Chinese police have detained dozens of Tibetan monks after a protest march, according to news reports. The monks were among some 300 people who left Drepung monastery on Monday to walk the 10 kilometres into Lhasa to protest against Chinese rule and to demand the release of imprisoned supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama. As the Beijing Olympics are approaching, Tibetans across the globe have been gearing up their protests against Chinese rule.
The Dalai Lama at a Temple in Dharmsala, India to mark the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising
It’s been 49 years, since the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. The movement was crushed by the Chinese troops and the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, had to flee to India. Since then he has been living in the northern Indian town of Dharam Shala and is running a government-in-exile.
As the Beijing Olympics are just five months away, Tibetan refugees across the globe have been gearing up to raise their voices once again and protest against what they see as China's illegal occupation of their homeland.
Need for change in Tibet
Kai Müller from the international campaign for Tibet in Berlin explains the aim of these protests is to draw the world’s attention to the cause of Tibet ahead of Olympics:
“The purpose of these protests is to remind the international community and the leadership in Beijing that there is a need for change. The situation is deteriorating in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and also there is no substantial progress in terms of a dialogue with his holiness the Dalai Lama.”
On Monday, thousands of Tibetan refugees across the world marked the anniversary of the uprising. Müller believes such events will give a boost to the concerns of Tibetans.
“March 10th in Germany showed that there is large interest here in the media in protests. More than 900 German mayors hoisted German flags in front of their town halls. I think this will be a great help for the issue of Tibet.”
March for human rights
In India, a group of Tibetan exiles has begun a long march to Tibet. Defying a police ban on the march, the group says the march will highlight what they say are serious human rights violations in their Himalayan homeland. They also stress that they are determined to finish it. Tenzin Damdul Tenboom is the Tibet’s welfare officer: “It is a peace march and this group wants to go to Tibet. They will see how far they could go. But for sure they will not indulge in any violence.”
Meanwhile the Dalai Lama has slammed China for its human rights record. In a statement earlier this week, the Tibetan leader accused Beijing of gross violations in Tibet and said that Tibetans in China have been living under "increasing repression".
His statement coincides with reports that China has crushed a protest by monks in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and arrested several of them. The Chinese authorities have admitted that the march took place but have declined to give details about the possible arrests.