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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetans Say India Choking Food to Stop China March

May 30, 2008

By Krittivas Mukherjee
The Washington Post/Reuters
May 29, 2008; 5:29 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A group of Tibetan exiles marching towards
China said on Thursday that Indian police had impounded their food
trucks and arrested their leaders to break up a protest walk that
began almost three months ago.

Tibetan exiles, now numbering about 300, began walking on March 10
from the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, the seat of their
spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, to join in protests against Chinese
rule inside Tibet.

One of several high-profile activities intended to draw attention to
demands that China grant independence to Tibet, the march was stopped
by police at the weekend near a restricted military zone that
stretches to the Chinese border.

The marchers, surrounded by police, are now camping near Almora town
waiting for an opportunity to get to the border about 200 km (125 miles) away.

A statement from the marchers said police were holding five of their
top leaders and had confiscated their fourth and last truck carrying
food supplies.

"But the 300 marchers remain committed to returning to Tibet," it said.

Although police say no direct orders have come from the central
government in New Delhi, they say there have been general discussions
on how the protesters should be dealt with.

Five foreigners with the group, including an American and a
Norwegian, were told to leave the country within seven days for
breaching their visas.

The march was organized by several prominent activist groups,
including the Tibetan Youth Congress.

The Dalai Lama has said he thought the march was dangerous and pointless.

But the marchers say their action was an effort to show solidarity
with Tibetans inside Tibet and their resolve to win their freedom from China.

"At a time when Tibetans inside Tibet continue to be detained,
disappeared, tortured and killed for their beliefs it is our
responsibility to tell the world of their suffering," said Karma
Sichoe, a member of the march organizing committee.

(Additional reporting by Abhishek Madhukar; Editing by Jerry Norton)
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