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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid