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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?"

Residents report higher security in Tibetan capital on 51st anniversary of failed uprising

March 12, 2010

March 10, 2010
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIJING - Police armed with machine-guns guarded intersections and demanded
to see ID cards at checkpoints Wednesday amid stepped up security in the
Tibetan capital of Lhasa as the region marked two sensitive anniversaries,
residents said.

It was the 51st anniversary of a failed revolt against Chinese rule that led
the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, to flee into exile. Protests
marking the event two years ago spun into deadly rioting in Lhasa, and
sympathy protests across western China were the widest uprising against
Beijing in decades.

Police presence in Lhasa has been heavy since the March 14, 2008, rioting
but was increased even more in recent days, hotel workers said.

"Because of the March 14 riot anniversary, police are patrolling in the
streets every day and they are conducting more checks," said Luo Wen, a
receptionist at the Lhasa River Hotel.

Police carrying machine-guns were manning intersections and checkpoints to
inspect IDs, said Chen Hongping, who works at the Aviation Hotel in Lhasa,
which boasts views of the famed Potala Palace. They were also closely
checking registration books at hotels and the rooms of guests who raised
suspicions, she said.

Beijing has demonized the Dalai Lama and accused him of fighting for
independence for Tibet, which China says is part of its territory. The Dalai
Lama says he wants only some form of autonomy for Tibet within China that
would allow his people to freely practice their culture, language and
religion.

The Dalai Lama blasted Beijing in his annual address from exile marking the
failed uprising against China. His angry comments Wednesday appeared to
signal his frustration with fruitless efforts to negotiate a compromise with
Chinese authorities.

"They are putting the monks and nuns in prison-like conditions, depriving
them the opportunity to study and practice in peace," he said, accusing
Chinese of working to "deliberately annihilate Buddhism."

However, he said he would not abandon talks with Beijing.
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