 11 years for "inciting subversion".

Communication cut

China said the decision to honour Mr Liu was an "obscenity".

Beijing said relations with Norway, where the peace prize committee is based, may be damaged. It summoned the Norwegian ambassador to hear a formal protest.

On Monday, the Norwegian Embassy said a fisheries meeting in China had been cancelled but refused to give a reason.

The Dalai Lama, who won the peace prize in 1989, said China's government "must change".

He made his comments to Kyodo news agency, while passing through Tokyo's airport on his way to the US from India.

Meanwhile, human rights groups say that Mr Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been placed under house arrest.

Freedom Now, a US group, said she had not been able to leave her home since visiting her husband in jail on Sunday.

Journalists outside her home have not been allowed to speak to her, and her phone also appears to have been cut off.

There are also reports that more political activists in Beijing have had their movements restricted, including Zhou Duo, who was with Mr Liu during the Tiananmen Square protests.

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