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China vows crackdown on Dalai Lama supporters

world Updated: Jul 09, 2013 21:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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China on Tuesday vowed to fight Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s followers as overseas rights groups reported that at least six monks who had gathered to mark his birthday were shot at by Chinese security forces last week.

According to London-based Free Tibet, a Tibetan monk was shot in the head and at least six other people were injured when Chinese security forces opened fire on Tibetans offering prayers to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6 in Sichuan province.

Police in a restive Tibetan part of Sichuan province opened fire on a group of monks and others who had gathered to mark Dalai Lama's birthday over the weekend, seriously injuring at least two, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet said.

“Security forces, thought to be Paramilitary Armed Police (PAP), were at the mountain waiting for them. The Tibetans were prevented from reaching the incense offering stage on the top. Many turned back and went to another part of the mountain to offer prayers. It is believed that they were able to carry out the celebrations,” an emailed statement from Free Tibet said.

The statement added, “The circumstances of what transpired next are still unclear but it is known that Chinese security forces opened fire on the unarmed crowd. Two people were critically injured including Tashi Sonam, a monk from Nyatso monastery who was shot in the head.”

Soon after news of the incident broke, Top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng called for lasting prosperity and stability in China's Tibetan regions by improving local livelihoods and fighting the 14th Dalai Lama clique.

“The Dalai Lama has long been engaged in secessionist activity that runs against both the common interests of people of various ethnic groups and the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, said Yu,” a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.

The Dalai Lama's "middle way," which is intended to achieve high-degree autonomy in "Greater Tibet," directly conflicts with China's Constitution and the country's system of regional ethnic autonomy, Yu said.

He called for an absolute fight against the Dalai Lama clique in order to realise national unification and Tibetan regions' development and stability.

“For the sake of national unity and the development of stability in Tibetan regions, we must take a clear-cut stand and deepen the struggle against the Dalai clique," Xinhua quoted him as saying.