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His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
More than a thousand Tibetans, Uyghurs and supporters protest in Paris to denounce China's repression in Tibet. Xi Jinping will be on an official visit to France from Monday. Under a canopy of flags with snow lions, protesters marched from the Trocadero Human Rights Square to the Peace Wall at the other end of the Champ de Mars. 25 March 2019. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives at Theckchen Choeling temple on the second day of his teachings, McLeod Ganj, Feb. 20, 2019 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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Tibetan exiles protest China's new rail link to Tibet
AFP[Saturday, July 01, 2006 16:48]
DHARAMSALA, July 1: Hundreds of Tibetan exiles and supporters rallied in a northern Indian hill town against the opening of a railway linking politically sensitive Tibet with the rest of China.

Saffron-robed Buddhist monks, nuns, Tibetans and their supporters marched through Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama's exiled government has been based since the spiritual leader sought refuge following a failed 1959 uprising.

"Reject the railway," chanted the demonstrators who wore black armbands as a sign of protest.

The demonstration came as China's President
Hu Jintao launched the 1,142-kilometer (708-mile) rail line, the world's highest, hailing it as "magnificent feat in China's history of railway construction" and a great "miracle for the world."

The train project has stirred huge controversy from those opposed to China's rule of Tibet, which began in 1950 when officially atheist Chinese troops marched in to "liberate" the devoutly Buddhist people of the region.

"Though China claims the railroad will bring economic prosperity to Tibet, we know ... it is a political project," B. Tsering Yeshi, president of the Tibetan Womens Association, told the rally on Saturday.

"The railway will further marginalize Tibetans," she added, as Tibetan shopkeepers and restaurants in the area closed in protest.

Beijing says the railway, running from Golmud in China's northwest Qinghai province to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, will modernise and improve the economic fortunes of the impoverished region.

Critics argue the 4.2-billion-dollar railway will allow the national majority Han Chinese to flood into Tibet, leading to the devastation of the local Tibetan culture.

With China's economy booming, the railway is also seen as key to the exploitation of Tibet's rich natural resources that environmentalists fear could wreck the Himalayan region's fragile ecosystem.
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