China accuses Dalai Lama of plotting Tibet ‘turmoil’

2012-03-02 09:01

China’s top political adviser has accused followers of the Dalai Lama of plotting to create “turmoil” in the country’s Tibetan-inhabited areas as the anniversary of deadly 2008 riots approaches.

Jia Qinglin, who is ranked number four in the Communist Party leadership, made the comments at a meeting yesterday attended by the police minister and officials from Tibet and four Tibetan-inhabited provinces.

His comments came as leading Tibetan poet Woeser – who like many Tibetans only goes by one name – said she had been placed under a form of house arrest in Beijing and prevented from accepting an award.

“Currently the Dalai clique is plotting to create disturbances in Tibet and in Tibetan-inhabited areas in four provinces,” said Jiang, referring to followers of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

“Party and governments at all levels must side with the masses and implement all working measures to resolutely smash the plots of the Dalai clique to bring turmoil to Tibetan-inhabited areas.”

Beijing has blamed the Dalai Lama, who fled to India in March 1959, for recent unrest in Tibet and nearby
areas, including a series of self-immolations by Buddhist monks and nuns.

Jia, who heads the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a type of lower parliament, also ordered officials to increase their presence in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, according to the comments posted
on the central government’s website.

The government closely monitors the activities of Tibetan Buddhist clergy, stationing its representatives in monasteries and nunneries in the region.

Authorities are particularly keen to avoid any unrest ahead of a 10-day annual meeting of China’s parliament that starts on Monday. It will coincide with the sensitive anniversaries of the Dalai Lama’s flight into exile and of the 2008 riots.

China’s top leader in Tibet has ordered increased controls over the Internet and mobile phones during the period, according to state media reports.

Tibetans have long chafed at China’s rule over the vast Tibetan plateau, accusing Beijing of curbing religious freedoms and eroding their culture and language.

Beijing insists that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and have benefited from improved living standards brought on by China’s economic expansion.

Woeser said today on her blog that she had been prevented from attending a ceremony at the Netherlands embassy in Beijing to accept the 2011 Prince Claus Award, a prominent Dutch cultural prize.

Police “informed us – including my husband Wang Lixiong – that for the coming period of time our freedom will be restricted”, she posted.

“If we want to leave home we have to get their agreement, if they agree we can leave, they will still follow us.” 

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