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09:01 Feb 17 2009

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Tibetan official calls on Buddhist circles to firmly safeguard national, ethnic unity
09:00, February 17, 2009  

A high-ranking official in Tibet Monday called on the Buddhist circles in the region to firmly safeguard national unity and ethnic unity.

Losang Gyaltsen, head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tibet Regional Committee, made the remarks about a month ahead of the one year anniversary of the March 14 riot in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Lhakang Losangdoje (L Front), delegate to Tibetan Autonomous Region People's Congress (legislature), raises his hand to vote for the approval of setting the Serfs Emancipation Day during the second session of the Ninth People's Congress of the region, in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 19, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

"The Buddhist associations at all levels and the religious circles at large should be fully aware of the grave situation in fighting secession, and should always hold high the banner of patriotism," he told the Ninth Regional Congress of the Tibet Branch of the Buddhist Association of China that was opened here Monday.

About 250 living Buddhas and monks from different sects of Tibetan Buddhism attended the congress, which started with a half-hour sutra-reciting ceremony in the morning at the Jokhang Temple, a leading monastery.

During the four-day event, the representatives will deliberate a work report, revise the constitution of the regional Buddhist association and elect new leadership. Only Tibetan language is used at the conference.

The violent riot on March 14 last year in Lhasa resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians and a policeman. It also left 382 civilians and 241 police officers injured, businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched.

Courts in Tibet have so far meted out sentences to 76 people involved in the riots.

Source: Xinhua

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