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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

India to hold Tibetans two weeks

March 14, 2008

14 March 2008

The marchers say they will continue with their protest

More than 100 Tibetan refugees who were detained in India while
attempting to march to the Chinese border have been placed in custody
for 14 days.

The marchers, protesting against China hosting the Olympics, were
detained near Dharamsala town, headquarters of the Tibetan

The walk began on Monday as part of a global pro-independence protest.

It coincided with the 49th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape from
Tibet after a failed uprising against China.

India has in the past been sympathetic to the Tibetan cause but in
recent years Delhi's relations with Beijing have improved and India
has not allowed large-scale public protests for fear of embarrassing

The marchers were arrested on Thursday at Dehra Bridge, 31 miles from
Dharamsala, from where the Dalai Lama heads the Tibetan government in

A New York-based human rights group has called upon China, India and
Nepal to release Tibetan protestors detained over the last few days.

Human Rights Watch also said they should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully.

Earlier in the week, authorities in Lhasa (Tibet) and Kathmandu
(Nepal) also cracked down on Tibetan protestors with hundreds being
taken into detention.


The protestors detained in India on Thursday were produced before a
magistrate after their arrest.

They have spent a night in Yatri Niwas - a government-run guest house
near Dharamsala - because the local jail cannot accommodate them all.

"They refused to sign a bond saying that they will not participate in
any further protest activities for the next six months," said a press
release by Tibetan activists.

"We condemn this decision by the Indian authorities to treat these
peaceful Tibetan marchers as criminals," said a leader of Tibetan
activists, Chime Youngdrung.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has called for greater
pressure on China over its human rights record.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has urged India, China and Nepal to
release the detained Tibetan protestors.

"Instead of arresting peaceful protestors, why don't these governments
meet with them and attempt to address their grievances?" Sophie
Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said in a

press release.

"Peaceful demonstrations are protected under international and
domestic laws and they should be permitted, not violently dispersed."

'Biggest display'

Chinese officials have meanwhile acknowledged that Buddhist monks took
part in protests in the Tibetan city of Lhasa earlier this week.

China admits Tibet protests

Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the authorities had
"stabilised" the situation.

Unconfirmed reports earlier this week said as many as 600 monks had
taken part in rallies, and that police used tear gas to disperse them.

Rights groups said the demonstrations were the biggest display of
opposition to Chinese rule in Tibet since 1989.

The marchers say that their aim is to expose what they say are serious
human rights violations in Tibet.

They say Tibetan refugees have the "right to return to Tibet".

As the Olympics near, Tibetans have begun a global campaign to protest
against the Chinese rule in Tibet.

On Monday, some 1,000 Tibetan exiles clashed with police in the
Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, while trying to march to the Chinese
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