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European official lauds Tibet economy

European Economic and Social Commitee president Mario Sepi is optimistic that Tibet will enjoy significant economic growth.

The Chinese government's efforts to develop the growing Tibetan economy impressed the president of the European Economic and Social Committee during his recent "fact-finding" visit to the autonomous region.

Mario Sepi, the leader of the consultative interest group with ties to the European Union, visited the Tibet autonomous region from Aug 11-15 and came away from his trip feeling "rather positive."

"I saw the booming economy in Tibet with a great amount of investment from the central government, especially in infrastructure construction," he told China Daily in an exclusive interview. "I also witnessed the strong will of the people to work and participate in this economic growth."

He did, however, add that he detected "a sense of uncertainty" in the populace after seeing a large police force in Lhasa, capital city of Tibet.

On March 14 last year, the city was consumed by a bloody riot that led to the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman. Reports have said that 382 civilians and 241 police were injured.

"The consequences of the March 14 riot are still felt," Sepi explained. "I do have an impression that the police in the streets are not against people, but to fight against uncertainty."

He added that he did not witness any police officers abusing people. "You can see people and monks perform their own prayers freely in the streets and respecting their own forms of religious expression," Sepi wrote in his blog after paying a visit to the historic Jokhang Temple.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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