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Tibetan exiles shun New Year celebrations in Dharamsala

January 3, 2009

Newstrack India
Dharamsala, Thu, 01 Jan 2009: (ANI): Exiled Tibetans avoided New Year celebrations in protest against China's occupation of their homeland.Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Samdong Ripoche said, "We are doing only religious ceremonies. We are not doing much pomp to mark our solidarity with the people suffering inside Tibet."The Tetans claim that the "Chinese atrocities" have increased since the March 14, 2008 Tibetan uprising in Lhasa, which China blamed on the Dalai Lama and his "clique."
The riots later spilled over to the rest of Tibet and neighboring Chinese provinces with Tibetan populations, drawing global attention.
Rights groups say hundreds remain in jail following the protests where they are subjected to harsh treatment and even torture.
India is home to about 150,000 Tibetan exiles, most of whom arrived after escaping from Chinese in Tibet, over the past few decades.
Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 and the Dalai Lama, fled into exile in 1959 after a failed uprising against Beijing's rule.
Tibet was rocked by anti-Chinese protests earlier in 2008, which China blamed on the Dalai Lama, whom it brands a separatist. He has repeatedly denied the claims.(ANI)
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