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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."

China detains protesting Tibetan monks

March 12, 2008

BEIJING, March 11 (Reuters) - China has detained a group of Tibetan
monks who protested in Tibet's capital Lhasa, according to a report by
a U.S. government-funded radio station, as Tibetan refugees around the
world held marches to mark a past uprising.

Radio Free Asia cited a source as saying at least 300 monks marched
from a monastery outside Lhasa to demand the release of monks detained
last year after the Dalai Lama was awarded a Congressional medal in
the United States.

"Authorities at a checkpoint along the way stopped and detained
between 50 and 60 monks," the report paraphrased the source as saying.

"Witnesses reported seeing about 10 military vehicles, 10 police
vehicles, and several ambulances at the checkpoint. No information was
immediately available on where the monks were taken or why ambulances
were summoned," it added.

"Another witness reported that official vehicles then blocked off
access by road to Drepung monastery, and that many monasteries in and
around Lhasa were surrounded by members of the paramilitary People's
Armed Police," the report said.

Calls to the Tibetan government went unanswered.

Tibetans all over the world on Monday took to the streets to
commemorate the 49th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule
and to press their demand for independence ahead of the Beijing
Olympics.

In Nepal, many people were hurt when police used batons to break up a
march on the Chinese embassy, while in neighbouring India 101 refugees
set off on a five-month march to Tibet accompanied by thousands of
well-wishers.

As the Olympics approach, Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their
freedom movement and protest against what they see as China's illegal
occupation of their homeland.

The protests marked the anniversary of a 1959 uprising in Tibet
against Chinese rule, which was crushed by the People's Liberation
Army, driving the Dalai Lama into exile.

The Dalai Lama last week rejected a Chinese accusation that he was
trying to sabotage the Olympics, saying he always supported Beijing's
right to host the Games.
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