Delhi, March 26, 2012: Indian students protested Chinese President Hu Jintao’s failed policies and escalating crackdown in Tibet as he prepares to attend the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi. The students unfurled a large banner stating “HU JINTAO: YOU’RE NOT WELCOME TO INDIA. YOU’VE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS. FREE TIBET NOW” in front of the India Gate. The protest comes a day after Jamphel Yeshi, a 27-year-old Tibetan man, set himself on fire in Jantar Mantar, Delhi’s main square, in protest of Chinese rule over Tibet. He is currently being treated with severe burns at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.
“As an Indian and a person of conscience, I will not welcome Hu Jintao or any Chinese leader to my country as long China continues its extreme and violent rule over Tibet,” said Priya, chapter coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet in Delhi. “The BRICS leaders gathered here must publicly and vigorously pressure Hu Jintao to end the gross human rights violations his regime is perpetrating in Tibet. We must also remember that China is not only inflicting horrific suffering on the people of Tibet but also is the biggest sponsor of tyrannical regimes around the world, including in Syria, Burma, and Sudan.”
China’s repressive policies during its 60-year rule over Tibet, and the severe crackdown going on today, have created a human right crisis, provoking an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople. Since January 2012, there have been 17 self-immolations by Tibetans calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. The same calls for freedom were also heard during a recent wave of large-scale peaceful protests in Tibet. Chinese security forces responded to this resistance by opening fire on crowds and then arresting and disappearing people suspected of being involved in the protest.
“Standing before this National monument, I pay homage to all my Tibetan brothers and sisters who have sacrificed their lives fighting to regain the freedom of their country Tibet. Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh share a very intimate relation with Tibet and it pains us to see Tibetan culture, language and religion under such vicious attack under China’s authoritarian rule,” said Rinchen Dolma, a student from Ladakh. “Our message to the Indian Government today is China cannot be trusted; every year there are several incursions by Chinese security forces into Ladakh and Arunachal, a clear indication of China’s true intentions to control the entire trans-Himalayan region by force. Only a resolution for Tibet can bring true stability for India’s northern border and I urge Prime Minister Singh to directly call on Hu Jintao to cease the brutal crackdown in Tibet and to help secure a just and fair resolution for the Tibetan people.”