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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?"

Tibetans Protest in Delhi, but March Is Off

April 2, 2008

The New York Times
April 1, 2008

NEW DELHI — Tibetan exile groups staged another spirited anti-Chinese
demonstration here Monday, but the most radical among them have quietly
called off a controversial march into Tibet, apparently heeding requests
from their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Several hundred protesters marked the arrival of the Olympic torch in
Beijing by dressing in black and staging a bloody tableau of Chinese
atrocities on Tibetans. They carried a box with a petition calling on
Beijing to show restraint and allow an international fact-finding
mission into Tibet. They said the petition had been signed by 1.5
million people around the world.

Later in the day, they were allowed to go to the gates of the Chinese
Embassy in New Delhi, where a security guard received a copy of the
petition. Earlier this month, several protesters were arrested after
scaling the walls of the embassy and causing considerable embarrassment
to the Indian authorities.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, where police have forcefully cracked down on
Tibetan protests, hundreds of demonstrators split into small groups on
Monday and tried to storm a Chinese consular office from different
directions in the capital, Katmandu, Reuters reported. Police beat them
with sticks and detained more than 280 people, Reuters said.

India continues to be in the eye of the Tibet storm. It shelters about
100,000 Tibetan refugees and allows the Dalai Lama to in effect run an
administration from Dharamsala. New Delhi does not formally recognize
his government-in-exile but describes him as a guest in India.

New Delhi says it does not allow anti-Chinese agitation on its soil, and
has fortified security around the Chinese mission here at Beijing’s request.

For the last two weeks, as exile groups have kept up relentless protests
here, burning Chinese flags and calling for Chinese President Hu
Jintao’s death, India’s efforts to balance good relations with China
with hospitality to Tibetans has become additionally challenging.

Its latest diplomatic dance has revealed just how challenging. One of
its senior ministers has canceled a scheduled trip to China, while the
Indian vice president earlier canceled a meeting with the Dalai Lama.

Indian Home Ministry officials met on Monday to discuss security for the
arrival of the Olympic torch in India in two weeks. Tibetan protesters
have appealed to Indian celebrities, including the actor Aamir Khan, not
to participate in the Olympic torch ceremony.

Among the most delicate issues for the Indians has been a march that set
off from Dharamsala earlier this month and vowed to go to Lhasa, 900
miles away.

Indian police promptly arrested the first group of marchers, saying they
could not agitate against China or cross the border without legal
documents. After wide publicity, a second group of marchers was allowed
to continue.

At first, the march’s organizers ignored the Dalai Lama’s warning to
pull back on their journey to Tibet, a decision that seemed to signal a
more radical turn among Tibetan exile youth. But last week, without
fanfare, they decided against trying to march to Lhasa for now because
of the Dalai Lama’s opposition, and would advance to New Delhi instead,
according to Lhakpa Tsering, an activist for the Tibetan Youth Congress
and a marcher.

"Our aim was to show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tibet,"
he said. "We could not continue because the government in exile opposed
the march to Tibet."
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