News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan activists arrested at rally

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March 17 – TWENTY-ONE Tibetan activists were arrested outside the United Nations in New York overnight on a third successive day of protests against Beijing’s deadly crackdown in their Himalayan homeland.

The 21 activists – including two Buddhist monks, one of whom was in his 70s – were detained on public order charges after laying down and blocking traffic on the main avenue passing the UN headquarters.

Chanting “Wake up! Wake up, United Nations!” the demonstrators wrapped themselves in Tibetan flags and lay down on their backs before being arrested.

Nearby, several hundred other activists mounted a peaceful demonstration.

“We are asking the UN to intervene immediately to stop the Chinese authorities from further killing, to lift the curfew and release all those arrested and let foreign journalists into Tibet,” said Tsering Palden, president of New York’s Tibetan Youth Congress.

The act of civil disobedience was timed to coincide with the expiration of a deadline set by Chinese authorities in Tibet for those involved in the unrest to surrender, he said.

Chanting “UN, Where Are You?” and “We Need Your Support” the crowd of protesters further accused Beijing of genocide, called for an end to the current crackdown and for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic games in August.

Over the weekend, up to one thousand protesters rallied outside the Chinese consulate in New York, with some throwing rocks at the shuttered building.

Several glass bricks and panels in the consulate wall were shattered, leaving broken glass littering one footpath. Two protesters were arrested for public order offences.

Similar protests were mounted in several European cities, including The Hague, in the Netherlands, where protesters tried to storm the Chinese embassy.

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