Thursday, January 26, 2012

China accuses "secessionist groups" for distorting facts

China on Tuesday accused "secessionist groups" abroad of distorting facts on the spate of suicides by Buddhist monks, a day after a Tibetan was killed and several others injured in deadly clashes with police in southwest Sichuan province.

"Overseas forces of 'Tibet independence' have always fabricated rumours and distorted the truth to discredit the Chinese government with issues involving Tibet," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei said in a statement in Beijing today.
He was reacting to assertions by overseas Tibetan groups that three people were killed and over 30 injured when hundreds of Tibetan protestors clashed with police at a police station in Luhuo county of Sichuan's Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture.
"The ill-intentioned hype will not succeed", Hong said.
According to official media account dozens of people, including some monks, stormed and smashed some stores along a main street and a police station yesterday noon after "rumours" spread that three monks would be committing self immolations.
Posters in the town also exhorted people to ensure that bodies of self immolated monks should not be allowed to be taken to police.
The mob, some armed with knives, threw stones at police officers and destroyed two police vehicles and two ambulances.
"One member of the mob was killed and four others injured in the clash," Hong said adding that five police officers were also injured.
"The injured have been sent to hospital for treatment and their injuries were not life threatening," Hong said.
While condemning the attempted suicides by monks, China previously has blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating the monks to indulge in such acts even though suicide was against the tenets of Buddhist religion.
Earlier state-run news agency report quoted an official statement as saying that "instigated by the rumour, the crowd, some wielding knives and hurling stones, attacked a police station. They smashed two police vehicles, two fire-engines and stormed into nearby shops and a bank damaging the bank's cash dispenser."
"At present, Luhuo County has been returned to order and local authorities have been conducting an investigation into the incident," Hong said claiming that that local citizens firmly opposed and denounced the illegal gathering that seriously affected the local social order and people's normal life .
"The Chinese government will, as always, fight all crimes and be resolute in maintaining normal social order," he said.
Sichuan, the home of many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries has been witnessing attempts of self immolations by monks and nuns for the past few months calling for the return of Dalai Lama from his self exile as well as resting the curbs against the laity.
About fourteen monks and two nuns have attempted self immolation so far.
But this is perhaps first time that such incidents have resulted in a riotous situation, indicating that the unrest was spreading.
The incident was timed along with the celebration of Chinese New year of Dragon for which the week-long celebrations began yesterday.

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