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Chinese official links Dalai Lama, serfdom

March 10, 2009

UPI
March 7, 2009

BEIJING, March 7 (UPI) -- The Dalai Lama should not be considered a symbol of human rights, a Chinese official said Friday as China promoted its claim to be the liberator of Tibet.

Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, held a news conference during the National People's Conference in Beijing, Xinhua, the official government news agency, said. He accused the Dalai Lama of being a representative of the era of serfdom in Tibet.

"We should judge a man not only by his words, but also by his deeds," Qiangba said.

The Dalai Lama was 24 years old when he fled Tibet March 17, 1959, establishing a government-in-exile in India. In his later years, he has said he does not want to re-establish religious rule in Tibet and believes the country should be part of China with true autonomy and religious freedom.

Qiangba said he is confident there will be no major disturbances in Tibet this year on the 50th anniversary of the Chinese crackdown, China Daily reported. Last year, there were riots in Lhasa and elsewhere.
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