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Dalai Lama "masterminding" protests: China

world Updated: Mar 15, 2008 13:30 IST

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China accused Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of acting as the "mastermind" behind protests that rocked the region on Friday.

"The government of Tibet Autonomous Region said Friday there had been enough evidence to prove that the recent sabotage in Lhasa was 'organised, premeditated and masterminded' by the Dalai clique," Xinhua news agency said.

"The violence, involving beating, smashing, looting and burning, has disrupted the public order, jeopardised people's lives and property, an official with the government said."

Beijing has long accused the Dalai Lama, who fled to exile in 1959, of demanding independence for Tibet.