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Saturday, 19 April, 2008

Ladakhi Buddhists want end to violence in Tibet

Leh, Apr 18: Leh, Apr 18: The hunger strike of the Tibetan exiles settled in the Ladakh province has entered into 29th day today. They have been protesting against the Chinese government’s use of force on peaceful precisionists in Tibet in which many deaths have taken place and hundreds of monks injured and arrested. India settled over 10, 000 Tibetan refugees Choouglamsar village of Leh district in 1962 giving them land and financial assistance. They have been demanding freedom of Tibet from China and every 10th March hold protests against Chinese rule on Tibet. Muslim Tibetans also supported the call and held a protest rally at Kargil. When the Olympic torch arrived at New Delhi, Buddhists of Ladakh, in a show of solidarity with their Tibetan counterparts, observed complete Bandh called by Ladakh Buddhist Association and Ladakh Gonpa Association. The main rally protest was held in Leh in which over 15,000 people participated. The protesters assembled at Polo ground Leh where problems of Tibetans were highlighted and deepest sympathy and condolences conveyed to the families who lost their loved ones in the historical movement. The protestors demanded that an independent international fact finding committee be sent to Tibet to let the world know about the scale of violations of rights perpetuated against the people there. They also demanded that China should allow free press to visit the entire Tibet and put an end to the killings there, release all those arrested and engage into meaningful negotiations with Dalai Lama. Lama Lubzang Anchok, president LBA, thanked the Muslims who showed their unity with the victims and observing Kargil Bandh.

Friday, 18 April, 2008

Buddhists protest cultural genocide in Tibet

LEH, Apr 17: Even as Tibetan refugees held large scale demonstrations against China in New Delhi to coincide with the Olympic torch relay, thousands of people led by Buddhists took out a massive rally here today in support of Tibetans.
Since morning, thousands of demonstrators had converged at the road leading to Polo Grounds here to hold a solidarity march in support of Tibetans’ demand for autonomy.
Snowfall in Leh had cancelled several flights for here yesterday.
"We are used to such weather swings... It will not deter us from carrying out our programme," the organisers had said yesterday. Though chilly winds continued throughout today, a clear sky ensured a pleasant afternoon.
Buddhist Monks led the demonstration, followed by school students, youth, women and local residents.
Hundreds of school students could be seen holding banners and play cards on the main road. The rally was led by Buddhist Monks associated with Ladakh Buddhist Association and Ladakh Gongpa Association.
Three decked up vehicles carrying huge portraits of the Dalai Lama were part of the procession which covered a distance of over three kms through the heart of the city before converting into an assembly at the Polo grounds.
The demonstrators raised anti-China slogans and appealed to the United Nations to take appropriate action against the Chinese "cultural genocide" in Tibet.
Slogans like ‘Jago-Jago Bharat Jago and ‘wake up-wake up, India wake up’ also filled the air.
Fifteen effigies of dead bodies also formed part of the rally.
These effigies represent the deaths of over 200 innocent Tibetans at the hands of Chinese security agencies in and around Lahsa’’ read a banner.
The rally-cum demonstration also gave chance to students to display their skills in Tattoo making. Most of the students had painted their cheek with pro-Tibet slogans. Some of them had even painted their heads with Tibetan flags.
Addressing the gathering at the Polo grounds, Ladakh Buddhist Assoication president Lama lobzang Angchuk said the Buddhists of Ladakh were with the Tibetans who were fighting for a just cause. "We must pray for those killed and maimed in violence there," he added.
"The presence of a large number of people only, shows how deeply hurt they are at the developments in Tibet," Mr Angchuk said.
Young children dressed in traditional clothes performed a prayer and recited a song of mourning. Another group of children held a street play at the venue about the killings of Tibetans in around Lahsa.
In a memorandum addressed to Presidents, Prime Minister, Nobel Laureates and the United Nations, the Ladakh Buddhist Association demanded an immediate dispatch of independent international fact finding committee to Tibet to find out the truth.
It also demanded to the international community to persuade China to allow free press into Tibet. The memorandum said the presence of international medical teams, such as red cross and medicines sans frontiers was necessary to take care of injured Tibetans.
Besides Leh, a total bandh was observed in Kargil, the other district of Ladakh.
Demonstrations were also held at Demchok and Chukshul the Indo-China border, Durbuk Block Head Quarters, Nyoma Block Head Quarters and other adjoining areas. Muslim dominated Drass also observed a total bandh. The Ladak Buddhist Association claimed. (UNI)

Wednesday, 16 April, 2008

Vital road to Ladakh reopened in record time

Srinagar, April 15: The vital road link between Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar and the landlocked Ladakh region of the state was thrown open to vehicular traffic on Tuesday after remaining closed for winter months.
It is for the first time that the 434-km road has been reopen as early as mid-April. It used to be generally opened for traffic in June. Last year also, the opening of the road was advanced to May 1, which was then the earliest time to have the highway thrown open after prolonged closure during winter.
Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad flagged off a fleet of Srinagar bound vehicles from zero point near Gumri across Zoji-la, marking the earliest annual opening of the Srinagar-Leh highway after remaining closed for the winter. He met engineers, workers and jawans of Beacon and Himank projects of the Border Roads Organisation maintaining the highway and appreciated their efforts to ensure its early opening. He said, "This is an important road link as it connects the Ladakh region with rest of the state and country." He added that its early opening has significance for the people and hoped that this would help dispatch of essentials sooner to this mountainous region and also promote tourism activities.
The major mountainous and most difficult portion of the road from Sonamarg (2,740 metres) lying at the foothills of Zoji-la to Leh (3,510 metres) traversing through Fatula (4,119 metres) was constructed by the Project Beacon.
Project Beacon keeps the stretch from Srinagar to Gagangir (72 km) open throughout the year while Project Himank keeps the stretch from Leh to Drass (147 km) open throughout the year.
Zoji-la (pass) was closed on December 10, 2007 when the region began receiving heavy snowfall. The "summer snow clearance" along the road began on February 21 this year.
Later speaking at a public rally at Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world and about 146 km northeast of here, the chief minister the all-time earliest opening of Srinagar-Leh highway was indicative of how much the state and the Central governments were concerned about taking steps to mitigate the difficulties of the people of Ladakh region.