India bans Tibetan protests against China in Capital

NEW DELHI: India has banned Tibetans from holding a rally with the Dalai Lama in New Delhi this month to mark the 60th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, officials said on Wednesday, as it tries to improve fraught ties with China, according to Reuters news Agency.

However, they could hold a rally in Dharmsala, if they wished.

Relations between China and India have been tense in recent months after their troops faced off on a disputed part of their border. China was also angered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February visit to the eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh, also claimed by China.

File photo of Tibetan activists are detained by police during a protest held to mark the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India, March 10, 2017 – Reuters

Senior officials in the foreign and interior ministries said exiled Tibetans would not be allowed to hold a rally in the capital, but could do so in the northern town of Dharamsala, where a Tibetan government in exile is based.

“We don’t want Tibetans to hold big anti-China protests in New Delhi because it creates a bit of diplomatic tension between India and China,” said the senior foreign ministry official.

“It’s a very sensitive time for India and China ties and we want to ease tensions.”

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news briefing on Thursday that there was a “pressing need” for China and India to resolve a lack of mutual trust.

Authorities in India and Nepal have previously banned protests against China by Tibetans during sensitive times, such as visits by Chinese leaders.

China took control of Tibet in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation” of the remote, Himalayan region.

An uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet erupted in 1958 and troops crushed it the following year. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled from the crackdown and was granted asylum in India.

The Dalai Lama has lived mostly in Dharamsala, where his supporters run a small government in exile and advocate for autonomy for Tibet by peaceful means.

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