Toll in Lhasa riots to touch 100: Dalai Lama

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London, Mar 16: The death toll in the large-scale protest in Lhasa city may be as high as 100, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said.

Talking to BBC, the Dalai Lama said he had ''grave concerns'' over Friday's deadly protests in Lhasa city , and he had received reports claiming that riots in the Tibetan capital could have claimed lives of nearly 100 people although the figure could not be verified. But he emphasised that he still supported Beijing's staging of the Olympic Games this year. The Dalai Lama, who is based in Dharmasala, said he fears there will be more deaths in Tibet unless Beijing changes its policies towards the Chinese controlled region.

The authorities in Tibet have urged the protesters to hand themselves in by midnight tomorrow, promising leniency to those who surrender.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday urged China to ''exercise restraint'' in dealing with the protests.

She spoke as pro-Tibet demonstrations were held in Nepal, New York, Australia and several European cities.

The violence erupted on the fifth day of largely peaceful protests that began on last Monday's anniversary of a 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.


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