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Episode like Lhasa riot just matter of time: official
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A riot would have occurred in China's Tibet Autonomous Region sooner or later, if not in Lhasa, since repeated episodes of violence happened from the 1959 failed rebellion to secede Tibet from the motherland, said a veteran Tibetan official on Wednesday.

Ragdi, former vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, spoke on the Lhasa riot at a meeting of the Counseling Committee on Development of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

He said the regional government has been on the alert for secessionist activities.

"Since repeated violence occurred in Tibet between 1987 and 1988, Tibet has been experiencing peaceful development for nearly two decades. However, a secessionist event would have occurred sooner or later. It is just a matter of time and place," said Ragdi.

The latest riot erupted in the plateau city on last Friday afternoon. Rioters killed 13 civilians, set fires at more than 300 locations and attacked schools, banks, hospitals, shops, government offices, utilities and state media offices.

"The past two decades of peace in Tibet has been jointly created under the leadership of the Chinese central government and supported by the people across the country," said Ragdi.

"The development in Tibet has jumped on the track of fast growth for the past two decades, when the Tibetan people have benefited most from social stability and development," said the Tibet-born official.

He pointed out that the hard-won social stability and prosperity has just been an "eyesore" for the Dalai clique, who are unhappy to see common Tibetans become true masters of their own lives.

(Xinhua News Agency, March 19, 2008)


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