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A fire that raged for nearly 10 hours today razed an ancient Tibetan town in southwest China that's popular with tourists, burning down hundreds of buildings as fire engines were unable to get onto the narrow streets, state media and witnesses said.

China says only socialism can "save" Tibet

The new Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet said today that only socialism can "save" the remote region and guarantee its development, and lampooned the Dalai Lama's indecision on his succession.

China appoints Panchen Lama in tactical move to quell unrest

Young monk will take increasingly political role in country's highest legal body

Adrian Hamilton: Spiritual leader deserves full honour

If President Obama intended to make a firm gesture by meeting the exiled Dalai Lama yesterday, it has to be said that it was a very tentative one.

Gere serves up a haven for vegetarians

Actor and Buddhist activist backs campaign to make Indian town a meat-free zone

Lhasa de Sela: Singer-songwriter whose work blended Mexican, French, gospel, gypsy and country influences

A tri-lingual singer, whose startlingly original music earned her a subtanstial cult following, and comparisons with the likes of Tom Waits, Edith Piaf, and Nick Cave, Lhasa de Sela was a true one-off. Blessed with striking looks, a husky contralto and an intense, theatrical stage presence, she mesmerised audiences with her dream-like, tangentially biographical songs.

The Thangmi myth of origins

As told to Dr Mark Turin

Top of the world: The horticultural high life

Anna Pavord heads for the Himalayas in search of the horticultural high life

Dalai Lama angers China with visit to disputed area

Thousands of Buddhist monks in maroon robes joined secular supporters of the Dalai Lama yesterday to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader as he arrived in the Himalayas for a four-day visit that is testing already strained relations between India and China.

Tibetans executed in Lhasa for protest fires

Two people have been put to death for their roles in protests in Tibet last year, the first known executions for the violence.

Forgotten authors No.37: Lionel Davidson

Oddly, Lionel Davidson is one of those authors who turns up a lot on the racks of second-hand bookshops, in sexy little Penguin editions that fit a pocket.

Dalai Lama visits Taiwan

The Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan last night to comfort victims of the island's worst storm in 50 years, vowing that his visit would be "purely humanitarian".

Dalai Lama's trip angers China

The Dalai Lama is to risk angering China further by accepting a surprise invitation from the government of Taiwan to take part in a prayer meeting with survivors of this month's typhoon.

Crackdown or conciliation: China's politburo split over response to Uighur violence

The unrest that claimed 184 lives last week has again forced Beijing to question its reaction to calls for regional autonomy

Adrian Hamilton: Why China's President left the G8

The local Uighurs see their identity being swamped by Han Chinese, as in Tibet
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