Tashi, a Tibetan activist, unfurling a banner from the roof of a petrol station adjacent to the Taj Hotel in New Delhi were Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is staying. May 20, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, May 20: Three Tibetans were detained today by the Delhi Police for staging a protest against Chinese Premier Li Keqiang near the Taj Palace Hotel in the Indian capital where Li is presently staying.
The three Tibetans have been identified as members and staff of the Students for a Free Tibet- Tenzin Tselha, SFT Grassroot Director, Lobsang Phendey, Office manager, and Tashi, a student. They were immediately detained and are currently lodged at the Chanakyapuri Police station.
Earlier, local authorities had denied Tibetan organisations permission
to hold a protest against Li’s maiden visit to India and even increased security around Tibetan residential areas.
Tashi managed to climb on the top of a filling station adjacent to the hotel and unfurled a 20-foot-long banner reading, “CHINA OUT OF TIBET, CHINA OUT OF INDIA, LI KEQIANG: TIBET WILL BE FREE!” and raised slogans calling for “Free Tibet’ and “Tibet’s Independence, India’s Security.” The two other protesters were arrested for trying to break security barricade around the hotel.
"We are here to shame Li Keqiang over the ongoing crisis in Tibet and to challenge him to end China's failed policies that have driven 117 Tibetans to light their own bodies on fire in protest,” said Tenzin Tselha, Grassroots Director of Students for a Free Tibet, India.
“If India's leaders desire lasting peace and security then they must directly and publicly raise the issue of Tibet with Li. Only a lasting resolution to China's illegal occupation of Tibet can bring about a lasting solution to India's longstanding border issues. The Indian government must also engage with other downstream nations in a multilateral effort to secure Tibet's critical water resources and to ensure these resource are not solely controlled by the Chinese government.”
As a precautionary measure, a large number of security personnel have been deployed at the Chinese embassy and the hotel where Li is staying. Also, four metro stations – Race Course, Udyog Bhawan, Central Secretariat, and Khan Market – remained closed for hours and several roads around the areas were blocked.
“China's occupation of Tibet is not only a critical issue for six million Tibetans aspiring for freedom and human rights, but also a growing security issue for India. The recent incursion by Chinese troops into Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh once again highlights China’s imperialist plans for the region," said Dorjee Tseten, National Director, Students for a Free Tibet-India.
“The situation demands bold and immediate action and we stand together with our Indian brothers and sisters in condemning China’s aggression. Many Indians also stand with Tibetans in our hope that the Government of India will raise a lasting resolution for Tibet as a priority issue during these talks with China's new leadership.”
Yesterday, the students’ group had launched a parody video
titled “Li Premier League” mocking the Chinese Premier and challenging him to respond to the mounting global pressure for an end to China’s crackdown in Tibet. A takeoff of ‘Dil Jamping Japak,’ the theme of the popular cricket series T20 Indian Premier League, the video features Li making a mockery of himself over China’s handling of the recurrent order intrusion into India and Beijing’s repression in Tibet.
Li is currently on a three-day visit to India following which he will be travelling to close ally Pakistan, Switzerland, and Germany.