India detains Tibetan protesters

Move upsets activists who plan more marches in the run-up to Beijing Olympics.

    Protesters in Kangra in India carried portraits
    of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader [EPA]

     

    The participants had reached Dehra, around 56km away, when the arrests took place.
     
    They shouted "Free Tibet!" and other slogans as they were being detained, but there was no violence, witnesses said.
     
    They were charged with threatening the "peace and tranquillity" of the region, Indian officials said.
     
    India fears the march could embarrass China.
     
    Uprising anniversary
     
    Monday was commemorated by Tibetans as anniversary of their 1959 uprising against China, the failure of which forced the Dalai Lama to flee to India.
     
    Tibetan activists, who have vowed to step up their protests in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, said they were saddened by the Indian government's position but insisted the arrests were only a temporary setback.
     
    "We appeal to the government of India not to appease China by restraining us," said Sonam Dorje, spokesman of Tibetan Youth Congress, one of five pro-independence groups sponsoring the trek to Tibet.
     
    Protests in Tibet
     
    Demonstrations are taking place around the world this week, including a protest by 300 Buddhist monks in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.
     
    Beijing confirmed on Tuesday that about 300 Buddhist monks from the Drepung monastery outside Lhasa marched to the city.

    Tibetan followers of the Dalai Lama have
    been staging marches since Monday [AFP]

    In a second, smaller demonstration, nine monks shouted slogans near a main temple.
     
    And in a second day of unrest, about 2,000 Chinese security personnel fired tear gas to try to disperse 600 monks from Sera monastery, a source told the Reuters news agency.
     
    They demanded the release of about a dozen fellow monks from Sera detained this month for waving a Tibetan flag and shouting pro-independence slogans, the source said.
     
    Another rights group said about 400 monks from Lutsang monastery in the northwestern province of Qinghai, known in Tibetan as Amdo, protested on Monday and shouted slogans demanding the Dalai Lama's return.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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