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China defends crackdown on Tibetan monks

February 17, 2012 17:05 IST
China detained large numbers of Tibetans after they returned from India and forced them to undergo political "re-education", a global rights group has said, prompting Beijing to justify it as a necessary move to quell separatist activities.

Defending the crackdown in Tibet to halt the recurring self-immolations by Tibetan Buddhist monks, China said the suicide bids were aimed at reviving Tibetan independence movement.

"Some overseas organisations in the name of holding religious activities tried to instigate separatism. We believe such activities are clearly driven by political motives", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Weimin told a media briefing in Beijing.

These activities were aimed at sabotage social stability of Tibetan areas, pressure the Chinese government and incite separatism aimed at realising the scheme of Tibetan independence, he said when asked about reports of arrests of monks returning from India after meeting Dalai Lama. "It is doomed to failure. I believe their purpose is clear that is so called Tibet independence," he said. He also termed the suicide bids as extreme acts which made "great mockery of the so called idea of non-violence trumpeted by overseas people".

The Chinese government should immediately release Tibetans who have been detained by local police and are being forced to undergo political re-education after travelling to India to listen to religious teachings there, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

Over 20 monks and nuns attempted self-immolations in the recent months calling for return of the Dalai Lama. About the Tibetan administration firming up controls, including the establishments of management committees of in all Tibetan monasteries, Liu said such measures are completely necessary for greater social management.

He said every year March is an "important period in inciting separatism" in Tibet as it was that month the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. Since then "they took March as an important period in inciting separatism. The March 14, 2008 Lhasa event is case in point," he said, referring to the Lhasa riots in which number of people were killed.

"Under such circumstances, Tibetan areas efforts to enhance social security and management are conducive to fighting separatism ensuring social stability", he said.

"They also meet the interests and aspirations of people of all ethnic groups of in Tibetan areas. We will not such allow such separatist activities to succeed. We have also have great faith in the sustained development and stability of Tibet," he said.

He reiterated that Tibetan people are part of 56 ethnic groups of China. "We will pay greater attention of Tibetan peoples lives and to protection of equality and environment and culture and other traditions of Tibetan areas and protect the religious freedom of Tibetan people and make efforts to provide prosperous society to all the people in Tibet and other Chinese people," Liu said.

Asked about the restriction on foreign journalists visit to, Liu said local government made "special arrangements in the light of local realities aimed at ensuring local safety and security and they are completely understandable. "We hope foreign journalists can understand this point."

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