Tibet Exiles Begin Protest March (Updated)
From BBC News:
More than 100 Tibetan exiles have begun a march from India to Tibet to protest against Chinese rule in the region.
The marchers left Dharamsala on the 49th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
The Dalai Lama , Tibet’s spiritual leader, has called for greater pressure on China over its human rights record. In Nepal, at 1,000 Tibetan exiles have clashed with police in Kathmandu while trying to march to the Chinese embassy. Tibet activists are hoping to use China’s hosting of the Olympics to publicise their cause.
Chinese authorities in Tibet today detained dozens of Tibetan monks staging a rare protest march into the regional capital, Lhasa, on a key anniversary.
An authoritative source who declined to be identified told RFA’s Tibetan service as many as 300 monks set out from Drepung monastery outside Lhasa on the roughly 10-km (5-mile) walk into the city center.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama and the Beijing government are trading barbs over the situation in Tibet. On the uprising anniversary, the Dalai Lama condemned the treatment of Tibetans in his homeland, according to a report in The Australian:
“Repression continues to increase, with numerous unimaginable and gross violations of human rights, denial of religious freedom and politicisation of religious issues,” he told hundreds of supporters on the 49th anniversary of his escape to India after an abortive anti-Beijing uprising.
Leaders in Beijing, meanwhile, says they have cracked down on undefined “conspiracies” by followers of the Dalai Lama. From Pakistan’s Daily Times:
China has cracked “a series” of conspiracies by supporters of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in the past five years, state media reported Sunday, citing a local official.
“We took timely, forceful and resolute measures in the past five years to crack a series of conspiracies by the Dalai Lama clique,” Xinhua news agency said, quoting Ragdi, a Tibetan-born vice chairman of China’s parliament. In doing so, “Tibet battered the rampant acts of the secessionist forces and maintained social stability in the region,” Xinhua said, citing Ragdi, who like many Tibetans has only one name. Ragdi did not elaborate on the conspiracies or the measures taken to curb them, according to Xinhua.