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Hu promotes Tibetan stability

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao called yesterday for the building of a "Great Wall of stability in Tibet" prior to the 50th anniversary of the foiling of an armed rebellion led by the Dalai Lama's supporters.

Hu stressed the necessity to promote development and stability in Tibet, as he joined a panel discussion with Tibetan lawmakers who are in Beijing for the annual session of the National People's Congress.

"We must reinforce the solid Great Wall for combating separatism and safeguarding national unity, so that Tibet, now basically stable, will enjoy lasting peace and stability," Hu said.

He urged Tibet authorities to focus on development and stability issues, attain an "economic great leap forward," safeguard national security and social stability and keep improving people's living standards, in order to make new progress in the building of "a unified, democratic, prosperous and harmonious socialistic new Tibet."

Hu expressed the hope that Tibet would embark on more projects that will directly result in the improvement of people's lives and working conditions, particularly those of farmers and herdsmen.

The government must also give priority to addressing people's immediate needs, so that people of all ethnic groups in Tibet will be able to share the fruits of development, he said.

Hu's remarks came ahead of several sensitive dates in Tibet.

The autonomous region will mark the 50th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery and the theocratic regime of the Dalai Lama on March 28.

On March 10, 1959, in an attempt to preserve the old serfdom, the nobles and slave owners staged an armed rebellion, which was foiled by the central government.

The riot changed everything in Tibet. The Communists soon decided that democratic reform should be carried out immediately to demolish the entire old system led by the Dalai Lama.

The Preparatory Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region replaced the Gaxag government and set out to lead the reform. From 1959 to 1966, 1 million slaves were granted land, houses and their freedom. The Dalai Lama, who fled to India, has maintained a government-in-exile since 1959, and China has charged that this group was behind the riot in Lhasa on March 14 last year and other Tibetan areas in China.

Earlier on Sunday, Legqog, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region People's Congress, said the Dalai clique has increased its secessionist and sabotage activities in Tibet this year. "They made attempts to make trouble through collusion with those inside Tibet or even sending in their people," he said.

Kang Jinzhong, political commissar of Armed Police corps in Tibet, said yesterday, "Although Tibet is currently very stable, our troops are ready to handle any infiltration and sabotage activities by the Dalai Lama clique and other hostile forces.

"All the Armed Police forces across Tibet are on routine duty. The Armed Police force has the ability to handle any emergencies an any time."

Tibetan people are "very simple and kind," and their heart stands with the Party, according to Kang, who has been working in Tibet for more than three years.

"If there were really a disturbance, it must be caused by a few people instigated under the disguise of a religious cause," he said, adding that up to now the Armed Police in Tibet have not found any "abnormal situation."


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