A Tibetan man who saves 106 people in Lhasa riot

Updated: 2008-04-10 16:55

LHASA -- Losang Shandain sheltered 106 people in his home during the Lhasa riot on March 14.

On the afternoon of that day, the courtyard and rooms in Losang's house in Gama Gunsang community in downtown Lhasa were crowded with 106 horror-struck people.

One of them, Li Xingyou, later said, "Rioters stormed my rented house that day, smashed everything, and drove my wife and I out. We were running frantically on the street, when we saw Shandain beckoning to us offering a refuge in his house."

The government investigation later found 18 civilians killed and hundreds of others injured in the riot.

When Chao Hua and Lu Bingmei were among those rescued by Losang. The two mothers were worried about the safety of their children in school, and Losang volunteered to escort their children from their respective schools back to the mothers.

"He braved flying stones and assaults, and walked for more than two hours on street to get the children back safe and sound, when the situation was most dangerous," said the grateful mothers with tears welling up.

"It was not that I was not afraid of revenge by the rioters, most of whom were my fellow Tibetans. As a husband and a father of two children, I did feel responsible for my family," said Losang.

Losang's neighbors said that offering refuge would bring revenge from rioters and make trouble in the neighborhood.

"No ordinary man should stay unperturbed, seeing hundreds of vandals roaming the streets beating people, smashing, looting and setting fires everywhere. My Buddhist belief would not have allowed me to sit it out in my house," said Losang, a secularized monk in his 40s.

The man had served Buddha for 13 years in Chuguo Temple in Ali Prefecture, in the Tibet Autonomous Region. He became secularized after experiencing a tragic traffic accident in 1993, which killed several of his friends and relatives.

Bearing a scar on his forehead left from the accident, Losang said he wanted to do something afterwards, rather than remain passively in the temple.

Among the 106 people sheltered by Losang, there were six children. Losang shared everything from milk powder to blankets with the victims. He worked with his brother Soinam Zhaxi all night to offer help and console people.

"News of Losang's heroic deed has been spreading all over the community. All of us regard him as a true hero," said Nyixar Lhamo, an elderly woman living in Losang's neighborhood.

Losang has always been a warm-hearted man. After the heroic deed, people got to know that Losang had supported 13 impoverished elderly people living in solitude near the Chuguo Temple, where Losang worked as a monk. He also set up a small mineral water plant in Ali Prefecture to create jobs for local herdsmen to improve their lives.

Losang said that people of 56 ethnic groups in China are members of one big family. Help among family members is a natural thing.

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