(TibetanReview.net, Oct01’22) – A total of 73 protesters from the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) were taken into custody by police in India’s capital New Delhi on Oct 1 as they headed towards the Chinese embassy on China’s National Day. The protesters were stated to be set to be released later in the day.
The number of protesters apparently symbolized 73 years of the existence of the People’s Republic of China founded by the Communist Party of China on this day in 1949. The protesters were stopped and shoved into police buses when they were about 100 steps from reaching the Chinese embassy, reported the Tibetan Service of the Voice of America Oct 1.
The protesters came from different regional chapters of the TYC which campaigns for the restoration of Tibet’s independence, in contrast with the exile Tibetan administration’s stand of seeking genuine autonomy under Chinese rule.
Carrying Tibetan national flags and placards, the protesters shouted slogans such as “What we want – We want freedom,” “Stop human rights violations in Tibet,” “Free Tibet,” noted the ANI news service Oct 1.
“We demand that Tibet be freed and the Government of India support us with this demand. China needs to be stopped. Mass collection of DNA, killings must be halted,” one of the protesters was quoted as saying.
In a statement released for the occasion, the TYC has said: “On the 73rd Founding Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China, Tibetan Youth Congress and its regional Chapters all around the Globe are marking the date by resisting China for its illegal occupation of Tibet and oppressing it for the last six decades. Tibetans continue to face intense surveillance in their daily lives, with security cameras, police checkpoints, and party officials monitoring their movements and activities. Arbitrary arrest and detentions are noticeably the common practice carried out by the Chinese authorities in recent months and years. Particularly targeting teachers, writers, and intellectuals who emphasize preserving Tibetan culture and identity, which continues to be assimilated by the Chinese government.”
Apart from the Chinese occupation rule, the protesters highlighted China’s brutal enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown measures during the still ongoing spread of the global pandemic in their homeland, especially in capital Lhasa, where at least five Tibetans have reportedly been driven to commit suicide in a space of just three days recently.
Some of the protesters were dressed in the Personal Protective Equipment suits of Chinese pandemic workers during the protest. Social media postings show such workers punching and kicking Tibetans in Lhasa despite the obvious absence of any apparent provocation.
The protesters also sought to highlight China’s ongoing coercive harvesting of DNA samples from entire populations of Tibetans, including from kindergarten children and monasteries, for a range of stated purposes that were reported to include grass-root policing and population control.