Allegation of police joining riots as 'monks' disproved

Updated: 2008-04-06 09:37

BEIJING -- Two witnesses have been found in Tibet who disproved allegations that Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) servicemen joined the March 14 Lhasa riots wearing monk's robes.

A picture was posted on the Internet showing tens of Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) servicemen, wearing summer uniforms and holding monks' robes. This photo was linked to allegations by the Dalai clique that those PAP members dressed as Tibetan monks and rioted on March 14 in Lhasa.

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In a China Central Television (CCTV) news program on Saturday evening, journalists identified and interviewed two of the servicemen appeared in the picture who confirmed that it was taken in 2001 during a movie shooting.

Liu Pengbo who served as a sergeant in 2001 and now a first lieutenant of a PAP unit in Tibet told journalists that they were prepared to act as figurants in a movie named The Torch shot in 2001.

The monk's robes they hold in arms were actually theatrical costumes distributed by the movie's making staff, Liu said.

The lieutenant confirmed that they wear winter uniforms in March and their uniforms have been changed to a new style with chest insignia and shoulder badge since May 2006.

Shao Hong is the other found witness who finished service in 2004 and now works in Lhasa. He told the CCTV journalists that the uniforms they worn in the picture were summer uniforms of 1987 pattern which apparently had no badges and chest insignia.

"It was in September that year and it was still quite warm. You can see the surrounding civilians also worn quite thin clothes," Shao said.

The footage also confirmed another evidence to disapprove the allegation by picturing man-driven pedicab in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Pedicabs in the city have been decorated with blue-red-green mixing strips on the hood of passenger cab since October 2004. The strips on the pedicabs appeared in the picture were only blue, which proves that it was taken before October 2004.

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