China to tighten security in Tibet - official
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's top official in Tibet has vowed to tighten security ahead of a Communist Party meeting in the autumn and the 2008 Beijing Olympics to ensure the Himalayan region remains under Communist control.
In a speech to about 600 party members in regional capital Lhasa on Friday, Zhang Qingli, Tibet's Communist Party secretary, claimed victory over the residual influence of the Himalayan region's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
"We must have a more vigorous will to fight, a more tenacious style and do a more solid job of uniting and leading the region's various ethnic groups and throw ourselves into the struggle against splittism," the official Tibet Daily quoted Zhang as saying.
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Communist rule, says he wants greater autonomy, not independence, for his predominantly Buddhist homeland. But conservatives are convinced he is a separatist.
"The (mandate of) heaven in Tibet will never change. The Dalai Lama clique's pipe dream (of independence) will never prevail ... the country's rivers and mountains will remain red," Zhang said in a speech carried by the online edition of Xinhua news agency, referring to the Communist Party's colour.
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