Thursday, November 29, 2007


Chinese state media has carried a rare report of disturbances in Tibet. Almost 200 people were involved in a riot following an argument between Buddhist monks and a local shopkeeper, Xinhua news agency said.
Shops and government offices were reportedly destroyed in the riot, which took place more than a week ago.
The agency said two Buddhist monks had been among seven people arrested. Xinhua gave no reason for the delay in reporting the riot.
The two monks were accused of robbing a Chinese-run motorcycle maintenance shop on 19 November in the town of Paingar, about 300km (190 miles) north-east of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, Xinhua reported.
Five other people were arrested for "fanning the riot" the day after the monks' arrest.
About 190 people, including monks, gathered outside local government headquarters to demand the release of those arrested.
The crowd then "destroyed shops and government facilities", Xinhua said.
The agency reported that crowds had been "persuaded to return home later the same day by government workers".
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told Reuters news agency that that the situation in Tibet was now stable.
"Anyone who tries to disrupt Tibet's stability and development will not have the support of the people and will not succeed," he said.
Analysts say a growing population of Chinese settlers in Tibet has resulted in increased ethnic tensions in the province.



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