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Official sees Lhasa riot cut-throat combat
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A veteran Tibetan official Ragdi said on Wednesday morning that the recent riot in Lhasa has exposed a cut-throat combat between the Tibetan people and the Dalai clique with its Western supporters.

"The cut-throat combat between us and the Dalai clique with its antagonistic supporters in some Western countries is a significant political competition for choice on separation on unification," said Ragdi, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), or China's top legislature.

"The severe violence and riot which occurred in Lhasa recently is neither a social security problem, nor an ethnic problem," he said.

"It has nothing to do with democracy," Ragdi, also honorary chairman of the Counseling Committee on Development of the Tibet Autonomous Region, told a meeting of the counseling committee.

Ragdi said the plot of a tiny handful of people to sabotage the stability and harmony of Tibet will not gain the Tibetan people's support and is doomed to failure.

The riot erupted in Tibet's capital Lhasa on the afternoon of last Friday. Lawless people set fires at more than 300 locations and attacked schools, banks, hospitals, shops, government offices, utilities and state media offices. Thirteen civilians were burnt or stabbed to death in the incident.

"The Communist Party of China committee and government of Tibet have taken effective measures and the situation in Lhasa has been basically put under control," Ragdi said.

"We are fully capable of maintaining the social stability of Tibet and ensuring the safety of lives and property of people of all ethnic groups in the region," he added.

(Xinhua News Agency, March 19, 2008)

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