Minnesota Tibetans Storm Chinese Office in Chicago
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 11, 2014 10:39 PM EST
Hundreds of Tibetans from Minnesota stormed the Chinese consulate in Chicago on Tuesday, marking the 55th Tibetan national uprising anniversary.
Waving the Tibetan flags, the group shouted free Tibet slogans, forcing the Chinese officials to peep out from the windows of the Chinese overseas office.
"Tibet belongs to Tibetans, China out of Tibet," the group shouted as the situation got a little tense.
The group from Minnesota was joined by other Tibetans residing in and around Chicago in the demonstration.
As the group stormed the Chinese office in Chicago, around three hundred other Tibetans, who could not join the protest in Chicago, marched across Downtown Minneapolis in Minnesota, calling for international intervention to end what they perceive as the ongoing Tibetan crisis.
"Today is a historical day for Tibetans whole over the world as on this same day in 1959, thousands of Tibetans in Tibet rose up and revolted against the Chinese government in order to protect their leader (the Dalai Lama) and the Tibetan nation from the Chinese invasion," said Tsewang Rigzin, former head of Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest non-governmental Tibetan organization.
"Until and unless, we succeed to protect our leader and our nation, it is the responsibility of all Tibetans to take part in the movement," he added.
Sonam Tsering, a Tibetan immigrant in the United States who calls "Minnesota as his second homeland", expressed his solidarity with the plight of Tibetans inside Tibet.
"We Tibetans are always peaceful. Tibetans in Tibet never resort to any kind of violence whenever they protest against the Chinese government.
"But what the Chinese government does is to put more security personnel's and more force leading to more arrest and more torture", he added.
On several occasions in the United States and in India in recent months, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has urged the people to be "careful" before holding any protests against the Chinese government.
The Dalai Lama has told the Tibetans to think "twice" before holding any anti-China protest. He has said that staging demonstrations in other parts of the world would have consequences inside Tibet, where the people will have to suffer.
"We can shout in exile, but Tibetans inside Tibet are under China," the leader said.
The Dalai Lama is looked at from different angles by the US and China, and this difference is a well known fact. China views the spiritual leader, who fled to India after a failed uprising in 1959, as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and as someone who actually resorts to violent means in his ambition to establish an independent Tibet.
On the other hand, the US' stance that it is 'concerned' with human rights issues in China has long been taken as a signal that Uncle Sam leans towards the cause of the Dailai Lama, much to the chagrin of Beijing.
The Dalai Lama, who is also a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, held a meeting with a group of Chinese and Tibetan students in Downtown Minneapolis last week.
Tibetan Government in Exile (Central Tibetan Administration) has publically declared that Tibetans are willing to stay under the Chinese government, if a "genuine autonomy" is given to the Tibetans.
Note: Tendar Tsering, a Tibetan journalist living in Minnesota, has helped file some of the information in this story.
(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)
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