China's vice president urges Tibetan monks to "stay clear from" separatist forces

08:13, July 21, 2011      

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on people from the religious circle in Tibet to "make a clean break with separatist forces" during his visit to the Jokhang Temple, a key Tibetan Buddhism monastery located in the heart of Lhasa.

Speaking to more than 100 monks of the monastery and representatives from the religious circle gathering at Jokhang, Xi said Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times and people from the religious circle have helped maintain social stability, national integrity and ethnic unity.

"The Party and the government will not forget your positive contributions," Xi said, urging them to carry on the patriotic spirit, stay in line with the Party and the government, and strive for Tibet's development and the improvement of the people's living standards.

Xi made the remarks a day after he addressed a mass rally in Lhasa to mark the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet and emphasized the fight against separatist activities led by the Dalai Lama group.

The vice president said at Tuesday's rally that the fight against separatist activities of the Dalai Lama group is needed so as to "completely destroy any attempt to undermine stability in Tibet and national unity of the motherland."

Xi called on people from the religious circle to study for a better understanding of Party's religious policies and the country's laws, to achieve academic accomplishment through fine learning, to uphold integrity and self-restraint, and to be socially responsible.

Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant religion in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a plateau region of 3 million inhabitants, at least 90 percent of whom are Tibetans.

The more than 1,300-year-old Jokhang Temple, which houses a life-sized statue of Buddha Sakyamuni as a 12-year-old, is deemed as a top Tibetan Buddhism monastery of all sects.

Xi presented the monks with charities, a silk banner with a message from President Hu Jintao: "In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet," which is embroidered both in Chinese and Tibetan, and collections of the Chinese Tripitaka printed in Tibetan language.

Jokhang's monks blared horns and burned incense as a religious ritual to receive distinguished guests in return.

Source: Xinhua
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