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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibetan exiles persist with protest march

March 13, 2008

Radio Netherlands
March 11, 2008

Tibetan flagTibetan exiles in India are persisting with a
pro-independence march from Dharamsala despite a restraining order
from Indian authorities. 100 activists are attempting to reach Tibet
during a 6 month walk to highlight what they call serious human rights
violations in their homeland. But is this a practical means of
protest?

"Going up to the border, it would create an incident because we have a
boundary dispute with China, the border is undefined, and most of
these borders are inaccessible even to Indian citizens. We have a
special zone that even requires Indian citizens to take permission
before they go there,"

says research fellow Jabin Jacob of the Institute for Peace and
Conflict Studies.

Although a large number of people gathered in Dharamsala to see the
group off on their quest, the Tibetan action is not a big national
story in India, explains Mr Jacob:

"Quite frankly in India we don't have as much interest in affairs
related to China or Tibet as much as we have, say with issues related
to Kashmir or Pakistan. There is sympathy, yes, but it's not a popular
issue."

According to Mr Jacob, the Indian government is concerned with
complicating Sino-Indian relations, and that is why they are trying to
put a stop to the march. But he adds that the exiles have already
succeeded in getting out their message.

"The Tibetan exiles in India have managed to organize something of
this sort and the government has not prevented the organization itself
of such a march. The government has not prevented the information of
this from going out to world news agencies. And I think the Tibetan
exiles who are organizing this also know that they are being allowed
to make their point."

The activists progressed around 11 kilometres on Tuesday and say they
will continue. Police say they will not stop them until they reach the
Himachal Pradesh district border.
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