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Lhasa riots: 105 surrender
March 19, 2008 08:49 IST
China on Wednesday said 105 persons have surrendered before the police for their role in the riots in Lhasa during the fiercest pro-Tibet independence monks-led protests in two decades on Friday that left 13 persons dead.
The Tibetan regional government had set Monday midnight as the deadline for the rioters to turn in, promising leniency to those who fell in line and harsh action to those who did not.
Baema Chilain, vice-chairman of the regional government, said the people who surrendered had been directly involved in the beating, smashing, looting and arson.
"Some have turned in the money they looted," Baema was quoted as saying by official Xinhua news agency.
The rampaging mobs had attacked banks, government buildings, schools and shops and set fires at more than 300 places after the protests erupted into large scale violence.
Thirteen persons were either hacked to death or burnt, the regional government said.
Doje Cering, a 25-year old villager, who smashed a sedan and a van with stones said he was drunk at home when he heard someone shouting, "get out, or we will burn down your house."
Then, he just blindly followed them, Xinhua said.
"I was very disturbed by what I did. My family has persuaded me to give in to police," he said.
Preliminary investigation showed at least 373 people and 32 enterprises had reported damages during the riots with the losses exceeding $14 million as of Tuesday night, according to the regional department of commerce.
China has accused the Dalai Lama [Images] and his "clique" of "premeditating, organising and masterminding" the riots, a charge the Tibetan leader living in exile in India has refuted.
In the first-ever comment emanating from top level Communist leadership, Premier Wen Jiabao has said China had "ample facts and plenty of evidence" to show that the riots were incited by the "Dalai Lama", asserting that the monks claim of pursuing a peaceful dialogue were "nothing but lies".
The Chinese premier had, however, also said on Tuesday that the "doors of the dialogue are open" for the Dalai Lama if he gave up his position on Tibet independence and recognised Tibet and Taiwan, which split from China during the civil war in 1949, as inalienable parts of China.
Refuting the charges, the Dalai Lama threatened to quit as leader of the government in exile based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh if the unrest went out of control.
"If Tibetans chose violence in their agitation, I shall resign from the leadership," he said.
The 73-year Nobel Prize [Images] winner who fled to India after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959 said Chinese officials could investigate the facts.
"Come here, please investigate the facts. The Chinese can come and look at everything," he added.
He said he was not in a position to tell Tibetans living under the Chinese rule as to what they should or should not do.