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Smith calls for China to 'show restraint' in Tibet

March 16, 2008

ABC Online, Australia
March 15, 2008

The Federal Government has urged Chinese authorities to show restraint
in dealing with protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

10 people are officially reported to have been killed in riots in Lhasa
yesterday and tensions between police and protesters remain high.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says the Federal Government is
very concerned about the violence in Lhasa.

"We've urged the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint and we have
urged the Chinese authorities to respect the right of those people in
Lhasa to peaceably put their point of view," he said.

Mr Smith also says the Government is urging Australians to reconsider
their need to travel to the capital.

He says he has been advised the small number of Australians already in
Lhasa are safe.

"The Australian embassy has been in contact or endeavoured to be in
contact with those to ensure their well-being and to date we have no
advice to indicate anything other than that the Australians are safe and
secure," he said.
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