A top official from southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region said in Beijing on Tuesday that the local government properly handled a lamas' rally in the regional capital Lhasa on Monday, with all participants "persuaded to leave in peace."
"More than 300 lamas entered the city proper of Lhasa in groups on March 10, but were later persuaded to leave in peace. No disturbance to social stability was caused," Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, told reporters on the sidelines of China's annual parliament session.
The lamas, all from the Drepung Monastery near Lhasa, had entered the regional capital "under the instigation of certain individuals," said the chairman.
"To prevent unnecessary disturbances from happening, we did some persuasion and they all left in peace," he added.
The Drepung Monastery, located three kilometers northwest of Lhasa, is a typical lamasery of the Buddhist Gelukpa sect, or the Yellow Sect.
Also on Monday, more than 10 people who had come to Lhasa from outside Tibet to study Buddhism "were involved in certain activities" at the Johkang Monastery in the city, added Qiangba Puncog. "We also persuaded them to leave the site."
He said the incident did not involve a single Lhasa citizen or cause any instability. "It has been properly settled."
(Xinhua News Agency, March 12, 2008)