By Namgyal Kunga
New Delhi, April 13: Outraged by the continuing oppression in Tibet, 10 Tibetan school children staged a naked protest at the heavily guarded Chinese Embassy in the Indian capital. The Tibetan students who had just finished their board exams barged into the embassy premises here to protest against what they called “on-going repression in Tibet and to show their solidarity to the Tibetans inside Tibet who continue to struggle for freedom amid Chinese government's brutal crackdown”.
The 10 Tibetan children who were in their undergarments chained themselves onto the barbed wire that surrounded the Chinese Embassy and shouted slogans calling for “freedom in Tibet” and “human rights in Tibet.” Nine of them were arrested by the police. The school children did not belong to any political group or NGO.
“We did this protest to show the Chinese leadership that their repressive policies in Tibet are naked truth no matter how hard they try to hide from the world what Tibetans in Tibet are going through”, said Dorjee Tsetan, a student of Bylakuppe Tibetan Children's Village School.
The protest comes days after China sentenced two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak, to death for their alleged involvement in last year's protests in Lhasa. Two others, Phuntsok and Kangtsuk, were also sentenced to death but with a two-year reprieve, and Dawa Sangpo was sentenced to life imprisonment.
“There is an immense crackdown and brutality being imposed on the Tibetan people inside Tibet. Chinese government in their 50 years Occupation of Tibet has failed to respect the sentiments of the Tibetan people. We have lost everything, our homes, families, friends, relatives and even our basic rights to live as human being. We have nothing more to lose”, said Dorjee.
Rabgyal, another student of the same school, said "We have just finished our class 10th and 12th board examination, and as Tibetans we feel it is our moral responsibility to speak out on behalf of those Tibetans inside Tibet who can't, we have decided to use our vacation positively. To shelve our dignity is the only way we thought we can bring the attention of the world community, which has done little in the last 50 years in supporting us to get back our country."
"My parents were imprisoned for participating in a peaceful protest last year," said another student, Tsering, "I have no clue about their present condition. I came here to ask the Chinese government to release my parents and all the other innocent Tibetans who were imprisoned for expressing their feelings for Tibet and devotion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama."
This year marks 50 years of China's Occupation of Tibet. Tibetans both inside Tibet and in exile had to go through an immense suffering of separation.
“I left Tibet because I was deprived of my right to education, freedom of speech, religion and movement. Thousands of Tibetan children like me cross the Himalayas every year to escape the oppression in Tibet." said Lodoe, another protester, “The oppression must end so that Tibetan parents no longer have to part with their children.”
“I am thankful to India and the Indian people and this protest is in no way a disrespect to the sentiments of the Indian people. For us, this was the last thing we could do,” he added.