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China increases troop strength in Lhasa

Written by: Staff

{image-china flag_08112008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Lhasa (Tibet), Nov 8: China has increased its military presence in Tibetan capital Lhasa amid fears that "separatist" supporters of the Dalai Lama plan a repeat of the bloody March 2008 riots. Military personnel with machine guns are conducting routine patrols around Lhasa's historic Barkhor district. Snipers are also positioned on rooftops and stairwells.

During a four-day visit to the Buddhist kingdom, The Courier-Mail also witnessed monks being bundled into a police van close to Lhasa's historic Jokhang temple. Pro-Tibet organisations say authorities are routinely jailing monks and nuns. Bai Ma Cai Wang, Vice-Governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region Government, also confirmed that 55 Tibetans had been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three years to life after the March riots. The riots flared after monks staged peaceful protests. Up to 200 were killed and more than 1300 Tibetans were arrested during the unrest, which was beamed around the world.

The revelations come just days after an eighth round of talks between the Dalai Lama's envoy and Beijing ended without progress.


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