Describing the situation in Tibet as "grave", China has ordered authorities there to prepare themselves for "a war against secessionist sabotage" by the Dalai Lama amid reports that security forces shot dead two Tibetans protesters.
Officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region have been ordered to recognise the "grave situation" in maintaining stability and to ready themselves for "a war against secessionist sabotage", Chen Quanguo, regional Communist Party chief of Tibet told official Tibet Daily.
The orders come ahead of the February 22 Tibetan New Year and this year's Chinese Communist Party Congress to elect new leaders.
The Congress would elect new leaders replacing the President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao who are set to retire later this year.
Chen and other top officials called for extra vigilance to foil any attempts by the Buddhist Monks and supporters of the Dalai Lama pointing out that the Tibetan spiritual leader has a spoken of a "decisive battle" to be launched ahead of this year's Communist Party Congress, likely to be held in November this year.
Meanwhile, US based broadcaster Radio Free Asia today said that two Tibetan brothers, who have been on the run after protesting against Chinese rule have been shot dead.
Yeshe Rigsal, a 40-year monk, and his 38-year-old brother, Yeshe Samdrub, had been pursued by the authorities after they participated in January 23 protests against Chinese rule.
The two brothers had been on the run for more than two weeks, and had been hiding in the hills in a nomad region when they were surrounded and fired upon.
The fight against the Dalai Lama clique is a "long-term, complicated and sometimes even acute" one, Chen was quoted as saying.
Xu Zhitao, an official with the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party Central Committee, told state-run Global Times that "secessionists led by the Dalai Lama appeared more determined to plot conspiracies this year."
The Dalai Lama clique had claimed that they might carry out some schemes to wreck the upcoming Tibetan New Year, which falls on February 22 this year, Xu said.
This year the region saw self immolations by Buddhist Monks calling for the return of Darla Lama from his self exile in Dharmashala. So far 17 monks and nuns have attempted suicides.
So far 17 monks and nuns have attempted suicides. Many of these attempts were confined to the Sichuan province, neighbouring Tibet and the Tibetan officials fear that the restive monks would attempt some thing big during the New Year celebrations in Lhasa, the provincial capital.
Global Times which carried the Tibet story today with banner headlines 'Tibet officials prepare for war' also mentioned discussions on Tibet during External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's just concluded visit here to inaugurate the new Indian Embassy building.