By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 5: Former Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) leader and activist Kavita Krishnan joined the solidarity protest organized by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Samyeling at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi where hundreds including Tibetan poet and activist Tenzin Tsundue paid homage to protestors in China on Friday.
Krishnan who recently resigned from the CPIM central committee said, “This kind of protest all over China on a single issue is [quite] rare.” She went on to debunk misinformation online to discredit these protests, noting the loopholes of the Zero-Covid policy including intensified surveillance on its citizens through data procured during the pandemic. “Just like in India, these very tight lockdowns have resulted in massive unemployment and small businesses have suffered. 20% of Chinese youth are unemployed today, young Chinese are not getting jobs, they are bound to be unsatisfied with that,” she further noted in her speech.
“If the people of East Turkestan or Tibet are not allowed to demand their rightful autonomy, in that case, that government has no moral right to remain,” she told the crowd. Krishnan’s disagreement with the Chinese Communist government is said to be one of the issues that saw her resign from the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Fellow activist and writer Tenzin Tsundue in his address to the crowd said that there is an urgent need to send this message of solidarity to the people of China, “As I stand today and speak, there is a revolution happening in China. It is not just a ‘protest’, it is a revolution. Look at what they are demanding; they want the CCP to go. They want Xi Jinping to step down. It is not just happening in some parts of the country but all across China.”
There have been numerous solidarity protests all over the globe, including exiled Tibetans who have been holding protests and peace marches to express their support for the protestors in China, East Turkestan and Tibet. The Tibetan Women’s Association also held a candlelight vigil at the McLeod Ganj square on Friday to show their support with the anti-lockdown protests, which first began from Urumqi city in East Turkestan where an apartment fire claimed the lives of 10 people. Many had speculated that Covid curbs had hindered the escape of the residents who died in the fire. There is no official response to the discontentment and public outcry but higher Chinese officials reportedly warned that the authorities will crack down on “criminal acts that disrupt social order”.
The recent protests is seen as the largest public protests since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Four Dharamshala-based rights groups on Tuesday participated in a non-violent direct action activity near the Chinese embassy, holding messages of solidarity and blank A4 papers, representing the symbol used in the anti-government protests in China.