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Tibetans in Dharamshala extend support to Chinese protestors

Tibetan women protest against China in Dharamshala

Dharamshala:  After reports of a crackdown on Covid protests throughout China, Tibetans living in exile have expressed solidarity with the Chinese people, who are under strict coronavirus rules since the start of the pandemic.

“It is an unprecedented visual we are looking at. Since Tiananmen Square (1989), we have not seen any form of peaceful protest in mainland China, happening against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership,” one of the Tibetans living in Dharamshala told ANI. “There are various messages coming from the Tibetan diaspora around the world. Some want to offer solidarity, and some want to use this opportunity to remind the new generation of Chinese citizens that you do not have the freedom you imagine yourself to be under,” she added.

Another Tibetan person said there are protests in China that are unprecedented. “It is really important and significant in history. Since the Tiananmen massacre, this is the first big protest happening in China. It is important to show solidarity with them.”
On Friday, the Tibetan government in exile extended solidarity to people impacted due to the ‘Zero Covid’ policy that has resulted in widespread protest across China.

“The Central Tibetan Administration expresses its deep concern and stands in Solidarity. The Kashag reiterates its statement regarding the Covid situation in Tibet: China’s mismanaged zero-covid policy endangers Tibetan lives in Tibet dated 26 September 2022,” the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said in a statement.

Since the end of August this year, millions of people in China have been placed under severe lockdown over several months, including in Lhasa and Urumqi. This has caused immeasurable hardship as people faced extreme restrictions on movement, inadequate access to food and medicine, loss of livelihood, and mental anguish.
According to the CTA statement, the unforgiving Covid curbs have resulted in widespread protests in various cities and universities in China, with protesters calling for freedom and democracy.
From Shanghai to Beijing, Guangzhou to Chengdu, the protests have grown massive, with thousands of people gathering on the streets and university campuses of major cities, demanding to put a period to the strict ‘Zero Covid’ policy.

“The devastation caused by the pandemic has resulted in innumerable deaths, casualties and economic hardship across the world. The world has taken measures based on sound scientific findings to contain the spread of Covid-19, which has brought about a relative state of normalcy,” the statement read.
“This is evident from the fact that millions of unmasked people have gathered in the Middle East to celebrate the FIFA World Cup in great fervour,” it added.

The CTA urged Beijing’s leadership to enforce a humane approach in dealing with these public outbursts, adding that immediate course correction should be initiated by modelling on measures undertaken by international communities and governments.