Rally denied, Tibetans pray for lives lost in unrest

April 11th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, April 11 (IANS) After the West Bengal government prohibited an anti-China rally by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee, the outfit Friday organised a an indoor prayer meeting here. “We didn’t have any other option but to hold our prayer meeting indoors,” D. Dorjee, spokesperson of Tibetan Solidarity Committee (Kolkata), told IANS.

The meet was held at the Mahabodhi Society Prayer Hall. The Tibetan Solidarity Committee is a forum of Tibetans living in India, comprising mostly students and traders.

Tibetan students in West Bengal and the Tibetan Solidarity Committee had to cancel a peaceful demonstration at Mayo Road here Thursday after the Kolkata Police refused to give them permission for it.

“The Kolkata police had given us written permission two weeks ago for Thursday’s candle-light rally in memory of the lives lost in the Tibetan unrest. Suddenly Wednesday night, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Vineet Goyal called us and said we have been denied permission for the rally.”

“It is a shock for us as hundreds of Tibetans from Dharamshala, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Sikkim have already reached the city,” Dorjee said.

“I firmly believe that the permission was withdrawn due to political pressure from the Chinese consulate in Kolkata,” he said.

Chinese Consul General (Kolkata) Mao Siwei welcomed the move.

“The government of India and China are mutually bound by a commitment that no anti-China and anti-India rallies will be allowed respectively in the two countries,” he said.

Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty told IANS: “It was the decision of the government. We are just following orders. Granting or withdrawing permission for a rally is dependent on the situation and its possible outcome.”

Members of the Tibetan group were planning a peace rally and a mass prayer meeting for the lives lost in the Tibetan unrest Thursday at Esplanade in central Kolkata.

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