By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 30: Following the string of mass protests in China last weekend, people from all over the globe have held protests in solidarity with the demonstrations held in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) and cities and universities in mainland China such as Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu among others. The representatives of four Dharamshala-based rights groups’ on Tuesday participated in a non-violent protest near the Chinese embassy, holding messages of solidarity and blank papers, which has become a symbol of the anti-government protests in China against the backdrop of the repressive Zero-Covid policy.
“We felt that it is a very urgent moment, given the situation on the ground in China. The action was not only to show solidarity but also to voice concern about the human rights situation inside both Tibet and China. CCP has clearly shown how they prioritize their agenda over the welfare of Chinese people,” the newly elected President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT), Tashi Dhondup told Phayul. Representatives from the Students for a Free Tibet-India, NDPT, International Tibet Network and Tibetan Women’s Association were at the site of the demonstration.
The largest pro-independence organization Tibetan Youth Congress organized a flash mob on Wednesday to commemorate the protests in New Delhi. “It was primarily to show our support and solidarity to the anti-government demonstrators, who are calling for democratic reform and an end to Xi Jinping’s dictatorship,” TYC Centrex’s official Facebook page stated. The uproar in mainland China has given rise to a sense of hope and possibility among the exiled Tibetans as many are currently watching closely the events unfolding in China.
The NDPT President said that even though the Chinese regime is expected to continue its policies, he hoped that the protests could bring about some changes in the country. “I am sure Tibetans inside Tibet also must feel hope in the wake of protests in China. Our struggle is intertwined with our land and identity, but this is not just limited to Tibetans, but resonates with all oppressed minorities under the Chinese regime. I feel more hope now given how robust these demonstrations have turned out to be,” he further remarked.
As of Wednesday, people in the Chinese city of Guangzhou reportedly clashed with police in hazmat suits on Tuesday, according to Reuters, as authorities begin the crackdown of those who took part in the protests. While suppressed demonstrations in Tibet happen time and again, such coordinated public rallies rarely happen on this scale with a direct messaging aimed at the national leader Xi Jinping, who recently secured an unprecedented third term as President of China.