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China confident of successful Olympic torch relay in Tibet
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08:17, April 10, 2008

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· Riots in Lhasa
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The Olympic torch relay in Tibet will be a complete success, Qiangba Puncog, the chairman of the Tibet regional government, told reporters here on Wednesday.

"I have noticed that recently, some secessionists undertook some activities in London and Paris," he told a press conference.

These people regard the Beijing Olympic Games as an opportunity to make trouble, he said, "Therefore, I don't doubt they will create trouble during the torch relay in Tibet."

But the actions of a few could not affect the situation, he said. "We will fully prepare for it and the Olympic torch relay in Tibet will be a complete success."

The regional government head also said that the Dalai Lama had been trying to stir up more unrest in Tibet through "appeals" and "statements" issued after the Lhasa violence because "he is unwilling to see the situation be calm and normal life in Lhasa restored."

The Dalai Lama tried to deny the organized violence in Lhasa and called it a "peaceful demonstration" while attempting to stir up hostility among ethnic groups in Tibet and internationalize the so-called "Tibet issue", he said.

The violence on March 14 claimed at least 19 lives, with hundreds of shops torched. The losses have been put at about 280 million yuan (39.9 million U.S. dollars), Qiangba Puncog said, citing latest official statistics.

After the riots, the local government acted fast to restore public facilities such as electricity and telecommunications and compensate the victims, said the chairman.

The families of 18 innocent civilians killed in the incident have received compensation, while affected factories and businesses were subsidized by the government to offset their losses, he said.

"People in Lhasa have returned to their normal lives," he said.

But Qiangba Puncog confirmed that some temples have not re-opened.

"It will take some time for Tibet to recover from the unrest, including aspects of its economic life such as tourism," he said. "We will pull it back on track as soon as possible."

Local police have detained 953 people suspected of participating in the violence in Lhasa, 403 of whom were formally arrested, he said.

Further, 362 people surrendered to law enforcement authorities, and 328 have been released because of the minor nature of their offenses and their willingness to cooperate.

The police put 93 suspects on the wanted list and have already arrested 13 of them.

VIOLENCE IMPAIRS BASIC CONDITIONS FOR DIALOGUE, DOOR REMAINS OPEN

The violence in Tibet stirred up by the Dalai clique is destroying the basis for dialogue with the central government, said Sitar, deputy head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, at the same press conference.

The activities behind the violence in Tibet and the latest organized disruptions of the Olympic torch relay in Paris and London "greatly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and damaged the basic conditions and atmosphere for dialogue," Sitar said.

The backers of the Dalai Lama should stop all secessionist activities to create a basic environment for dialogue with the central government, he said. "Our door to conduct dialogue with the Dalai Lama is still open now."

Since 2002, the Dalai Lama's personal envoys have had six meetings with high-ranking CPC officials, Sitar said.

Since 1979, the Dalai Lama has sent more than 20 delegations, which included many of his close relatives, to China.

"The root cause for [there being] no progress after so many contacts is that the Dalai Lama is not sincere: he has proved this by not giving up the 'Tibet independence' stand," Sitar said.

Source: Xinhua



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