10/11/2007, 00.00
INDIA – CHINA – TIBET

Tibetans take on the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi

by Nirmala Carvalho
A group of more than 35 young Tibetan exiles in India protest against a new Chinese law that seeks to regulate Buddhist reincarnations. They call on the international community and the International Olympic Committee to intervene.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – More than 35 young Tibetan exiles took on the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi after Beijing adopted a law that regulates lama succession placing the whole process under the control of Communist authorities.

The young protesters shouted slogans against Chinese repression in their country, dabbed graffiti on the walls of the embassy, writing “Free Tibet.” and handed out flyers to passers-by. Embassy staff asked to receive a copy of the protest leaflet refused. About 20 activists were eventually detained by the police of the Indian capital, thus bringing the demonstration to an end.

The action “is against the new religious regulations of the Chinese government,” Dhondup Dorjee, deputy chairman of the Tibetan Youth Congress, told AsiaNews. “It constitutes more oppression in Tibet and an attempt to undermine the authority of the Dalai Lama. In fact, according to the law, the Communists will decide who will head Tibetan Buddhism. And this is unacceptable.”

In recent days, Beijing has accused the Dalai Lama of supporting “devilish cults” like Falun Gong and Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo. It has also criticises the Tibetan leader for expressing its support for Buddhist monks in Myanmar, victimised by the repression of the local military junta.

For the activist, “We are frustrated with the way the Chinese are dealing with us. The Chinese are not sincere in dealing with the Tibetan issue; they keeping imposing more restrictions on Tibetans. This religious order is simply and basically unacceptable. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always been in favour of non-violence and has always preached peace, but our protest is born out of desperation.”

In its press release the Tibetan Congress said that “since Hu Jintao became president China has imposed even stricter measures on Tibet. The Panchen Lama [the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism was detained by the Chinese government and replaced by a monk chosen by party officials) is still missing and hundreds of monks and faithful have been arrested without reason. We call on the international community, especially the International Olympic Committee that granted China the right to host the Olympic Games, to condemn this situation.”

India has hosted the Tibetan government-in-exile since 1959, when a popular uprising against Chinese rule broke out in Tibet. Since then the Dalai Lama and the government’s officials live in Dharamsala, northern India.

For the past few years however the Indian government has decided to freeze its ties with the exiled Tibetan authorities and improve its relationship with Beijing. Last year, when President Hu Jintao visited India, the authorities prevented Tibetans from demonstrating against Beijing.

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