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Indian police stop Tibetan marchers

DEHRA, India (CNN) — Authorities broke up a march Thursday by 100 Tibetan exiles who had planned to trek from the northern Indian city of Dharamsala to Tibet’s border in a protest at China’s rule over their homeland.

Video from the scene showed Indian officers dragging the marchers into police vans, sometimes as many as four officers per protester. Once inside the vehicles, the protesters furiously banged on windows and continued to chant, Free Tibet!

The protesters, who planned to reach the border for a confrontation with Chinese authorities just before the Beijing Olympics begins in August, were only three days and 75 km into the march when police stopped the march.

The protesters wanted to capitalize on the massive event to spread their anti-China message.

As long as the issue of Tibet is not resolved, we will resist China occupation, said Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress and one of the march organizers.

The Indian government, which sponsors 130,000 Tibetan exiles, had said it would enforce an order that bans the marchers from leaving the Dharmsala district, which is home to the Tibetan exile government and the Dalai Lama.

Rigzin said his group is acting independently of the government or the Dalai Lama.

What we are saying is that we are Tibetan, and we belong to Tibet and we need to go back to our country, he said. It’s as simple as that.

Protesters gathered near the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on Wednesday, where one Tibetan woman shouted: Stop genocide in Tibet. We want complete independence. No Olympics in China until Tibet is free. … There are no human rights in Tibet.

Karma Dorjee, a translator for Washington-based Radio Free Asia, told CNN the situation inside Tibet is intense, according to RFA reporters based there.

In the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, there are so many restrictions imposed by the Chinese — there are police everywhere, he said.

Several hundred monks clashed with Chinese police near the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on Tuesday, according to RFA. RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts in several East Asian languages to people without access to independent media.

It was the second day of protests by monks on the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Beijing that forced the Dalai Lama into exile. He now lives in northern India.

The protests coincided with other demonstrations by Tibetan exiles in New Delhi, India and Katmandu, Nepal.

A U.S. State Department report released Tuesday characterized China’s human rights record as one of the most repressive in the world and cited tightening controls over religious freedom in Tibet.
Indian police stop Tibetan marchers – found here.

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March 13, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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