• Monday, October 02, 2023


India’s Tibetan refugees seek talks on Tibet at G20 summit, protest in Delhi

Chinese president Xi Jinping will not attend the summit and his country will be represented by premier Li Qiang.

Members of Tibetan community stage a protest against the Chinese government on the eve of G20 Summit, near Majnu ka Tilla, in New Delhi on Friday, September 8, 2023. (ANI Photo/Amit Sharma)

By: Shubham Ghosh

WHILE the world was gearing up for the G20 leaders’ summit and eagerly awaiting the outcome of the deliberations made by top leaders, over a hundred Tibetan refugees protested on Friday (8) at the Indian capital, demanding discussion over the “occupation” of their country by China during the high-level meeting kicking off on Saturday (9).

A number of global leaders started reaching India the same day for the two-day summit and among them were US president Joe Biden, British prime minister Rishi Sunak and many others.

However, the top leader of the country against which the refugees were protesting — China — was not attending the summit. Beijing confirmed a few days ahead of the summit that premier Li Qiang will represent it at the summit instead of Xi Jinping.

“China has captured our country, that is why we want to give a message that China is not a trustworthy country,” Gonpo Dhundup, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which organised the protest, told Indian news agency Asian News International.

“We place a demand before our prime minister Narendra Modi and other global leaders to discuss Tibet during the G20 summit,” he was quoted as saying.

In 1950, China sent troops into Tibet, calling the act of “peaceful liberation” and has ruled the mountainous country since then. Following China’s crackdown against the Tibetan uprising in the late 1950s, several Tibetans, including their spiritual guru Dalai Lama, were forced to flee from Tibet and seek refuge in the south Asian country.

Tibetan rights groups have alleged “cultural genocide” and strict controls on religion, language, education and labour under Beijing, charges that the latter have denied.

The protesters also gathered on Thursday (7), not very far from Pragati Maidan, where the G20 summit will be held.

Security was beefed up near north Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla area, which is a Tibetan settlement, in anticipation of more protests. Personnel of Delhi Police as well as paramilitary forces were deployed, deputy commissioner of police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi told Press Trust of India.

ANI footage showed protesters, including young children and students to the elderly, chanting slogans such as “we want freedom” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans” and carrying Tibetan flags while staging the demonstration.

(With Reuters inputs)

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