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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Tibetan monks 'held after riot'

March 23, 2009

March 22, 2009

Chinese authorities stepped up security in Tibetan areas in recent weeks

Some 93 monks have been held by Chinese police
after a riot in an ethnically Tibetan town, state-run media report.

The monks were held after a crowd of at least 100
attacked a police station in La'gyab township in
Qinghai province on Saturday, Xinhua news agency said.

The agency quoted officials as saying policemen
and government staff had been assaulted and "slightly injured".

The unrest was apparently sparked after a monk
detained for advocating Tibetan independence escaped from jail.

Chinese authorities said the monk fled on Saturday and was still missing.

But a Tibetan website said the monk had killed himself by jumping into a river.

'Deceived by rumours'

Xinhua said six people had been arrested and 89
more had surrendered to police. All but two of
the 95 people held were monks from the La'gyab Monastery.

Police quoted by the agency said the people had
been "deceived by rumours" about the monk, but gave no further details.

It was earlier reported by Xinhua that the unrest
had taken place in Gyala township, but the agency
later confirmed the name of the town as La'gyab.

It is difficult to confirm reports from Tibetan
areas because foreigners are not allowed into
Tibet and access to surrounding regions is restricted.

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of a failed
uprising by Tibetans against Chinese rule which
saw their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, flee into exile.

The BBC's James Reynolds, in Beijing, says
Chinese officials have taken extra security
measures to avoid mass protests around the anniversary.
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