Religious leader, locals chide lawless riot in Lhasa

Updated: 2008-03-16 14:17

LHASA --A religious leader in China's Tibet Autonomous Region and local Tibetans condemned Friday's riotous activities that undermined the religious order and peace in Lhasa.

"A handful of Buddhist monks didn't study the scriptures, didn't follow our religious canon, but echoed the Dalai clique in splittist efforts to undermine the stability in Tibet and destroy the order of the Tibetan Buddhism," Dazhag Dainzin Geleg, vice-president of the Tibetan Branch of the Buddhist Association of China, said on Sunday.

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"What they did hurt the fundamental interests of the religious circle and the believers. We stand firmly opposed to that," he said.

Lhazom Zhoigar, vice-chairwoman of the regional Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said, "I am a witness of old and new Tibet. Before the peaceful liberation in 1959, poor Tibetans lived worse than beasts of burden. The new Tibet, especially since the national reform and opening up in 1978, experienced rapid development in all fields of politics, economy and culture, she said.

It's the common aspiration of the Tibetan people to maintain national unity, ethnic solidarity and social harmony. The attempts of Dalai clique to undermine the normal life and harmony in Tibet is doomed to failure. Tibet's development and progress can never be held back by any reactionary force," said Lhazom Zhoigar.

Dawa Toinzhub, president of Lhasa-based Dashi Group, said, "The rioters' evil acts have not only hurt our businesses, but also brought negative influence on regional economic development."

An outburst of commotion broke the peace of Lhasa on Friday. Sources with the local government said on Saturday that at least 10 people were confirmed dead, mostly civilians from burns. Lhasa police have rescued more than 580 people, including three Japanese tourists, from the violent array of sabotage.

Tubdain, a local resident, said he saw a girl in red-clothing who appeared to be a Han Chinese was chased and clubbed by six people on the Duosenge Road in the downtown area. "The mobs stoned her head and batted her knees with wooden clubs," said the 50-something Tubdain.

"Blood trickled down her face. She stumbled to the ground, crying and begging the rioters to let her go," he said. "They seemed a bunch of insane people, growling, stabbing, smashing and burning. It was so hard to believe what I saw."

Qiangba Puncog, Tibet Autonomous Regional Government chairman, who is in Beijing for the parliamentary meeting, condemned the unrest on Saturday, and said they were "organized and premeditated" by the Dalai clique.

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