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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China police station attacked near Tibetan areas

March 30, 2009

AFP
March 29, 2009

BEIJING (AFP) -- A police station in a part of
northwestern China near Tibetan-populated areas
was attacked early on Sunday, leaving two police
officers hurt, state media reported.

The brief dispatch by Xinhua news agency said the
incident occurred in Xining, capital of Qinghai
province, which neighbours Tibet and has a substantial Tibetan population.

It gave no other details besides saying the incident was under investigation.

The report comes amid a heavy security crackdown
in Tibet and adjacent Tibetan areas to prevent
unrest during this month's 50th anniversary of an
uprising against Chinese rule.

It also comes a day after China launched a new
national holiday for Tibetans called "Serf's
Liberation Day" to mark what the government calls
the emancipation of Tibetans from the "feudal"
rule of the now-exiled Dalai Lama.

Calls to police and government offices in Xining went unanswered on Sunday.

State media last week reported an incident on
Tuesday in which three traffic police officers in
Xining were surrounded and beaten by a group of
men as they intervened to sort out a routine traffic accident.

The report, issued Thursday by China National
Radio, said two of the officers were sent to
hospital in stable condition, and that one of the
assailants was arrested. The others were still
being sought, it said at the time.

Violent outbursts by people upset with police or
the government over perceived injustices are common in China.

But Sunday morning's incident comes amid high
tension in Tibetan areas due to the March 10
anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising after
which the Dalai Lama, the Himalayan region's spiritual leader, fled into exile.

On March 21, an angry mob attacked a police
station in Rabgya, a mountain town about 300
kilometres (186 miles) from Xining that is known
in Chinese as Lajia and home to a large monastery, Xinhua reported at the time.

It said 93 monks, most from the Rabgya monastery,
were taken into custody by police following the incident.

China has ruled Tibet since 1951, after sending
in troops to "liberate" the region the previous
year, and Beijing has long maintained that its
rule ended a Buddhist theocracy that enslaved all but the religious elite.

But the Dalai Lama and his followers allege China
has carried out a systematic campaign of
repression in Tibet that has nearly extinguished its unique Buddhist culture.

Last year, widespread anti-China demonstrations
and riots erupted in Tibet and other nearby
provinces with large Tibetan populations on the uprising's 49th anniversary.
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