Tibet party chief calls on citizens to maintain social order

2008-03-20 05:28:42 Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Tibet authority appealed to citizens to maintain social stability and order in the region after Lhasa had quieted down from the bloody riot that erupted on Friday.

"The situation in Lhasa has been under control and the social order is returning to normal," said Zhang Qingli, secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). "Now we should focus on maintaining stability in the whole region."

In the regional capital, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets and most shops had reopened. Sufficient life necessities and other commodities were provided at reasonable prices. The majority of Lhasa residents have begun their work and life as usual, Zhang said.

At a gas station in the northern part of the city, liquefied petroleum gas are sold at 7.5 yuan (about one U.S. dollar) a kilogram, the same price as before. "Now we sell about three tons of liquid gas every day. But from March 14 to 16, only half a ton was sold," said a gas station employee. He added there was more than 50 tons in storage, enough for 10 days.

Zhang said the current priority was to make sure people of all ethnic groups could live a safe and convenient life while restoring normal social and production order as soon as possible.

The riot erupted in the plateau city on Friday afternoon. Rioters killed 13 civilians, injured 325 others, damaged 422 shops, six hospitals, seven schools and 120 residences. In all, 84 vehicles were torched. The damage was estimated at more than 200 million yuan.

The Tibet regional government said a total of 170 people had turned themselves in by 10 p.m. on Wednesday for their involvement in the riot.