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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Firemen stationed in three Tibet temples

December 17, 2008

China Internet Information Center - China
December 16, 2008
Professional firefighters were stationed in three ancient temples in Tibet on Monday, as the country steps up preservation of Tibetan cultural relics.
About 10 firemen along with fire fighting equipment were sent to each of the Monasteries of Sera, Zhaibung and Gandan, 24 years after firemen were stationed in Potala Palace in the wake of a fire that could have engulfed the World Heritage if not put out in time.
"The move is of significance for the safety of cultural relics in the temples and the lives of monks, believers and tourists," said Khyungse, political commissar of the Tibet regional fire brigade.
Potala Palace has been fire free since firemen were stationed inside. The Tibet regional fire brigade was planning to station firemen in other monasteries after the move on Monday.
Currently, Tibet temples have 659 lama volunteers in 82 teams who serve as firefighters.
Zhebung Monastery, which nestles in the mountains in the western suburbs of Lhasa, was built in 1416 during the reign of Yongle (1403-1424) by the disciples of Zong Kaba, founder of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, who also built Sera Monastery in 1419. Gandan Monastery, built in 1409, is the birthplace of the Gelugba school.
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