Xinhua News Agency is now reporting that 61 police have been injured -- six of them seriously -- in the recent riots in Lhasa.
Tibet Autonomous Regional Government Chairman, Qiangba Puncog stressed that any secessionist attempt to sabotage Tibet's stability will not gain the people''s support and will be doomed to fail.
Meanwhile, Tibet Autonomous Regional Government Chairman, Qiangba Puncog, has also updated the public about the Lhasa riot that broke out on Friday. During Monday morning's press briefing in Beijing, he expressed the Tibetan regional government's confidence in maintaining social stability and order -- under the leadership of the Chinese Central Government --despite secessionist activities.
Qiangba Puncog said rioters set fires at more than 300 locations, including residential houses and shops. They also smashed and burned dozens of vehicles.
Qiangba Puncog said up till now, thirteen innocent civilians have been burned or stabbed to death. But no foreigners have been harmed.
Qiangba Puncog says the Tibetan Autonomous Regional government organized security personnel and police, and other personnel to put out fires, treat the injured, and ensure the protection of schools, hospitals and banks... soon after the riots erupted.
Qiangba Puncog said, "The security personnel didn't carry or use any destructive weapons in dealing with the violent riot in Lhasa. The central government has made it clear that we must deal with the incident in line with law. Security personnel showed restraint during the entire process."
Qiangba Puncog strongly criticized the description of the riots in Lhasa by the Dalai clique, and some western media.
Qiangba Puncog said, "They are confusing right and wrong while labeling the riot as a 'peaceful demonstration'. And they are slandering the efforts by local law enforcement to keep order -- referring to it as a 'crackdown on the peaceful demonstration'."
Qiangba Puncog says the riot in Lhasa originated out of a conspiracy jointly made by domestic and overseas separatists who are advocating "Tibet independence".
He stressed that any secessionist attempt to sabotage Tibet's stability will not gain the people's support and will be doomed to fail.
(CCTV March 17, 2008)