By Tendar Tsering
Tibetan students protesting outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India on February 16, 2012. (Photo/TYC)
DHARAMSHALA, February 16: Forty-eight Tibetan college students, all members of the largest pro-independence group in exile, Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) stormed the Chinese Embassy in the Indian capital New Delhi today.
The students were protesting the visit of Luo Huining, the governor of China’s Qinghai prefecture, which constitutes the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.
The eastern Tibetan region of Amdo has been the focal point of the fiery wave of self-immolations that has been raging since Phuntsog, a 20-year old monk from the Kirti monastery torched his body in March 2011.
24 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze demanding the return of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
In the Indian capital, the Tibetan students carried out noisy protests in two batches, each lasting for over 20 minutes in front of the Chinese embassy, protesting against China’s repressive policies and the violent military crackdown in Tibetan areas.
"The protesting students attempted to jump over the embassy gates while shouting slogans such as 'Luo Huining go back', 'Free Tibet', 'Stop the killings in Tibet,'" TYC said in a release.
Many of the students received severe beatings from the police at the time of arrest, with one carrying serious injuries. The one seriously injured has been admitted to the hospital, TYC said.
"We wanted Mr. Luo to know that these events of self-immolations and resistance inside Tibet should be viewed by the government of China as a very, very serious threat and understand the potential magnitude that this represents,” Jigme, an executive of TYC said.
“The sacrifices of these warriors clearly exemplify that no amount of brainwashing, propaganda, violence, or the so-called development has penetrated the minds and souls of the Tibetan people who will continue to rise up and resist as long as the occupation of Tibet persist."
The 25 girls and 23 boys, all in their early twenties are detained in the Chanakyapuri police station at the time of reporting. According to sources, they will most likely be transferred to Tihar jail.
The Tibetan leadership in exile and rights groups have expressed fear of more self-immolations and bloodshed as many parts of Tibet continue to remain under an undeclared martial law with Chinese security personnel gunning down unarmed Tibetan protesters in recent weeks.