TYC President Tsewang Rigzin being arrested outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi on November 12, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, November 12: Tibetan activists in the Indian capital New Delhi today stormed the Chinese embassy in solidarity with the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet and the massive protests occurring in Rebkong, eastern Tibet.
13 Tibetan activists, led by Tsewang Rigzin, president of Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, raised slogans for Tibet’s independence outside the embassy gates, even as reports were coming in of one more self-immolation by a Tibetan named Nyingkar Tashi in eastern Tibet this afternoon.
All 13 activists, including eight students, two of whom were women, have been arrested by Indian police and are currently being held at the Chanakyapuri Police Station in Delhi.
TYC in a release said the demonstration was organised in response to the “staggering number of known self-immolations, almost 60 in 2012 alone and 71 since the immolations began in 2009, and to show support for the thousands of Tibetans who have taken up the courage and risked their lives to protest against the Chinese occupation in the streets of Rebkong, eastern Tibet.”
The group blamed the Chinese government of unleashing relentless repression against the peaceful Tibetan protestors instead of addressing their just demands.
“The extreme acts of self-immolations are the highest form of non-violent direct action and while their bodies are engulfed in flames, all the self-immolators in unison have demanded the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and Independence for Tibet,” Rigzin said in a statement before his arrest.
The TYC president noted that the self-immolations have “totally paralysed the Beijing government” and their final demands are “ringing loud and clear in the ears of the Chinese leaders” at the ongoing 18th Communist Party National Congress.
“We demand the Chinese government under the new leadership of Xi Jinping to do the right thing by working on a timeline during this ongoing 18th Communist Party National Congress to return Tibet to its rightful owner: the Tibetan people,” Rigzin said. He also appealed to world leaders and the international community to stand “on the right side of history” and support the Tibetan people’s rightful aspiration to be free from Chinese occupation.
“The ball is in the court of the Chinese government to douse the fiery protests inside Tibet and we the Tibetan people know that regardless of China’s economy and military might, the just struggle of the Tibetan people will prevail at the end.”
Rigzin also called on Tibetans world over to “knock on the doors” of the Chinese embassies and consulates and “echo the call for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and Independence for Tibet.”