Tibet Protests Update: Delhi Arrests and Duke Student Vilified

The New York Times reports that 27 Tibetan demonstrators were arrested in Delhi today, a day before the Olympic torch is expected to arrive in India from Pakistan:

… dozens of Tibetan protesters wearing yellow “Free Tibet” headbands were arrested Wednesday after they stormed through barricades at the Chinese Embassy, taking heavy security forces in the diplomatic heart of the city by surprise.

It was the second embarrassing security breach in two days as India prepared to receive the Olympic torch relay on Thursday. The episode fueled anxiety that the Delhi portion of the relay could be a potentially volatile leg of the Olympic torch’s troubled worldwide tour, which ends in Beijing in August.

India is home to a diaspora of an estimated 100,000 Tibetans, as well as the host for the headquarters in exile of the Dalai Lama. Hundreds of Tibetans, along with volunteers from a number of Tibetan organizations, have traveled to New Delhi in recent weeks to prepare for large-scale protests in the city on Thursday.

Also, from the NYT, a follow-up on the story of how Duke University freshman and Chinese national Grace Wang has been smeared by nationalist netizens after attempting to act as a referee between on-campus pro-Tibet and pro-Chinese students:

The next day, a photo appeared on an Internet forum for Chinese students with a photo of Ms. Wang and the words “traitor to your country” emblazoned in Chinese across her forehead. Ms. Wang’s Chinese name, identification number and contact information were posted, along with directions to her parents’ apartment in Qingdao, a Chinese port city.

Salted with ugly rumors and manipulated photographs, the story of the young woman who was said to have taken sides with Tibet spread through China’s most popular Web sites, at each stop generating hundreds or thousands of raging, derogatory posts, some even suggesting that Ms. Wang — a slight, rosy 20-year-old — be burned in oil. Someone posted a photo of what was purported to be a bucket of feces emptied on the doorstep of her parents, who had gone into hiding.

“If you return to China, your dead corpse will be chopped into 10,000 pieces,” one person wrote in an e-mail message to Ms. Wang. “Call the human flesh search engines!” another threatened, using an Internet phrase that implies physical, as opposed to virtual, action.

April 16, 2008 8:43 PM
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Categories: China & the World, Main