Tibetan students taken into police custody for protesting the outside Chinese embassy in New Delhi, Nov. 2, 2011. Photo by Neha Sethi for VOA
About 50 Tibetan students demonstrated Wednesday outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, demanding that the self-immolation of 10 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns over the past month be addressed at Thursday’s G-20 summit in Cannes.
One of the New Delhi demonstrators, Tsering, said that activists are seeking to highlight the desperate situation in Tibet, where religious practitioners set themselves on fire in protest of what they see as a Chinese intrusion into their cultural traditions and religious beliefs.
“Tomorrow is G20 summit, so there are 20 countries who are participating, twenty big economies [and] China is also participating in that summit,” said Tsering. “So we want to urge China to stop killing inside Tibet. From March 16, consistent self-immolation is going on, so we want to urge China to look into Tibet.”
In Cannes on Wednesday, two activists waving banners protesting the ongoing Chinese crackdown on Buddhist monks and nuns in Tibet rappelled down the face of a railway station, before police intervened to make arrests.
“They have taken this action here today to send a message to Chinese President Hu Jintao, who’s arriving in Cannes for the G-20 meeting,” said the protest organizer in Cannes. “The message: ‘enough,’ enough to the repression that’s happening inside Tibet; enough to the killings, enough to the torture. The occupation of Tibet must end.”
United Nations human rights investigators have called on Beijing to end repression and harassment of Tibetan Buddhists, including arrests and disappearances of hundreds of monks. The arrests are widely seen as Beijing’s response to the self-immolations.
Another New Delhi protester, Sonam, says further demands by the international community will boost the Tibetan movement.
“So far the Tibetan movement has remained non-violent and if the big countries support the Tibetan issue, this will give us a hope that there is a place for non-violence in this world,” said Sonam. “Otherwise, if we pursue violent things like terrorists, then it will only lead to more violence and more bloodshed rather than peace and harmonious world.”
China has dismissed criticism of its involvement with Tibet, urging critics to adopt a “fair perspective” of its actions there.
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