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US Calls Dalai Lama a Man of Peace

The United States says Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is a man of peace and is rejecting allegations by the Chinese government that he is orchestrating violence in China.

In comments to reporters Tuesday in Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey also refuted China's allegations that the Dalai Lama was planning to launch suicide attacks.

Casey said there was absolutely no indication that the Dalai Lama wants to do anything other than have a dialogue with China.

China's Public Security Ministry spokesman, Wu Heping told reporters in Beijing Tuesday that the next plan of Tibetan independence forces was to organize suicide squads.

Wu did not elaborate. But he did blame the Dalai Lama for recent outbreaks of violence that have spread from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, to other Tibetan areas in China.

Wu made his remarks while announcing details of China's investigation into the recent unrest in Tibet.

Tibet's government in exile has also denied China's claims, and voiced its concern that Chinese may disguise themselves as Tibetans and plan attacks to discredit Tibet activists.

Since peaceful protests began last month and then later turned violent, China has persistently accused the Dalai Lama of secretly advocating independence and of stirring up unrest. The Dalai Lama has called for calm, and has long stated that he supports greater autonomy for Tibet, not independence.

Tibetan exile groups say about 140 Tibetans died during protests last month. Chinese authorities say about 20 civilians died in the violence. Wu says authorities have found more than 170 guns, 13,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 3,500 kilograms of explosives in monk dormitory rooms in Tibetan monasteries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.