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Former NPC Vice-Chairman: "Great Wall of ethnic unity" remains firm

URUMQI, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Tomur Dawamat, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, said Tuesday that the "Great Wall of ethnic unity" would remain firm in Xinjiang despite the July 5 violence.  

"People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang cherish ethnic unity and desire stability," he told Xinhua in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Tomur Dawamat was the vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress from March 1993 to March 2003. He was the chairman of Xinjiang between 1985 and 1993.

He said "three forces" of separatism, terrorism and extremism overseas and a small number of saboteurs in the country aimed to shatter the unity of ethnic groups in Xinjiang and split the country through the riots.

"This is a huge plot of the enemies," he said.

Tomur Dawamat said when he heard the rioters rampaging in the streets in Urumqi on July 5, he felt very pained.

"They killed so many innocent people so cruelly," he said. "I abhor them."

As of Tuesday, the violence had left 184 people dead and 1,680 injured.

"A small number of rioters do not represent the whole Uygur ethnic group, who is peace-loving and with a long history," Tomur Dawamat said.

"It has been proved again that stability is the top priority and in the best interests of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Only by maintaining stability can we fight back against Rebiya Kadeer, the scum of her own ethnic group."

Born in 1927, Tomur Dawamat said that the 60 years since the peaceful liberation of Xinjiang had witnessed giant leaps forward in economic development and social prosperity.

"I love my motherland. I would not let anyone split it," he said.

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