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Tibeten officials refute Dalai's 'rule of terror' remarks
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High-ranking Tibetan officials refuted Dalai Lama's "cultural genocide" and "terror rule" remarks on Sunday and said such arguments were a tale of a tub and "downright nonsense".

Dalai cited the "rule of terror" and "cultural genocide" in its latest separatist remarks after the Lhasa riot, according to media reports.

Legqoi, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan Regional People's Congress, said that "'the rule of terror in Tibet', as Dalai claimed, was downright nonsense."

"The concept of 'citizen' didn't even exist in the old Tibet," Legquoi said. "Under the serfdom rule, slaves had nothing and were traded by their owners. They suffered all kinds of excruciating tortures."

"The Tibetan people only started to manage their own affairs after the regional autonomy was inaugurated in 1965," Legquoi said.

He said the Tibetan culture has thrived, quite contrary to the so called "cultural genocide".

"There were 161 cultural sites in Tibet, including 35 on the list of state-level protection. We have 1,700 well-protected temples. Monks and the public enjoy full religious freedom," Legquoi said.

"Should the Dalai separatists group not spoil (the stability in Tibet), Tibet would be in its best period of development in history," said Lhasa Mayor Doje Cezhug. "Nowadays, Tibetan people have been living a modern life while enjoying the development of traditional Tibetan culture."

The Party and government has attached great importance to the cultural development of Tibet and have carried out a large scale of survey, salvage and protection for Tibet's cultural relics, said Qiangba Puncog, Tibet Autonomous Regional Government chairman.

"The state has decided to invest 570 million yuan from 2006 to 2010 to renovate 10 cultural relics sites, including the Jokhang Temple, and we can say Tibetan culture has never been so flourish as today," said the chairman.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2008)

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