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Dalai Lama Says Tibet 'Very Tense,' Another Uprising Possible


Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says the situation inside Tibet is very tense, and that a new uprising may happen there at any moment.

The Dalai Lama was speaking Wednesday on a cultural visit to Germany's western city of Baden Baden. He expressed concern that another uprising against China's rule over Tibet will trigger more Chinese repression of his people.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also accused Chinese authorities of torturing and killing Tibetans after they are arrested.

Beijing accused the Dalai Lama of instigating anti-government protests in Tibet last year and seeking independence for the region - both charges he denies.

The vice chairman of Tibet's regional parliament, Nyima Cering, says Chinese authorities have sentenced 76 people in connection with last year's protests in Tibet's capital, Lhasa. The official says more than 950 people were detained.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Lhasa last March to protest more than 50 years of rule by the Chinese communists. The protests turned violent and spread to other ethnic Tibetan areas in western China before the military imposed a crackdown.

Chinese officials say 22 people were killed in the unrest, but Tibet's government-in-exile says 218 Tibetans were killed and nearly 7,000 were detained during the crackdown.

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule that forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India.

China has approved an annual holiday in Tibet to mark the quelling of the uprising. The government says the March 28 observance will celebrate the freeing of Tibetan serfs and slaves.

Chinese authorities are tightening security in Tibet ahead of the holiday, raiding thousands of homes and businesses, and arresting scores of people on charges of robbery, prostitution and theft.

Tibet's government-in-exile says the campaign has been launched to prevent political protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP

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