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Major Buddhist monastery in Lhasa reopens after March 14 riot

by Wang Shuqin, Xinhua, Aug 29, 2008

LHASA, Tibet (China) -- A major Buddhist monastery in Tibet's capital Lhasa has reopened to visitors after the March 14 riot, according to monastery staff.

<< Zhaibung Monastery, in the western outskirts of Lhasa

The Zhaibung Monastery, in the western outskirts of Lhasa, has opened most of its palace halls and has received dozens of tourists since Tuesday, the monastery staff said.

The Zhaibung Monastery, in the western outskirts of Lhasa, has opened most of its palace halls and has received dozens of tourists since Tuesday, the monastery staff said.

The monastery was closed to visitors after the March 14 violence which led to the deaths of at least 18 civilians and one policeman, with businesses looted and residences, shops and vehicles torched.

On Saturday, religious activities will be held at the monastery to celebrate the traditional Shoton (Yogurt) Festival in Tibet.

The Zhaibung Monastery began to be built in 1416. Its buildings cover 200,000 square meters.

Tibet Autonomous Regional authorities said on Monday they would hold a forum on Saturday to seek ideas for reviving the region's tourism, which has been seriously affected by the March 14 riot.

In the first half, the region hosted 340,000 tourist arrivals, down 69 percent from the same period last year.



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