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Tibet regional chairman Qiangba Puncog speaks on violence in Lhasa(1)
2008/03/17

       Lhasa riot causes heavy losses, disturbing social order  

     The riot in Lhasa last Friday caused heavy losses of life and property, and seriously disturbed social order, the head of the regional government said on Monday.

    Qiangba Puncog, chairman of Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, told a news briefing in Beijing that rioters in the regional capital set fires at more than 300 locations, including homes and 214 shops, and smashed and burned 56 vehicles.

    Thirteen innocent civilians were burned or stabbed to death, he said, citing two cases of what he described as brutality.

    In one case, a civilian was reportedly doused with gasoline by rioters and burned to death. In another case, rioters beat a patrol policeman unconscious, and then cut a piece of flesh from his buttocks.

    Sixty-one members of the armed police, who were instructed not to use force, were also injured, including six who were critically ill.

    The unrest was "organized" and "premeditated" by the Dalai Lamaclique, he said.

    Since March 10, more than 300 monks from the Zhaibung Monastery ventured into downtown Lhasa. The monks, who were supposedly adherents of peace, were aggressive, and flagrantly confrontational with the security forces.

    In the Sera Monastery, 10 monks held up flags of the so-called Tibetan exile government and shouted "Tibetan independence." In the ensuing days, some monks chanted independence slogans and challenged officers who were maintaining order, he said

    In attempts to create sensation, three monks in the Zhaibung monastery lacerated their bodies with knives and took pictures of one another, and blaming others for the harm they inflicted upon themselves, police sources said.

    Rioters on Friday set off a destructive rampage, setting fire to buildings, police cars and private vehicles and looting banks, schools and shops, said police sources.

    "Most of Friday's violence took place in the commercial streets of Bargor, Linkuo, Sera and the Ngaqen Road, Second Ring Road and Beijing Middle Road in downtown area of Lhasa," said Qiangba.

    The No. 2 Lhasa Middle School, the Haicheng Primary School and the Chomsigkang Market were targeted by rioters, who smashed, stoned, looted and committed arson, he said.

    A branch of the Bank of China, outlets of China Mobile, the Lhasa Branch of the Xinhua News Agency, the office of Tibet Daily and a number of government offices were attacked by vandals, the regional government chairman said.

                                                   Rioters torch 300 fires in Lhasa

      Rioters in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, set fires at more than 300 locations, including residential houses and 214 shops, and smashed and burned 56 vehicles, said Qiangba Puncog, regional government chairman, at a news briefing held in Beijing on the riotous activities that occurred in Lhasa on March 14.

    "Most of the riot took place at commercial streets of Bargor, Linkuo, Sera and the Ngaqen Road, Second Ring Road and Beijing Middle Road in downtown area of Lhasa," said Qiangba, when disclosing casualty and losses in the Lhasa riot.

    The No. 2 Lhasa Middle School, the Haicheng Primary School and the Chomsigkang Market were targeted by rioters, who smashed, stoned, looted and set fire, he said.

    A branch of the Bank of China, outlets of China Mobile, the Lhasa Branch of Xinhua News Agency, the office of Tibet Daily as well as a number of government offices were attacked by vandals, the chairman said.

    Reporters at Xinhua's Lhasa branch saw many stores along the western Beijing Road, western Jinzhu Road and southern Linkuo Roadre open on Sunday afternoon.

    The regional government mobilized soldiers and civil servants on Sunday afternoon to clear the wreckage from damaged shops and streets at the worst-hit areas in downtown Lhasa.

    The cleaners are sweeping garbage, shoveling away stones, removing overturned cars and burnt motorcycles and bicycles off the Bargor, Duosenge, eastern Beijing, Yutuo, northern Linkuo and eastern Jiangsu roads, all in the Old Town area of the plateau city. 
                                                  61 police injured, six seriously, in Lhasa riot 
    Sixty-one police were injured in last Friday's riot in Lhasa, six of them seriously, said Qiangba Pungcog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday.

    Rioters attacked public security personnel in an extremely cruel manner while they were maintaining order and refrained from using weapons, said the chairman.

    "For instance, the rioters beat a patrolling police officer until he got into coma, and rioters cut out a piece of flesh, as big as a fist, from his buttock," he said.

    Some rioters stoned patrol officers around 11:00 a.m. on March 14 at the Ramogia Monastery in Lhasa. They then gathered around the Bargor street, chanting "independence" slogans and going on a destruction rampage.

    The violence accelerated quickly. The mob set fire to shops, vehicles and pedestrians that passed by. Schools, banks, hospitals and communication facilities were also their targets, Qiangba Pungcog said.

    He stressed that throughout the incident, both public security personnel and armed police exercised restraint, and showed great professional spirit and adherence to law. "They didn't carry or use any lethal weapons," he added.
                                               13 civilians burned or stabbed to death in Lhasa riot

    Thirteen innocent civilians were burned or stabbed to death in last Friday's Lhasa riot, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, at a news briefing in Beijing on Monday.

    He cited two cases of what he described as brutality.

    In one case, a civilian was reportedly doused in gasoline by rioters and burned to death alive. In the second case, rioters beat a patrol policeman unconscious, and then cut a piece of flesh from his buttocks.

    "People of all ethnic groups in Tibet were indignant about violence and brutality displayed in Lhasa and strongly condemn them," said Qiangba Puncog.

    Tibet Autonomous Regional authorities responded quickly, and mobilized security personnel to deal with the riots in accordance with law, he said.

    The security personnel also helped extinguish fires, rescue the injured, and protect schools, hospitals, banks and government institutions, he said.

    "We adopted these measures with the purpose of safeguarding social stability, the rule of law and fundamental interests of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet," he said, adding the situation had calmed down in Lhasa, and stability had returned.

    "What confused me and made me indignant was that the Dalai clique and some Westerners labeled the destructive rampage of the rioters as 'peaceful protests,' but called our actions to deal with the brutal acts committed by the rioters as 'repressing peaceful protests,' said Qiangba Puncog. "I think that just confuses black with white."

    He believed no democratic country would tolerate the brutality carried out by the rioters in Lhasa on Friday.

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