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Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 15:43 GMT
Anger over Tibet monument
A human rights group has said that China has finished building a huge monument in front of Tibet's Potala palace, traditionally the winter home of the Dalai Lama.

Earlier reports in the state-run Chinese press said the 35-metre high statue would cost $1.7m, and would commemorate the peaceful liberation of Tibet by Chinese troops in 1951.

But a spokeswoman for the London-based Tibet Information Network, Kate Saunders, says the statue's construction in such a sensitive spot shows it is designed to send a political message to Tibetans about Chinese rule over the region.

When the plans to build the sculpture were first revealed, the Tibetan government-in-exile said the monument would serve as a daily reminder of the humiliation of the Tibetan people.

Tibetan groups in exile have said that thousands of people were killed when Chinese troops entered Tibet, and many others suffered human rights abuses during subsequent Chinese rule.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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