Tibetans shut shops in Ooty to protest Chinese action

March 28th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, March 28 (IANS) Tibetans in the southern hill resort of Ooty are protesting Chinese action in Tibet by indefinitely closing down their shops here. There are about a hundred shops run by Tibetan refugees in front of the famous Botanical Gardens in Udhagamandalam (also known as Ooty), about 600 km south west of Chennai in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.

Tibetan refugee families settled in Ooty in the early 60s and they run a mini Tibet bazaar in the resort, selling handicrafts, ethnic jewellery and woollen clothing. There are about 500 people of Tibetan origin living in Ooty.

The Tibetans here are opposing the Chinese government action in Lhasa and seeking “return of normalcy and peace in riot-hit areas”.

The Tibetan Refugees Welfare Association Thursday led a protest march for five km through the centre of the town.

Their pamphlets called for people to “join in the daily prayers for peace in Tibet” they are holding in Ooty for the last ten days.

The shopkeepers said they would keep their establishments shut “until China stops attacking Tibetans”.

The Tibetan community here had protested in mid-April 2007, when India and China met for the 10th round of their boundary talks in the Nilgiri hills. India’s special representative National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan met the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo in Ooty amid tight security.

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