March 18, 2008 / 3:51 PM / 12 years ago

China says 100 Lhasa rioters handed themselves in

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Tibet official said 100 people had given themselves up to police for taking part in riots that rocked the regional capital, Lhasa, state television reported.

Baima Chilin, a vice chairman of Tibet’s government, said the people who surrendered to authorities had been “participants, and some were directly involved in beating, smashing, looting and arson” on Friday, Chinese television reported.

“Some handed over money they’d stolen,” he added.

The official also said top-priority wanted notices had been issued for other suspects, but the report did not specify how many or what their alleged crimes were.

The statement was the first official word of people surrendering to authorities after they laid down a Monday midnight deadline urging rioters to hand themselves in or face tougher punishment if caught.

The report, which also appeared on the Chinese central television station Web site (news.cctv.com), did not specify whether the 100 had handed themselves in before or after Monday’s deadline.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday that the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, organized the protests that were the worst to hit Tibet since 1989. The Dalai Lama has said the accusation is totally groundless.

Baima Chilin said that the authorities had evidence to link the Dalai Lama’s supporters abroad to the unrest.

“The Dalai Clique used all sorts of means to spread contacts into the region, and uses all sorts of channels to issue orders to within the region,” he said.

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