Tibetan Exiles Dismiss Chinese Reports on Violent Plots

The exile Tibetan government has dismissed a Chinese official's claims that Tibetan suicide squads are planning to launch attacks inside China.

The India-based government's prime minister, Samdhong Rinpoche, Tuesday dismissed the claim. Samdhong Rinpoche voiced concern that Chinese may disguise themselves as Tibetans and plan attacks to discredit Tibetan activists.

China's Public Security Ministry spokesman Wu Heping Tuesday also said a Tibetan monastery in Sichuan province had stockpiled weapons.

The exile government explained that hunters who vowed to stop poaching had turned over their arms to the monastery as a traditional practice of Tibetan Buddhists.

The India-based Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Tuesday that more than 572 monks from the (Kirti) monastery have been detained in recent days. The rights group says other monasteries in Ngaba (Aba) prefecture have also been raided.

The TCHRD says it has received reports that security personnel forced monks to pose for photographs with the banned Tibetan flag and portraits of the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan exiles say at least 23 Tibetans - including a 16-year-old girl - were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators led by monks from Kirti monastery on March 16th.

The U.S. State Department Tuesday said the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. A spokesman said there was no indication the Dalai Lama wants to do anything other than have a dialogue with China.

U.S. lawmakers have formed a caucus to help mobilize support for the Dalai Lama and bring attention to Chinese policies in Tibet. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi separately called on U.S. President George W. Bush to consider boycotting the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Also Tuesday, Burmese dissident media said an ethnic minority group in northern Burma detained two Tibetan political activists who fled across the border from China's Yunnan province. The reports say the Tibetans were turned over to China.