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Tibet chairman condemns separatist sabotage by Dalai clique
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A top official of the Tibetan local government on Saturday condemned the "separatist sabotage" plotted and organized by the Dalai Lama and his splittist clique, which caused a major outbreak of violence in the regional capital Lhasa on Friday.

The Friday unrest, involving beating, smashing, looting and burning, was a sabotage activity "organized and premeditated" by the Dalai clique, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, on the sidelines of China's annual parliament session.

"We strongly condemn it," he said.

Witnesses said violence broke out in Lhasa around 1:10 p.m. on Friday, as some people clashed with and stoned the local police around the Ramogia Monastery in the downtown area.

"We fired no gunshots," Qiangba Puncog told the press on Saturday when asked about the details of the Friday unrest.

He said the local government had taken necessary measures to maintain stability, but Lhasa was not under the martial law.

"We will severely deal with those who engage themselves in activities of splitting the nation in accordance with the law," said the chairman.

"Their separatist plot will not succeed. It's the common will of the Tibetan people to maintain national unity, ethnic solidarity and social harmony," he added.

No casualties have been reported among foreign nationals who were in Lhasa during the unrest, local government said on Saturday.

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2008)

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