News / Asia

Tibetans Mark Solemn New Year Amid Standoff With China

Tears roll down the cheeks of a Tibetan exile as he listens to a speaker during a protest outside the Chinese Embassy on the first day of Tibetan New Year, in New Delhi, India,  February 22, 2012.
Tears roll down the cheeks of a Tibetan exile as he listens to a speaker during a protest outside the Chinese Embassy on the first day of Tibetan New Year, in New Delhi, India, February 22, 2012.

Tibetans are refraining from annual celebrations to mark their traditional new year holiday, and instead are seeking to draw attention to what they describe as oppressive Chinese policies against them. 

India's Tibetans protest China's human rights violations

Tibetan protesters hurled accusations at China's president Wednesday, chanting “Hu Jintao is a murderer” at a protest here in the Indian capital.

Tibetans accuse Chinese security forces of gunning down at least six peaceful protesters in recent months.

The New Delhi rally of about 50 Tibetan exiles and supporters was held not far from China's Embassy.  Further north, in the Indian city of Dharamsala, members of the elected administration that say it speaks for all Tibetans held a one-day hunger strike.

New Year, no celebrations

Wednesday marks the start of Tibetan Losar, the arrival of a new year on the Tibetan calendar.  Under calmer circumstances, it would be a joyous occasion, but Tibetan exile parliament member Yeshi Phuntsok says this year, things are very different.

“Normally we have a three-day celebration, big celebration.  First day, we do in the home prayer, and then we have many rituals and activities from morning to evening.  Right now, inside Tibet is tense because they are not able to celebrate [the] new year because of the Chinese problem.  So we are also not celebrating [outside Tibetan people] to support them.  It is very tense inside Tibet," Phuntsok said.

Related Gallery - Social Injustice Fuels Self-Immolation Protests

Tibetan exiles say 23 Tibetans, many of them monks or nuns, have lit themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese policies.  Tibetans say China is systematically extinguishing their traditional Buddhist culture - from prohibiting images of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to enforcing nationalistic “re-education” programs in monasteries.

Tibetans also accuse Beijing of deliberately overwhelming Tibetan areas with Chinese migrants who tend to discriminate against Tibetans.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a monk in Chinese-controlled Tibet says Tibetan areas are under complete lockdown.

The monk, who is not named for his protection, says they have no freedom - no religious freedom and no freedom of speech.  He says the pressure is great.  People have no choice, he says, so they protest - and get fired on.  He says there is nothing else the people can do.

China says recent months of protests have been carefully organized by "trained separatists," and refer to demonstrators as “mobs” that have frequently turned to violence.  Beijing describes the self-immolations as a form of terrorism encouraged by outside agitators.

Liu Weimin, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, says security measures have been tightened to “counter disruptive activities” and ensure social stability - something he describes as being consistent with the aspirations of people of different ethnicities.

Lobsang Sangay, Tibet's elected prime minister in exile, has called on the United Nations to send a fact-finding team to Chinese-controlled Tibet, and on Beijing to lift its ban on international media access to the region.



You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid