17 jailed over Lhasa violence (Lead)

April 29th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by admin  

Lhasa, April 29 (Xinhua) A court here Tuesday sentenced 17 people to jail terms ranging from three years to life for involvement in the March 14 riot in the Tibetan capital. The Intermediate People’s Court of the region gave the verdict during an open court session.

Two accused, Soi’nam Norbu, a driver with a Lhasa real estate company, and Basang, a monk, were sentenced to life.

Soi’nam Norbu, 20, was involved in arson and assault on the police and fire-fighting personnel near the Johkang Monastery March 14, the court said in a release.

“He is convicted of arson and disruption of public services,” the court said.

Basang, a monk from Doilungdeqen county in Lhasa, led 10 people — including five monks — ransacking a local government office, smashing or burning down 11 shops and looting valuables.

Basang’s men also attacked policemen on duty, the court said.

Of the five monks who followed Basang, two were sentenced to 20 years in jail and the other three to 15 years.

During the Lhasa violence, which erupted in course of protests by a section of Tibetans against Chinese rule in the region, seven schools, five hospitals and 120 homes were torched and 908 shops looted.

Property worth more than 244 million yuan ($35 million) was estimated to have been damaged in the riot.

A total of 18 civilians and one police officer died in the riot.

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