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China disputes pro-Tibet protests

March 5, 2009

UPI
March 4, 2009

BEIJING, Mar 4, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Campaigners for Tibetan autonomy say monks have been protesting at a Buddhist monastery in a Tibetan area of Sichuan province in China.

But a provincial official told Xinhua, the government news agency, that there have been no demonstrations at the Se Monastery, just normal religious rituals.

The 50th anniversary of the Chinese takeover of Tibet and the Dalai Lama's flight from the country is approaching, increasing tension in Tibet, in areas in Sichuan with large Tibetan populations and in Nepal, where security is tight around the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu.

The International Campaign for Tibet said there were demonstrations in Aba prefecture in Sichuan last week and at the Se Monastery Sunday, the BBC reported.

Shi Jun, secretary of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectural Committee, told Xinhua that on Sunday monks celebrated the election of a lama administrator.

"This was a normal religious activity but had been distorted as 'Tibetan lamas protest' by some foreign media with ulterior motives," he said. "We are indignant toward the distorted news reports based on hearsay and are disappointed at those western media which have long touted they are observing 'objectivity and fairness' in news reporting."
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