Victims in Lhasa riot get compensation

Updated: 2008-03-31 14:53

LHASA  -- The families of two women killed in the March 14 Lhasa riot have received compensation of 200,000 yuan (28,170 US dollars) each, the Tibet regional government announced.

The regional government has promised to provide 200,000 yuan in compensation to each family of the 18 civilians killed in the riot.

The families of He Xinxin and Cering Zhoigar, who were among five sales girls burnt to death in a clothing shop in the riot, were the first to receive the money.

"The compensation is a huge sum of money for a rural family like mine. I am grateful to the government's care and consolation, though nothing could get my daughter back," said He Hongli, father of He Xinxin, on Sunday.

The 19-year-old dropped out of school in the second school year, because of her family's financial difficulties. She found a job as the sales assistant in the Yishion clothing store in downtown Lhasa only a week before it was burnt down during the riot.

She was among five young women hiding in a small storage compartment, when the shop was set on fire, who were suffocated or burnt to death. The oldest was only 24.

"May the rioters get the most severe penalty to allow my sister to rest in peace," said Damzhin, elder brother of Cering Zhoigar, a Tibetan woman from Xigaze Prefecture.

She had only returned home once in the past six years, since she found the job in Lhasa. As a sales assistant, she earned a meagre monthly salary of 1,000 yuan. She sent almost all of the money back home to support her family.

Damzhin said that both his parents had fallen ill since hearing of her death.

Flowers, wreaths, candles and fruit have been presented by people who came to pay respects to the victims at the shop.

An official with the regional government said the other victims were yet to be officially identified before their families could receive compensation.

At least 18 civilians and one police officer were killed in the riot and more than 600 people, 382 civilians and 241 police officers, were injured.

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