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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid