Tibetan government-in-exile calls for halting anti-China protests
The Tibetan government-in-exile on Wednesday called for a temporary halt to protests and demonstrations against China as a mark of respect to earthquake victims, officials said. reported dpa.
"In order to express our solidarity with the great natural disaster that befell on China and to show respect to the victims, the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) has requested Tibetans across the world to shun staging demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies in the respective host countries they live in," spokesman Thubten Samphel said.
Speaking over the telephone from India's northern hill-town of Dharamsala where Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and his government are based, Samphel said the Kashag directive mentioned that the protests should be halted "at least until about the end of May."
The Tibetan administration has also urged Tibetans to write a "letter or send a message, to the concerned that they are doing so in solidarity with the quake victims."
Samphel also said that the Tibetans will be organizing prayer sessions in India and Nepal to mourn for the dead and raising donations for the victims.
The Kashag statement has also called upon "Tibetans living in other parts of the world to initiate ... collaborative activities, and explore possibilities of establishing Sino-Tibetan friendship associations."
In a message last week, Dalai Lama expressed solidarity with the quake victims. "I would like to extend my deep sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the affected families," he said. "I offer my prayers for those who have lost their lives and those injured in the quake," he added.
A quake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck China's south-western Sichuan province on May 12 and left at least 40,000 people dead and 32,000 missing.
Anti-China protests broke out in Tibet in March and soon spread across the globe with scores of Tibetans holding demonstrations demanding independence for Tibet and an end to China's oppression in the Himalayan region.
The Tibetan government-in-exile said about 205 people, mostly Tibetans, have died in the unrest since March. China said that 18 civilians and one police officer died in the March 14 rioting in Lhasa.