Tibetan refugees in northeast protest China’s crackdown

March 17th, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by admin  


Guwahati, March 17 (IANS) Exiled Tibetans in India’s northeast, especially Meghalaya, have held protests and condemned China’s iron-fisted rule over Tibet in the wake of the recent turmoil in Lhasa. Hundreds of exiled Tibetans in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong staged protests and demonstrations over the weekend by downing shutters of their shops and businesses.

“The world community should be more vocal against China’s barbaric attitude towards the people of Tibet,” said a statement by the Tibetan Youth Congress and Regional Tibetan Women Association in Shillong.

The demonstrations followed a week of protests against Chinese rule in Tibet that culminated in violence Friday, when Tibetans attacked ethnic Chinese and torched their shops in Tibetan capital Lhasa.

Officials there said 16 people died in the violence, but exiled Tibetans say as many as 80 people may have been killed.

“This is nothing but a gross violation of human rights,” said Tenzin, a young shop owner in Shillong dealing in shoes and imported garments.

There are an estimated 800 exiled Tibetans in Shillong - most of them into business.

Although Buddhists dominate parts of Arunachal Pradesh, there were no major protests over the happenings in Tibet.

“The turmoil in Tibet is not based on religious lines and what is happening there is purely their internal matter and so there is no need for us to react although we are Buddhists,” said T. Dorjee, a Buddhist youth from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

There were small protests organised in some clusters of the state where exiled Tibetans reside.

“There were some protests in parts of Miao area where there is a small settlement area of exiled Tibetans although the scale of the demonstration was not big,” a police official said.

In Sikkim too there were no organised protests, though Buddhist monks expressed concern.

“What is going on in Tibet is definitely not good and China must stop rights violations,” said Lama Shepu, a young Buddhist monk.

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