(TibetanReview.net, Jul23, 2015) – Eight Tibetans were arrested by the Australian police in Sydney after they stormed the Chinese consulate during a protest, reported Reuters Jul 22. One of them had scaled a flagpole to pull down the Chinese flag.
The eight were part of a group of 50 students and former political prisoners from Chinese ruled Tibet protesting against the Jul 12 prison death of a popular religious figure serving life-sentence on a false bombing and separatism campaign allegation. The religious leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, 65, was said to have died as a result of prison ill-treatment and gross medical neglect. He was cremated by the prison staff, with the authorities ignoring pleas by his family and monastery for release of his body for a traditional Buddhist funeral.
Eight of the protesters were charged with trespass, Reuters cited a spokeswoman for New South Wales state police as saying. Of them, a 38-year-old woman, was also charged with common assault after she allegedly assaulted a consular official.
The group was reported to be holding a scheduled peaceful protest outside the consulate’s gates. However, when the gates opened to let a truck through, several of the protesters ran into the forecourt, the report cited protester Ms Tenzin Deky as saying.
The protesters “just wanted to express their emotion and show the Chinese government, especially the Chinese consulate, that what they are doing is wrong,” abc.net.au Jul 22 quoted Ms Tenzin Datsatsang, a demonstrator from the Sydney Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, as saying. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche “was just a simple Buddhist monk, who worked tirelessly to preserve the Tibetan culture [and] identity.”