Several Tibet religious figures have expressed opposition to the Dalai Lama's remarks concerning what he called "cultural genocide" and "terror rule" in Tibet.
"The remarks that the Dalai Lama made at a press conference are totally ungrounded and against reality," said Lhadar Ngawang Daindzin, vice-president of the Tibetan Branch of the Buddhist Association of China.
The Dalai Lama cited a "rule of terror" and "cultural genocide" in his latest remarks after Friday's Lhasa riots, according to media reports.
Over the past half-century, great changes had taken place in Tibet. People fully enjoyed freedom and democracy and their living standards had improved significantly. "Anyone who has ever been to Tibet will see the reality," said Ngawang Daindzin, who is also a living Buddha.
The Dalai Lama's remarks concerning "cultural genocide" were false and unfounded, he said.
He also called on the government to punish those who initiated the riots on Friday, which involved beating, looting and burning.
Thirteen civilians had been confirmed dead, he said. "The rioters who wore cassocks were no real monks at all. What they did is completely against the tenets of Buddhism."
Tubdian Targyai, a living Buddha at the Gandan Monastery, said "The protection and maintenance of monasteries are the best protection of Tibetan culture."
"In recent years, the government has poured huge sums into the repair of monasteries and heritage buildings, which demonstrated the Chinese government's protection of Tibetan culture," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency, March 17, 2008)