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Tibetan protesters enter Chinese embassy compound

Sandeep Dikshit

Chinese envoy slams Pelosi’s meeting with the Dalai Lama

NEW DELHI: A group of Tibetan protesters forcibly entered the compound of the Chinese embassy on Friday evening hours after ambassador Zhang Yan appreciated India for providing adequate security to Beijing’s missions and staff here.

The Tibetans overwhelmed the elaborate Delhi Police cordon around the embassy just at the time their “spiritual leader” landed here for a “pre-arranged” meditation programme.

The Dalai Lama had left the seat of the “government-in-exile” in Dharamsala for the national capital after meeting the powerful Democrat Party leader and Speaker of the U.S. House of Congress, Nancy Pelosi who issued a strong statement on his behalf.

Ms. Pelosi also returned to the capital with a group of U.S. Congressmen who had accompanied her on her interaction with the Dalai Lama.

Highly placed intelligence sources said there was information about an attack on the Chinese embassy after disturbances broke in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on March 14-15. But the focus of the security forces was on averting a potential terrorist strike and they could not anticipate this transgression.

The Delhi Police thwarted three attempts by the Tibetans over the past one week to barge into the embassy. The police detained 146 Tibetans for the three attempted entries. On Friday, another 35 Tibetans, including 12 women were arrested. This time the demonstrators ensured that no Indian news organisation or TV channel was informed.

On Thursday, Tibetans entered the Chinese embassy in Vienna and after removing the Chinese national flag, replaced it with the ‘Tibetan’ flag. Besides the “accidental bombing” of its embassy in Belgrade in the 90s, its mission in Yangon was ransacked and a staffer killed in 1962.

Earlier in the day here, Mr. Zhang slammed Ms. Pelosi’s meeting with the Dalai Lama and said her activity amounted to interference in China’s internal affairs. “Very clearly and firmly we oppose any country, organisation and persons interfering in China’s internal affairs. We don’t allow any country to meddle in it. We hope any person having a clear understanding about the [Lhasa] incident will not take any irresponsible action,” he said.

Agencies reported that Ms. Pelosi described the situation in Tibet as a challenge to the “conscience of the world” and called upon all “freedom-loving people” to speak out against China.

Sources close to the Dalai Lama distanced themselves from the forced entry.

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