Dalai Lama’s abode quiet as Li begins India visit

Dharamsala: There were no protests Sunday in this seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang began his India visit.

Official sources said activists of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Tibetan Women Association, Students for Free Tibet and the National Democratic Party of India were camping in Mumbai and Delhi.

“There is no sense of staging protests here (Dharamsala). The protests are aimed at highlighting the issue of rights violations in Tibet,” said a TYC office bearer.

“The protests are mainly focussed in Mumbai and New Delhi, which Li is visiting,” he added.

TYC is the largest pro-independence group in exile.

Tibetan activist and poet Tenzin Tsundue, who had twice “breached the wall” by unfurling protest banners during the visits of Chinese premiers, told IANS: “We have sent 100 Tibetan activists to Mumbai.”

Tsundue, 39, scaled the 14th floor of a Mumbai hotel in 2002 to greet then Chinese premier Zhu Rongji with a “Free Tibet” banner.

He did the same when Zhu’s successor Wen Jiabao visited Bangalore in April 2005.

Li will begin the visit, his first foreign trip after assuming office in March, from Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Central Tibetan Administration, too are not in Dharamsala.

The Dalai Lama is touring the US to give a series of public lectures and teachings, said officials.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet along with many of his supporters in 1959 when Chinese troops occupied Lhasa and the rest of Tibet and took refuge here.

Over 100,000 Tibetans live in India today.


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