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Official: Tibetan monks disrupting journalist tour not to be punished
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08:15, March 28, 2008

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· Riots in Lhasa
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The monks who disrupted the tour of overseas reporters on Thursday are not to be punished, said a top Tibetan official.

"What they said is not true. They were attempting to mislead the world's opinion," said Baema Chilain, vice chairman of the regional government at a press conference to domestic and overseas media on Thursday evening.

"The facts shouldn't be distorted," said the official.

A riot erupted in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on March 14. Rioters killed 18 civilians and a police officer and injured 623, according to local authorities.

Reporters from 19 media organizations including the U.S. Associated Press, Britain's Financial Times and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, were invited to a three-day trip press junket in Lhasa to cover the aftermath.

A group of monks in red robes stormed into a briefing in the Jokhang Temple on Thursday morning and caused chaos. But the tour of the reporters soon resumed.

Source: Xinhua

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