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China 'seizes' weapons from monasteries
Raghavendra in Beijing | April 15, 2008 22:29 IST
China on Tuesday claimed to have seized explosives and lethal weapons from six monasteries in a Tibetan-populated prefecture in Gansu province, as Beijing [Images] insisted that the barrier to dialogue was on the side of the Dalai Lama [Images].
The police seized a gun, 10 kgs of dynamite, five detonators and seven knives in a major monastery and five bullets in another during an inspection at Hezuo in Gannan Autonour Prefecture, the provincial government said.
In Xiahe county, five knives and 11 flags of Tibetan-government-in exile were confiscated from four monasteries.
Officials said that 2,204 people, including 519 monks, had surrendered to the police following the violence in Gannan, which left 94 people injured.
But 1,870 of them, including 413 monks, had been released as they had committed only minor offences, Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.
The seizures came three days after the Chinese police said they have detained nine monks for exploding a homemade bomb in a Tibetan township government building, during anti-government protests at Gyanbme, in Qambo prefecture.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said the government was exerting maximum patience to maintain contact with the Dalai Lama.
"Our position towards the Dalai Lama is consistent and clear cut. The government has been exerting maximum patience to maintain contact with the Dalai Lama. The barrier now is not on our side but on the Dalai side," said Jiang.
The Dalai Lama said in the United States on Monday that his representatives were holding private talks with Beijing, describing it as some efforts through private channels. He added that the talks were still in full mystery.
"We hope that the Dalai Lama can give up the sabotage activities and show concrete action. Otherwise, there is no way out," Jiang said, repeating China's persistent position,
Riots following the severest protests in two decades broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa first before it spread to other Tibetan populated areas, leaving 20 people dead.
The unrest has brought unwanted global attention on Beijing ahead of the Olympics [Images].
The Nobel laureate has persistently stated that he is not seeking Tibet independence and prefers the middle way to hammer out a solution.
Jiang said, "We have heard too much about what the Dalai Lama has said. What matters now is what he does."
Asked whether the Dalai Lama had written a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao in March on resumption of the dialogue, she said, "I have not heard about it".
Beijing has been insisting that the doors for dialogue are open but the Dalai Lama must give up his separatist activities, recognise Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable parts of China and stop activities aimed at sabotaging the Beijing Olympics.