Twelve Tibetans were arrested yesterday for protesting outside the venue of the two-day boundary talks between India and China in the Indian capital New Delhi.
The arrested Tibetans were all members of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest pro-independence group in exile.
The two-day border talks, the 15th in the round, between the special representatives of the two countries began Monday after it was deferred in November last following China’s demand that India scrap a global religious meeting which the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was scheduled to attend.
Meanwhile in the Indian capital, hundreds of Tibetans took out a protest rally at Jantar Mantar, flaying the border talks as “illegal and insensitive”. The talks are being held at a time when Tibetans in Tibet are setting their bodies on fire, demanding freedom and independence from Chinese rule.
“12 Tibetans protested outside the Hyderabad House, the venue of the talks between Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo,” Konchok Yangphel, executive member of TYC told Phayul.
Youth members also held protests outside Hotel Maurya Sheraton where the Chinese special representative is staying.
“Both countries are well aware of the fact that any territorial talk is inextricably linked to the issue of Tibet and Dai’s visit to India for border talks, at a time when Tibet is burning, is like rubbing salt on the wound,” said Tsewang Rigzin, the president of TYC.
“China has no right to re-write Tibet’s history,” added the president.
In a release yesterday evening, TYC noted that “until China’s forceful invasion of Tibet in 1949, India shared its northern border with Tibet, not China.”
Referring to the “betrayal and corrosion” of trust the two countries “supposedly” built following the Panchsheel Agreement in 1954, the TYC president said, “Dai’s pronouncement of lofty words such as friendship, cooperation and peaceful development should only be taken with a pinch of salt.
“Even while Dai’s lofty words reverberate in the corridors of Hyderabad House, China’s active encirclement of India with the ‘string of pearls’ is becoming more visible,” Rigzin said.
According to the release, five boys and six girls were in police custody.
At the conclusion of the talks, the two Asia giants decided to set up a “new mechanism” to maintain peace on the border called the “working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs.”
“The working mechanism will address issues and situations that may arise in the border areas that affect the maintenance of peace and tranquility, and will work actively towards maintaining the friendly atmosphere between the two countries,” says the text of the agreement.
However, the new mechanism “will not discuss resolution of the boundary question or affect the talks between special representatives”.