On September 8, 2023, more than a hundred Tibetan refugees living in the national capital of India, New Delhi staged protests and called on the international community to discuss the Chinese occupation of their nation. These protests come at a time when world leaders and heads of state are arriving in the capital as India holds the G20 Summit this year.
The protests were held and carried out 15 kilometres from Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan where eminent dignitaries would attend the G20 Summit.
Police Barricade (Majnu Ka Tila)
The Majnu ka Tila is a Tibetan refugee settlement in New Delhi. “We have barricaded a certain part of Majnu Ka Tila. The Delhi Police along with personnel from the paramilitary forces of India have been deployed to maintain law and order,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
Earlier on September 2, 2023, the Tibetan refugees living in Dharmshala in Himachal Pradesh commemorated the 63rd Anniversary of Democracy Day which marks the inception of the Tibetan government in exile.
What are the Tibetans Demanding?
The top leader of the Tibetan community in India told a media agency that China is not a trustworthy country at all and the issue of Chinese occupation of Tibet must be discussed at the G20 Summit by India. “Chinese has captured our country and that is why we want to give a message that China is not a trustworthy country at all, Gonpo Dhundup, the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress which organised the demonstration was quoted by a media agency.
“We place a demand before our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other global leaders to discuss Tibet during the G20 Summit,” he said.
Occupation of Tibet
After few years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, the Communist leader and the founding father of China in the year 1951 formulated a five-finger theory. The palm of the five fingers was Tibet and the fingers were the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Bhutan, Nepal and Ladakh. He then led the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to annex Tibet and he considered it to be an integral part of China, a move that was vehemently opposed by the Tibetans.
Atrocities on Tibetans
After the Annexation of Tibet, harsh and punitive measures have been enforced on to the Tibetans. Ever since 1951, they have faced religious, social, and cultural discrimination. The Tibetans face intense surveillance in their daily lives in the form of security cameras, police checkpoints and party officials monitoring their movements and activities. They are often allegedly charged with separatism.
The Chinese authorities strictly oppose Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan Flag and their national anthem have been banned. Possessing pictures of the Dalai Lama incurs the wrath of the draconian authorities. The Tibetan Language is suppressed and the medium of instruction in the educational institutions is Mandarin. Travel for Tibetans is highly restricted and most of their job opportunities are given to Chinese migrants.
Environmentally, China is using the natural resources of Tibet including gold, copper, silver and water to fuel its economic and industrial expansion. As far as the press, information and media are concerned, the Chinese strictly control the information out of Tibet. Foreign Journalists, diplomats and human rights organisations are rarely allowed entry into the region.
China attempts to control the spread of information inside Tibet through strict monitoring and censorship of social media, email and telephone communications. Communications are often blacked out after protests and security incidents. Funding from foreign powers and international NGOs to local Tibetan NGOs is also restricted and evicted. Tibetans who share information inside Tibet or attempt to send information outside Tibet face arrest and lengthy sentences.