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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.

Clifford Coonan: Tension over Chinese migrants mirrors Tibet riots

It was a telling phrase, whispered furtively by a frightened man looking over his shoulder. He was a Muslim Uighur in the restive western Chinese province of Xinjiang, where scores of people were killed in violence at the weekend directed at Han Chinese settlers. How would he describe the relationship between the Uighurs and the Chinese?

156 dead as Muslim uprising hits China

Deep-seated ethnic tensions erupted into the deadliest outbreak of violence the country has seen since the Tiananmen Square massacre. Claire Soares reports

Leading article: The repressive reality behind China's modern mask

The massacre in Urumqi demonstrates how little has changed

My job is too big for one man, says Dalai Lama

After 500 years of autocracy, Tibetan leader calls for democracy

Martin Mills: This surprising voice for democracy is now in a race against time

The fourteenth Dalai Lama wants democracy. There are quite a few people who disagree with this statement, and quite a few more that might find it rather strange. After all, is this not the traditional leader of what was, until the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950, one of the most conservative feudal theocracies on earth, designated according to a system of dreams, omens and rituals as the human manifestation of Tibet's patron deity Chenresig, reincarnation of the previous 13 Dalai Lamas, trained from birth to be a religious scholar? Hardly the usual credentials for a spokesman for universal suffrage.

Album: Lhasa, Lhasa, (Warner Music)

She's American-Mexican but lives in Montreal. She was responsible for the very lovely folk-latin The Living Road in 2003. She sings in a slightly fragile, flexuous contralto voice. She's all tone.

Cyber spies break into government computers

A cyber spy network based mainly in China hacked into classified documents from government and private organisations in 103 countries, including the computers of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles, Canadian researchers said.

On The Road: Break for a Buddhist retreat in Beara

Today my mother and I find solace in enormous views of the Atlantic Ocean from the floor-to-ceiling windows of a cottage at Dzogchen Beara. This Tibetan Buddhist retreat is perched on magnificent cliffs on the Beara Peninsula, and our drive here around the lovely coastline from Bantry was continuously lit by sunshine. It calmed my mother, who was full of trepidation at her first visit to a Buddhist retreat. Now, we are struck by the vista, letting our conversations trail into nowhere as it catches our attention mid-sentence.

Bomb blast in Tibetan area of China

Assailants threw a bomb into a newly built police station in a Tibetan area in western China, a police official said today, the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape into exile in India after Chinese troops crushed a Tibetan revolt. No injuries were reported.

Tibet riot anniversary passes in tense quiet

Paramilitary and plainclothes police blanketed Lhasa with patrols and checkpoints today, imposing what witnesses called a tense calm on the anniversary of a violent anti-Chinese riot in the Tibetan capital.

China's Tibet is a 'hell on earth' says Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama has claimed life in Tibet has become "hell on earth" under Chinese rule, and warned that traditional Tibetan culture has been pushed to the edge of extinction. In one of his most striking and powerful speeches, the Tibetan Buddhist leader marked the 50th anniversary of the 1959 uprising that led to his flight to India by saying China had created "untold suffering and destruction" and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama: Under China's brutal regime, my people are living in hell on earth

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan people's peaceful uprising against Communist China's repression. Since last March, widespread peaceful protests have erupted across the whole of Tibet. Most of the participants were youths born after 1959, who have not seen or experienced a free Tibet. Having occupied Tibet, the Chinese Communist government carried out a series of repressive and violent campaigns. They thrust Tibetans into such depths of suffering and hardship that they literally experienced hell on earth. The immediate result of these campaigns was the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Tibetans.

Dalai Lama says Tibet 'hell on earth' under China

The Dalai Lama said today more and more Chinese were beginning to see a problem with Beijing's rule over Tibet, lamenting how the homeland he fled 50 years ago had become a "hell on earth".

Isabel Hilton: The world is no longer looking – but Tibet's plight isn't over

Without real policy change, rewriting history will not bring peace

Peter Jackson: The day I saw the Dalai Lama flee into exile

In March 1959, the world had heard only a few rumours of trouble in Tibet, after the Chinese closed the borders with India and Bhutan but the Indian government was being informed by its diplomats in Lhasa.

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