Tibetans in Bangalore protest Olympic torch relay

April 17th, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 17 (IANS) About 300 Tibetans Thursday held a peaceful demonstration here against the Olympic torch relay in New Delhi and called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics in protest against the “genocide” in Tibet. The Tibetans, including many from refugee camps in Karnataka, carried a dummy torch in a procession under the banner of “Tibet Independence Torch Relay-2008″ and staged a sit-in demonstration later at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the Cubbon Park in the heart of the city.

Carrying placards and banners with “Save Tibet” and “Stop Genocide in Tibet” slogans on them, the protestors also called for the boycott of the Olympic torch relay in India and in other countries.

“We are holding this demonstration to protest against the torch relay as well as the Beijing Olympics for the atrocities being committed by the Chinese government in our homeland Tibet,” the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (South Zone) said in a statement distributed to the public and media at the venue.

“We also want to highlight the historical fact that Tibet was always an independent nation until the Chinese invasion in 1949,” it said.

Addressing the gathering that included many youngsters who came to express solidarity with the protestors, Tibet Youth Congress leader Tenzin Choedar said the independence torch relay was to create awareness about the “dire situation” in Tibet.

“The recent historic protests inside Tibet are a clear indication of the strong resentment among our people against the Chinese government. The brutal crackdown on peaceful Tibetan protestors has shown the world how China has been abusing our people over the last six decades,” he said.

Calling for a world boycott of the Beijing Olympics, scheduled in August, Tibetan Solidarity Committee leader Pema said China was a slap on the face of Olympic ideals.

“When Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics, China promised to improve its human rights record in the run up to the global sports event. But the human rights situation inside Tibet and the mainland have worsened since then,” Pema said.

The police made tight security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident during the protest. No arrests were made as the procession and the sit-in remained peaceful.

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