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Over 100 Tibetan protesters held outside Chinese embassy ahead of Goa BRICS summit

Tibetan activists protest outside Chinese embassy in Delhi before Xi Jinping visit. (Photo courtesy: ibtimes.co.in)
Tibetan activists protest outside Chinese embassy in Delhi before Xi Jinping visit. (Photo courtesy: ibtimes.co.in)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct15, 2016) – Police in India’s capital New Delhi took into custody on Oct 14 morning more than 100 Tibetans as they protested before a heavily secured Chinese embassy just a day before President Xi Jinping landed at Goa for the Oct 15-16 BRICS Summit to be held there. The Tibetans were protesting against China’s continued occupation of their homeland and the critical situation there under Chinese rule. Their main demand focused on the ongoing massive demolition in Tibet at what may otherwise be the world’s largest Buddhist learning centre and the expulsion of around half of its student monks and nuns so as to halve their total strength to a maximum of 5,000.

The activists were members of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest Tibetan non-governmental group and which campaigns for Tibet’s independence from Chinese rule. This contrasts from what the exile Tibetan administration calls its middle way demand only for some form of meaningful autonomy for an ethnically unified Tibet under the existing Chinese dispensation.

Holding Tibetan national flags, posters and banners with “Free Tibet” written on them, the protesters gathered at the sprawling lawns outside the embassy and raised pro-freedom slogans, reported thestatesman.com Oct 14. It added that all the protesters were detained by Delhi Police and removed from the highly sensitive diplomatic area.

Those detained included the group’s Central Executive Members Ms Tsewang Dolma (Information Secretary) and Mr Tashi Dhargyal (Social Service Secretary).

TYC said in a press statement Oct 14 that three Tibetan Buddhists nuns had already committed suicide, unable to bear the pain of living with the ongoing destruction at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in the Tibetan county of Serta which is now part of China’s Sichuan Province. “We condemn the illegal demolition of Larung Gar and demand Xi Jinping to stop the destruction immediately,” said TYC President Mr Tenzing Jigme.

“As long as the occupation continues, as long as the communist government continues with their hardline stance and policies, ignoring the cries of the Tibetan people, the struggle and resistance of Tibetans will continue.”

Activist of the TYC as well as Students for a Free Tibet also planned to protest in Goa where police have already denied them permission to hold peaceful demonstrations.

Xi is to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other leaders, including heads of the BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand) countries who have been invited to the Goa BRICS summit. The BIMSTEC countries will participate in a retreat on Oct 17. BRICS is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

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