Chinese police teargas agitating Tibetan monks

March 12th, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, March 12 (DPA) The Chinese police used teargas on Tibetan Buddhist monks protesting for the second day in Lhasa to demand the release of imprisoned supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, US-based Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday. Paramilitary units used teargas against 500 to 600 monks from Sera monastery. About 11 monks, including nine from Sera monastery, were arrested Tuesday.

Monday, to mark the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, 300 monks left Drepung monastery to walk the 10 km into Lhasa, the capital of China’s Tibet region.

Between 50 and 60 monks were detained Tuesday by police and soldiers who used trucks to block the road at a checkpoint on the way to Lhasa.

The Chinese government Wednesday criticized internationally expressed sympathies for Tibetan independence efforts, saying the issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The Dalai Lama issue is not a religious or ethnic issue,” said China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, fled to India after the 1958 uprising against Chinese rule that was crushed by troops.

In a statement Monday to mark the anniversary, the Dalai Lama said Tibetans in China were living under “increasing repression,” with “gross violations of human rights, denial of religious freedom, and the politicisation of religious issues”.

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