Beijing imposes crackdown in Tibet, exiles say

DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) – Tibet’s  government-in-exile appealed to Beijing yesterday to end what  it said was a Chinese crackdown on fresh protests in the  troubled region.
A statement by Tibet’s exiled cabinet, the Kashag, said:

“The Kashag strongly deplore the recent arbitrary arrest,  detention and torture (that has) taken place … for the  slightest peaceful expression of their (Tibetans) aspirations or  resentments.”

A rights group in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibet’s exiled  government in northern India, said this week 21 Tibetans have  been detained since a Feb 15 protest began in the Lithang  region.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said  hundreds of paramilitaries had arrived in Lithang after fresh  protests and placed severe restrictions on the movement of  people and streets looked deserted.
Chinese police last week said they “did not have any such  information” on reports of arrests.

Next month marks the first anniversary of protests against  Chinese rule in Lhasa and in Tibetan communities across the  plateau, and the 50th anniversary of the exile of the Dalai  Lama, whom Beijing brands a separatist.
A week of demonstrations in Lhasa erupted in violence in  March last year when a Tibetan crowd burned shops belonging to  Han Chinese and Hui Muslims, killing 19 people.

Some say the Chinese crackdown followed a boycott call by  some Tibetans of the New Year’s celebrations in February to  commemorate the March uprising and subsequent crackdown.

The Tibetan Youth Congress in Dharamsala plans hunger  strikes and protests to mark the New Year.
“The Kashag especially regrets the re-launching of the  strike hard campaign (by Chinese), patriotic re-education and  forcing Tibetans to celebrate Tibetan New Year,” the exiled  Tibetan government’s statement said.

Thubten Samphel, Secretary of the government’s Department of  Information and International Relations, told Reuters: “We feel  it’s time for Chinese to exercise patience and restraint and not  resort to an all out war towards Tibetan people.”

China’s Communist Party has ruled Tibet with an iron fist  since People’s Liberation Army troops marched into the  mountainous region in 1950 and brands the exiled Dalai Lama a  “splittist.”

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