NEW DELHI (Reuters) – More than a hundred Tibetan refugees protested in New Delhi on Friday, demanding that China’s “occupation” of their country be discussed during the two-day G20 summit in the city this weekend.
World leaders have arrived in India’s national capital for the summit, including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend the meeting and will instead be represented by Prime Minister Li Qiang.
“China has conquered our land, so we want to send a message that China is not a trustworthy country,” Gonpo Dhundup, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, which organized the demonstration, told Indian news agency ANI, in which Reuters reported a minority participation.
“We call on our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other global leaders to discuss Tibet at the G20 summit,” he said.
China sent troops to Tibet in 1950, calling the act a “peaceful liberation,” and has ruled the remote, mountainous country ever since.
While human rights groups and Tibetans have raised allegations of “cultural genocide” and strict controls on religion, language, education and work in China, Beijing denies any violations of the Tibetan people’s human rights.
Thursday’s protest took place nearly 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Pragati Maidan, the summit venue, and ended peacefully.
ANI footage showed protesters ranging from young children and students to the elderly carrying Tibetan flags and chanting slogans such as “We want freedom” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans”.
(Reporting by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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