03/14/2008, 00.00
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Dalai Lama “concerned” about violence in Tibet caused by Chinese repression

The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and head of Tibet’s government-in-exile urges protesters not to resort to violence, calling on Beijing to respond with dialogue to the remands made by protesters. Unconfirmed sources claim that ten people have died in the clashes.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – The Dalai Lama is “deeply concerned over the situation that has been developing in Tibet following peaceful protests in many parts of Tibet, including Lhasa, in recent days.” For our spiritual guide, these “protests are a manifestation of the deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people under the present governance,” this according to Thubetn Samphel, spokesman for the Tibetan government-in-exile, who spoke to AsiaNews about reports concerning clashes that have taken place near Tibet’s major monasteries.

Local sources report that the Chinese army has deployed tanks in the Tibetan capital’s downtown. Anti-riot units have cleared away protesters led by monks; some have reported that “shots have been fired.”

American tourists also reported they heard “shooting in Lhasa.” Some unconfirmed reports refer to ten people killed during the clashes.

Some buildings in Old Lhasa are said to be on fire.

For Samphel the Dalai Lama “always said, unity and stability under brute force is at best a temporary solution.  It is unrealistic to expect unity and stability under such a rule and would therefore not be conducive to finding a peaceful and lasting solution.”

In his appeal, the Buddhist leader called on “the Chinese leadership to stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue.”

“The Dalai Lama,” he said, also “urged his fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence.

As a government-in-exile, “we reiterate that all this is from a peaceful protest and call on the international community to intercede with Beijing so that it can immediately stop its violent repression, resulting from its attempt to deny the rights of the Tibetan people.”

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