by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) March 28, 2012
A Tibetan exile who set himself alight two days ago in New Delhi died on Wednesday and police detained at least 100 other activists protesting against Chinese President Hu Jintao's arrival in the city.
The Indian capital is home to thousands of Tibetans who have vowed to use Hu's visit to focus global attention on the Chinese government's alleged repression in Tibet.
Police detained the demonstrators, many of them female, at the same venue where protester Jamphel Yeshi on Monday doused his clothes in fuel, lit himself and ran screaming down a road as his body was engulfed in flames.
Some Tibetan students said police were not allowing them to leave their hostels, while Tibetan residential areas were flooded with security forces ahead of the summit that President Hu is attending on Thursday.
"We are not putting Tibetans under house arrest (but) they have been instructed not to rally anywhere inside New Delhi while the summit is going on," police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP.
"Protesters are being put into buses and removed because they have not had permission. There is also heavy deployment in places where Tibetans stay," he added.
Yeshi, who was the first self-immolation victim outside China since a spate of similar protests inside the country began last March, was declared dead at Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia hospital on Wednesday morning.
"His heart stopped working, everything stopped working. He had 98 percent burns," L.K. Makhija, the head of the burns department, told AFP.
"Normally people with 98 percent burns do not survive. The body has been sent for a post-mortem."
Since early 2011, at least 29 Tibetans, many of them Buddhist monks and nuns, are reported to have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China to protest against Chinese rule.
President Hu landed in Delhi on Wednesday to attend the meeting of the BRICS group of developing nations, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
"I have been locked up in my hostel with 150 other students since yesterday," Paldin Sonam, 24, a Tibetan activist and student at Delhi University, told AFP.
"The police said they were worried that we would try to do the same as the man who set himself alight. They were concerned about a law and order problem developing. We can't leave."
Three protesters were also held by police outside the Oberoi hotel, where President Hu is reportedly staying.
"Hu Jintao is the architect of the current human rights crisis in Tibet and it is our duty and our responsibility to hold him accountable on the international stage," said Dorjee Tseten of Students for a Free Tibet India.
Friends of Yeshi said he was a quiet and bookish 27-year-old man who had fled from China in 2006 and was living in the Tibetan exiles' colony of Majnu ka Tila in Delhi.
He had grown increasingly frustrated at the fate of Tibetans in China, but had told no one of his planned self-immolation protest, which made headlines around the world.
Yeshi, who lost his father at a young age, arrived in India via Nepal, and his friends said that he was tortured by Chinese authorities in Tibet before he escaped, leaving his mother behind.
"He was very dedicated to a free Tibet, he was very active in the cause. It is a big loss for all of us and our community," said Tsewang Dolma, a Tibetan Youth Congress member, waiting outside the hospital.
"He made a big sacrifice for the Tibetan nation, for his brothers and sisters. He wanted to end the suffering in Tibet."
Many Tibetans in China complain of religious repression as well as a gradual erosion of their culture, which they blame on a growing influx of Han Chinese -- the country's dominant ethnic group -- in areas where they live.
But China rejects the charge and accuses Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, of inciting self-immolations in a bid to split Tibet from the rest of the nation.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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Hong Kong court overturns maid residency ruling
Hong Kong (AFP) March 28, 2012
Hong Kong's court of appeal on Wednesday overturned a landmark ruling that opened the door for thousands of foreign maids to claim residency in the southern Chinese city. "It must be up to the sovereign authority to decide the extent to which the status of permanent resident should be conceded to foreign nationals," Judge Andrew Cheung wrote in a 66-page judgement accepting the government's ... read more
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