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Former manor of Dalai Lama's mother undisturbed by Lhasa riot
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08:06, March 20, 2008

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Shexing is a small village about 30 minutes' drive west of Lhasa, far enough for the former residence of the Dalai Lama's mother to be undisturbed by Friday's riot that still leaves many people in fear.

The village in Doilungdeqen county of suburban Lhasa was white on Wednesday, after a late night snowfall.

Tibetan farmer Basang whistled lightly as he ploughed his family's cropland outside the village. "Spring sowing will begin in another week. We'll get busy again after a long winter break," he said.

Two young Tibetan women were washing their clothes near a pond. Both were waitresses at a downtown Lhasa hotel, but had taken shelter from the riot in their relatives' homes.

"It's safe here, and quiet too," said one of them.

In the riot that erupted in the Tibetan capital on Friday afternoon, violent mobs set fires at more than 300 locations, mostly homes, stores and schools, and smashed vehicles and public facilities.

The regional government said 105 people had given themselves up by Tuesday for their involvement in the riot that killed 13 innocent people.

Shexing village appears to be undisturbed by the violence.

Zhoi'ma smiled a hearty smile when she was told life in downtown Lhasa, where her only son was working, had returned to normal.

"We really worried about him," she said as she fed cattle outside her new, two-story home.

Her family got 20,000 yuan (2,780 U.S. dollars) in subsidy from the government to build the Tibetan-style house, an effort to help Tibetan farmers move from wood-and-earth structures to brick houses.

Most of the 50-odd families in the village have been subsidized to build new homes.

Before Tibet's democratic reform in the 1950s, Shexing village had just 18 families, all of whom were serfs working on the manor owned by the mother of Dainzin Gyaco, the 14th Dalai Lama.

Today, her former residence, a single-story house at the end of a narrow alley seems gloomy and deserted, with rows of stylish new houses standing on four sides.

In the distance, a train roared past.

Source: Xinhua

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