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» 08/07/2008 13:23
INDIA – TIBET – CHINA
Tibetans involved in non-stop protests but Dalai Lama sends his best wishes for Olympics
by Nirmala Carvalho
Thousands meet for a series of initiatives. Many are still concerned that nothing may change. Indian police detain 56 Tibetans who wanted to cross the border. Dalai Lama sends his prayers and wishes for the success of the Olympics, a great event for China.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Tibetans are gathering in Dharamsala to protest against repression in Tibet, whilst the Dalai sends his good wishes for the success of the Olympics.

“In Dharamsala, the heart of Tibetan freedom movement in exile, all protestors are wearing black head bands and some are dressed up entirely in black clothes to show their solidarity to Tibetans inside Tibet,” Tenzin Choedon, from the group Students for a Free Tibet, told AsiaNews.

Four NGO's, the Tibetan Women's Association, the GuChuSum Ex-Political Prisoner's Movement of Tibet, the National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Students for a Free Tibet (India), are organising the protest,” he added. They are “working actively to restore the rights of the Tibetan people under international law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious and cultural status.”

Such groups are expected to continue their protest throughout the Games, and protests will take on many forms.

Penpa Tsering, a member of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, said that six Tibetans have been on an unlimited hunger strike which prompted Indian authorities to forcibly take them to a hospital and feed them. They were however quickly replaced by six other young Tibetans.

“The situation in Tibet is getting worse. Repression is not abating; the religious re-education campaign is gaining steam; talks (between China and a delegation representing the Dalai Lama) are going no where,” he said.

“It’s so distressing to see that we are unable to change anything. For this reason there are extreme actions like the hunger strike. This is why they (hunger strikers) resisted the police officers who took them to hospital; why they shouted that they wanted their freedom.”

“Our protest is not against the Chinese population but against their leaders. Now that China is becoming a world power, we are hoping that it will see human rights and religious freedom as indispensable to being a great power,” he added.

“Tomorrow during the inauguration ceremony, world leaders should tell China to be a ‘responsible power’ and insist on solving issues like the Tibetan question.”

In the meantime India wants to avoid incidents with Beijing. It thus took into custody 56 Tibetan exiles last Sunday, including several monks and nuns, who were attempting to cross the border into China.

Social activist Tensin Tsundue was among them. On Sunday morning he had spoken to AsiaNews saying he could not give details because his “phones were tapped.

Although some Tibetan groups want political independence for their country, the Dalai Lama only wants greater autonomy and respect for Tibet’s religion and culture.

Yesterday he also reiterated his support for the Beijing Olympics.

“This is a moment of great pride for the 1.3 billion Chinese people. These Games should contribute to promoting the Olympic spirit of friendship, openness and peace,” the Tibetan government-in-exile website quoted him as saying.

“I send my prayers and good wishes for the success of this event,” he also said.


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See also
03/08/2010 CHINA – TIBET
Beijing openly claims the right to choose the next Dalai Lama
09/06/2007 INDIA – TIBET
Tibetan exiles slam absurd and cruel reincarnation law
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Young Tibetan exiles plan pro-Dalai Lama Ads during the Beijing Olympics
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06/25/2009 TIBET – CHINA
Chinese mining causing environmental disasters in Tibet
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04/09/2008 TIBET – INDIA – CHINA
Tibetan exiles’ “return march’ reaches New Delhi
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“We pray for the success of the Games” and for the dream of a better world
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World leaders welcomed to Beijing. Silence on human rights and terrorist threats
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Chinese activists to Bush and Sarkozy: Don't forget us at the Games
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Wanted: Olympic athletes to remember Tibet in Beijing
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The China that says "no" to the Olympics
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In Qindao, Olympic regatta threatened by algae invasion
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For the Olympics, prohibited to protest or speak with foreign journalists
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Tibet reopens to foreign tourism, with restrictions for journalists and tourists
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Olympic torch in Tibet, but only "for a day". Tibetans arrested in India
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Fireworks banned in Beijing during Olympics
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Olympics, bishop of Hong Kong invited to inaugural ceremony
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Heroes of Tiananmen still in prison
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Chinese migrants in heavy debt after having worked on the Olympic dream
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Three billion dollars a year from China for the genocide in Darfur

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