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China Orders Security Forces to 'Crush' Support for Dalai Lama


Chinese authorities in Tibet are calling on officials, security forces and the general public to "crush" any signs of support for the Dalai Lama.

In a report Thursday in China's state-run Tibet Daily newspaper, the local government vowed to fight what it calls the "savage attacks" of supporters of the exiled spiritual leader.

China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet and provoking mass protests against Chinese rule last year. Authorities have tightened security in Tibetan regions of China ahead of the March 10 anniversary of the start of the protests.

The Tibet Daily said the local government also instructed Buddhist monks and nuns to reject the Dalai Lama and separatist activities.

The Dalai Lama denies inciting violent protests in China and says he seeks only autonomy for Tibet, where he remains widely revered.

March 10 also marks the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of a failed Tibetan uprising against China. During the uprising, the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India.

Tibetan rights groups said Chinese security forces have arrested at least 21 people who marched in support of the Dalai Lama over the past week in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The rights groups said the protesters in the town of Lithang in Sichuan's Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture were beaten by police before being detained.

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