By Tenzin Sangmo
New Delhi, April 18 - As a sign of disapproval at the Beijing Olympics torch run that contradicts the very spirit of the message of peace and harmony among sentient beings, Tibetans in exile constituting over 100,000 of the Indian population staged various protests and marches in their respective areas April 17. With media having a field day with the torch run in New Delhi and subsequent Tibetan unrest across the nation, they upheld the message of peace by staging peaceful sermons and prayer sessions for the lives lost in Tibet recently.
A crowd of around 3000 led by the Regional Chapter of TYC Bangalore congregated for a peace march from Banappa Park to MG Road. Mock corpses were carried through the streets with protestors wearing the Symbolic Olympic Circles around their necks bound by chains. The protest was attended by some local politicians, supporters and Indian students from around the region. The historic city of Mysore saw the presence of hundreds of monks at the City Town Hall raising pro-Tibet slogans. People from surrounding constituencies of Hunsur, Kollegal and Chowkur gathered at Bylakuppe, the largest Tibetan Settlement in India and burned Chinese goods including flasks, crockery items, blankets, electronic equipments et al.
Over 30 Tibetans were arrested protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in the business district of Nariman Point in Mumbai to oppose the presence of the Olympic torch in India. Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone-1, Brajesh Singh confirmed, "We have detained 30 Tibetans as they tried to protest in front of the Chinese Consulate". He further proceeded to say that the detainees would be released soon after as they were not booked under any charge. Additional State Reserve Police force was deployed at the scene to maintain a tight vigil.
The seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile witnessed a massive protest carried out by the huge Tibetan population in McleodGunj, Dharamsala. Anti-China slogans were raised and the streets echoed with cries of freedom.
The seemingly far North Eastern regions too reverberated with the strong message of discontent at the Chinese authorities. Activists from neighboring township of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Gangtok, Ravangla, Sonada and Salugara assembled at Siliguri and spread the message of peace and humanity apart from organizing a 24 hr hunger strike. The gathering was presided over by representatives from each dominion and local supporters.
The unity and willpower of the Tibetan people in exile is essential to achieving a dream of a free nation that is rightfully theirs.