Tibetans asked to wear black armbands till crisis gets over

March 25th, 2008 - 1:59 pm ICT by admin  

By Jaideep Sarin
Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), March 25 (IANS) The Tibetan government-in-exile based here has asked all its people living in exile in India and other countries to wear black armbands till the present crisis inside Tibet is resolved. The directive Monday has been given by the newly created Tibetan Solidarity Committee against the crackdown on Tibetans inside Tibet following protests by monks and others against Chinese rule.

The black armband has to be worn “till the present crisis in Tibet concludes”, the committee said. There are over 130,000 exiled Tibetans globally with over 100,000 of them living in India alone.

The committee was set up by the exiled government led by the Tibetan spiritual and temporal head - the 14th Dalai Lama - within days of the first incidents of violence reported from Tibet’s capital Lhasa and other places inside Tibet.

The committee has been set up by the Tibetan ‘Kashag’ (cabinet) and its parliament in exile (Assembly of Tibetan Peoples Deputies - ATPD).

The committee, comprising seven top Tibetan leaders including ministers and MPs of the exiled government, has also declared March 30 as a day for all Tibetans to simultaneously hoist the Tibetan “national” flag atop their homes, buildings and other Tibetan establishments.

Tibet is not recognised as a separate country by any country but the exiled government based in India’s Himachal Pradesh state has its own national flag.

“The non-violent demonstrations, which began March 10 in Lhasa, have now spread over three different provinces of Tibet. These unplanned peaceful protests have been met with severe repercussions leaving hundreds of Tibetans killed, several hundreds injured, and thousands imprisoned unjustly,” the committee has pointed out.

The committee has asked Tibetans to come out with innovative and novel ideas to combat Chinese propaganda that wants to label the protesting Tibetans as terrorists.

It has warned exiled Tibetans from falling into the trap of Chinese agents wanting to create a wedge among Tibetans and also between the exiled Tibetans and their host country India.

The committee has designated nearly 35 MPs of the exiled parliament to lead and oversee campaigns by Tibetans in India, Nepal, North America and in Europe against China.

The solidarity committee has said that over 140 Tibetans have been killed by Chinese forces in Tibet. The Chinese government puts the toll at 22.

According to the solidarity committee, over 500 Tibetans have been injured and over 1,300 Tibetans, especially monks, detained or arrested by Chinese forces.

The committee sought international intervention in the Tibet crisis, urging that independent international observers and independent media be sent into Tibet to ascertain facts.

Although the 1989 Nobel laureate Dalai Lama himself has called for ending all violent protests against the Chinese, China has blamed him for the entire trouble inside Tibet just months before it showcases its biggest sports event - the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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