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Tibetan exiles camp in Delhi to protest Chinese premier's visit

December 15, 2010

Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times

Dharamsala, December 13, 2010

As India gets ready to welcome Chinese premier Wen Jia Bao, streets at Macleodganj - known as Little Lhasa wears a deserted look - Tibetan exiles have left for Delhi to protest against the visiting dignitary.

The leading Tibetan NGOs that have been at the forefront of "anti- campaign" ahead of Beijing Olympics in 2008 are pitting in New Delhi, even as they remain wary to disclose their plans to protest Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visit.  Anti protests at that time, had scattered all around leading to violence.  Tibetan government in exile had claimed that more than 300 persons had died in protest across administered, while Chinese official confirmed only 19 deaths.

Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest of Tibetan NGO stands for Independence of Tibet have planned three- day sit in protest at Jantar Mantar to draw the attention towards half -a- century old unresolved Tibetan Issue. Chinas claims Tibet's as its integral part while the Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama seeks more "autonomy" for his homeland - Tibet. China has been rejecting Dalai Lama's demand for "autonomy" calling it as "independence in guise".  The nine rounds of dialogue between Dalai Lama's representative and Chinese officials have remained inconclusive.

Other Tibetan support groups including organization of political prisoners - Gu-Chu- Sum, Tibetan Woman Association (TWA), Student for Free Tibet (SFT) and National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT) would organise conference at Delhi with Indian intellectuals writers and Political leaders. The four NGO had called a march in 2008, which was called off after the Dalai Lama's intervention. Though the Tibetan exiles have kept their plans under wraps but protest would apparently be a low -profile since had been has been asking to tread with caution on the Tibetan Issue.

Tibet's exiled spiritual and temporal head the Dalai Lama who escaped to in 1959 with hordes of Tibetans is away on ten-day tour to and West Bengal. Dalai Lama is expected to participate in series of programs being hosted by Sikkim government. Dalai Lama is visiting on an invite by chief minister Pawan Chamling.

Tibetans exiles have plans to submit memorandum to the embassies of various government to highlight the issue of "Human Rights violation.  But it is likely that the visit could also see high profile protest from Individuals.  "Yes there would be protest, this time too" Tibetan poet and freedom activist Tenzing Tsundue told Hindustan Times from Delhi. Tsundue, in 2002 climbed the scaffolding of the Mumbai building where Chinese premier Zhu Rongji was staying during his state visit. Tsundue carried a banner that read "Free Tibet", while he was frisked away by police.

Tsundue repeated the performance in 2005 when Chinese premier Wen Jiabao was addressing a conference at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, standing on the balcony of the 200ft-high tower with a red banner that read "Free Tibet".  At that time Tibetan activist had hidden himself in the balcony overnight-and stayed there without food or water-because it would have been difficult to get past security on the day of the official visit.

There more than 10,000 Tibetans living in Dharamsala, which is the headquarters of Tibetan government in exile since in 1959 after Dalai Lama settled down here.
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