Thousands of Tibetans hold anti-China protest in New Delhi

Demonstrators carry shrouded effigies, representing compatriots killed in a crackdown on anti-China protests in the Himalayan region.

dalai lama 88 (photo credit:)
dalai lama 88
(photo credit: )
Thousands of Tibetan demonstrators carried 152 shrouded effigies, representing the compatriots they believed were killed in a crackdown on anti-China protests in the Himalayan region, in a rally Thursday in the Indian capital. Carrying placards saying "Stop Cultural Genocide in Tibet" and "China has turned Tibet into a Killing Field," Thursday's protesters urged China to release imprisoned Tibetans and remove its heavy military presence from the region. Roughly 200 protesters marched to New Delhi from Dharmsala, the seat of Tibet's government-in-exile and home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. The rest of the demonstrators arrived from neighboring states. The crowd carried 152 stuffed effigies draped in white shrouds, representing the 152 victims they believe were killed in the protests and the ensuing crackdown in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, last month. Chinese authorities say 22 people died in the riots that broke out March 14. China has accused the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, of orchestrating the violence to sabotage the Beijing Olympic Games in August and create an independent state. The protests are the longest and most sustained challenge to China's 57-year rule in the Himalayan region, and have focused increased international scrutiny and criticism on China in the run-up to this summer's games. The Olympic torch was scheduled to pass through New Delhi on April 17. The international torch relay has faced chaotic protests in London and Paris because of China's human rights record in Tibet and elsewhere.