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11th Panchen Lama condemns Lhasa riot
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The 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu condemned on Sunday the lawless riot in Lhasa, saying the sabotage acts run counter to the Buddhism tenets.

"The rioters' acts not only harmed the interests of the nation and the people, but also violated the aim of Buddhism," Panchen said.

"We resolutely oppose all activities to split the country and undermine ethnic unity. We strongly condemn the crime of a tiny number of people to hurt the lives and properties of the people," he said.

An outburst of violence on Friday, which Tibetan regional government says was engineered by Dalai clique, has claimed the lives of 10 civilians and caused many injuries.

"I hope the incident in Lhasa could calm down soon, and peace and stability would return to the people and the Buddhist followers," the religious leader said.

Panchen said he resolutely supports the Party and the government efforts to ensure the safety and stability of Lhasa.

An outburst of commotion broke the peace of Lhasa on Friday. Sources with the local government said on Saturday that at least 10 people were confirmed dead, mostly civilians from burns. Lhasa police have rescued more than 580 people, including three Japanese tourists, from the violent array of sabotage.

The Panchen Lama's remarks resonated among the religious circle in Tibet.

"A handful of Buddhist monks didn't study the scriptures, didn't follow our religious canon, but echoed the Dalai clique in splittist efforts to undermine the stability in Tibet and destroy the order of the Tibetan Buddhism," Dazhag Dainzin Geleg, vice-president of the Tibetan Branch of the Buddhist Association of China, said on Sunday.

"What they did hurt the fundamental interests of the religious circle and the believers. We stand firmly opposed to that," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2008)

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