As the G20 summit kicks off in New Delhi, Tibetan refugees living in India have called on the international community to discuss the Chinese occupation of their nation. More than a hundred refugees staged protests in New Delhi on Friday (Sept. 8) as world leaders began descending upon India’s national capital.
US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni were amongst the top leaders to have arrived by late Friday.
It must be noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are not attending the summit due to domestic issues and the Ukraine crisis respectively.
What are Tibetans demanding?
Indian news agency ANI quoted the top leader of the Tibetan community in India as saying that China is not a trustworthy country and that the issue of occupation must be discussed at the G20 forum.
“China has captured our country, that is why we want to give a message that China is not a trustworthy country,” Gonpo Dhundup, President of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which organised the demonstration, was quoted as saying by tibetpress.
“We place a demand before our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other global leaders to discuss Tibet during the G20 summit,” he said.
The protests, organised Thursday, were carried out just 15 km away from Pragati Maidan, the venue of the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Chinese occupation of Tibet
China occupied Tibet in 1950, rushing thousands of troops for a “peaceful liberation”. China has ruled the region ever since.
China has also faced allegations of undertaking a “cultural genocide” in Tibet, by cracking down on religious freedom and the right to education in Tibetan language. Beijing obviously denies these allegations.
Police barricade Majnu ka Tilla
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around the Majnu ka Tilla area as Tibetans plan protests during the G20 summit.
Majnu ka Tilla is a Tibetan settlement. “We have barricaded a certain part of Majnu ka Tilla. Delhi Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain law and order,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi was quoted as saying by Indian news agency PTI.
Earlier on September 2, Tibetans-in-exile commemorated the 63rd anniversary of Democracy Day in Dharamshala which marks the inception of the Tibetan democratic system in exile.