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Dalai Lama warns that violence could erupt in Tibet

February 12, 2009

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has warned that an outburst of
violence could happen "at any moment" in Tibet as tensions rise in the
run-up to the 50th anniversary of his exile.

By Malcolm Moore, Shanghai Correspondent, Telegraph

Last Updated: 3:23PM GMT 11 Feb 2009

"There is too much anger," he said, during a visit to the German city of
Baden Baden. "At any moment an outburst could happen. This is my worry
because with more violence there will be more crackdowns. Things are
very sad."

The beginning of March will mark 50 years since the Dalai Lama fled from
Lhasa and Chinese troops poured into the city. The Chinese authorities
have already announced that there will be celebrations across Tibet on
the anniversary to mark "Serf Liberation Day", the abolition of
feudalism and the entrance of Tibet into the modern era.

Reports from Lhasa suggest that Chinese soldiers are now stationed in
some monasteries and one Australian newspaper said snipers are
positioned on the roofs of major temples to watch out for unrest.

"As soon as people are arrested, they use torture, and sometimes they
kill them. Since public execution is difficult, they use torture when
Tibetans are detained. In many places, schools are closed, especially
private funded schools," the Dalai Lama said.

Cao Bianjiang, deputy mayor of Lhasa, said more violence could not be
ruled out because the Dalai Lama continued to foment dissent.

"There are some people who do not want to see the peaceful development
of Lhasa's economy," said Mr Cao. "The biggest challenge for Tibet is
the disruption and sabotage of the Dalai Lama and his group. The more
chaotic Tibet becomes the better he feels," added Nyima Tsering, the
deputy head of the local government.

He said 953 people had been officially detained since rioting in Lhasa
last March, but human rights groups believe the real number is far higher.
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