Several hundred protestors gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Budapest last Thursday to register their anger over China’s brutal crackdown on demonstrations in Tibet.
A crowd waving Tibetan flags looked on as a protestor dressed as a Chinese army officer – wearing in turns a pig mask and a skull mask – pretended to beat several screaming Tibetans with a truncheon. The embassy was fenced off and protected by border guards. Two people, one Tibetan and one Hungarian, were arrested after throwing paint bombs and stones at the embassy, breaking a window, but the rest of the demonstration passed off peacefully.
Dozens are believed to have died in Tibet since protests began on 10 March, the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule. The number of dead is hard to verify as China has locked down communications and kicked out foreign journalists. China has, however, admitted using live ammunition on protestors in “self-defence”.
China has attempted to blame exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for the trouble, but Choegyal Tenzin, one of the organisers of the Hungarian demonstration, said that the whole nation had risen up. “China says that once the Dalai Lama dies there will be no more trouble, but there are 6.5 million Tibetans who stand against the Chinese,” he told the crowd of demonstrators. “I ask the Chinese authorities to resolve the problem through diplomacy.”
The demonstrations, both in Tibet and across the globe, are a huge embarrassment to China as it prepares to host the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.