Tibetans Protest Against China at the United Nations
AP[Saturday, March 15, 2008 01:20]
By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press

Dozens of Tibetans, young and old, held a noisy protest against Chinese rule outside the United Nations today while President Bush was speaking elsewhere in Manhattan. Three demonstrators tried unsuccessfully to enter the United Nations and six were arrested, officials said.

The protesters carried placards and Tibetan flags, bearing dragons and a yellow sun with red and blue rays, and shouted "Free Tibet!" "No freedom, no peace, no Olympics!" and "Wake up United Nations!"

The spontaneous protest was a smaller, more peaceful version of one in Katmandu, Nepal, where police scuffled today with about 1,000 protesters, including dozens of Buddhist monks. About 12 monks were injured.

The demonstrations were held in support of monks in Tibet, where flaring violence resulted in burned shops and vehicles, and gunshots fired in the streets of the capital, Lhasa. A radio report said two people had been killed.

A member of the Tibetan Association, Phurbu Tsering, said its members had received phone calls from Tibet claiming 70 people had been killed by Chinese authorities, a thousand people had been arrested, and all the monasteries had been locked up. The claims could not be verified.

According to a U.N. deputy spokeswoman, Marie Okabe, guards thwarted three demonstrators as they "tried to force entry" into the compound through a staff entrance gate on First Avenue near 42nd Street. A U.N. staff member saw at least one man wrestled to the ground.

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