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Tibetans to hold anti-China protests in Delhi

Anirban Bhaumik, New Delhi, Jan 29, 2013,DHNS: 1:38 IST
Just a few weeks before the change of guard in China, New Delhi is set to witness a major demonstration against Beijing on Wednesday, with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile launching a campaign against the repressive Chinese policy on Tibet.

As 2012 saw 83 instances of self-immolation by Tibetans as a mark of protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet, New Delhi is understood to have tacitly given a go-ahead to the four-day campaign, which includes a rally in the capital’s Talkatora Stadium, a peace march from Rajghat and a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar.

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile is holding the campaign in association with the Parliament-in-Exile for the first time after Dalai Lama in 2011 devolved all his political authority to the democratically elected leadership of the exiled community. The campaign is apparently intended to consolidate the two elected institutions’ role in leading the struggle for Tibet.

Noting that 99 Tibetans had set themselves on fire since 2009, Lobsang Sangay, the political heir of Dalai Lama, on Tuesday told journalists that the situation there was “grave and extremely serious” and deserved attention of the international community.

Sangay, an expert in international laws from Harvard University, was elected head of the Kashag or the Council of Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in April 2011.

Addressing a news conference in New Delhi, Sangay joined the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Penpa Tsering, to denounce China’s policy on Tibet, on a day when Beijing called for a stricter vigil against “the Dalai Lama clique.”

According to a Press Trust of India report from Beijing, Losang Gyaltsen, also known as Losang Jamcan, whom China recently appointed the governor of Tibet, on Tuesday called for maintaining vigilance in times of peace as well as a firm political stand. He called for consistent action to battle against “the Dalai Lama clique.”

Though the government will stay away from the four-day, BJP leader L K Advani is among the several political personalities who are likely to address the rally at Talkatora Stadium on Wednesday. Dalai Lama, however, will not be present.

A Tibetan youth, Jamphel Yeshi, had set himself on fire in New Delhi during a protest against Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India for the BRICS summit in March last year. While he had died a day later, police arrested a number of Tibetan activists in the national capital to avoid any untoward incident during Hu Jintao’s visit.

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