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Tibet Uprising Anniversary Marked by Global Protests, Prayers

Tibetans and their supporters have held protests and prayers around the world to mark the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Thousands of Tibetan exiles and pro-Tibet activists held rallies in cities in North America, Europe and Asia.

Several lawmakers joined a march to the Chinese embassy in Australia's capital, Canberra, to demand more freedom for Tibet. Police arrested four people who broke through fencing around a designated protest site.

Buddhist monks in Japan prayed for peace in Tibet, while Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursik hoisted a Tibetan flag outside his office. The Czech Republic holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Robert Wood repeated the U.S. government's call for a substantive dialogue between the Chinese government and representatives of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Wood said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to release a statement about the anniversary.

U.S. lawmakers are scheduled to vote this week on a nonbinding resolution that calls for a multilateral effort to bring about a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.

On Monday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers gathered for a commemoration of the uprising that the human rights situation in Tibet deteriorated over the past year.

China's foreign ministry urged U.S. lawmakers Tuesday not to pass the resolution, saying it opposes any country interfering in its internal affairs.

In Nepal, hundreds of Tibetans held a mass prayer at a monastery near the capital, Kathmandu. Some shouted pro-Tibet slogans and scuffled with Nepalese police who were deployed at the site to prevent anti-China protests.

Taiwan's main opposition party organized a pro-Tibet rally in the southern city of Kaohsiung, where it controls the local government. Pro-Tibet activists also held a candlelight vigil in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, in memory of Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces.