Thu, Oct 11, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Tibetan exiles break into Chinese embassy in India

AP , NEW DELHI

Tibetans shout slogans during a demonstration at the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, India, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Some 30 Tibetan exiles protesting Chinese religious policies stormed the Chinese embassy in New Delhi yesterday, with several breaching the front gate and chaining themselves to the flag pole, witnesses said.

Others repeatedly sprayed "Free Tibet" in red paint on the embassy walls and the main gate before all the demonstrators were forcibly taken away by Indian police, a photographer at the scene said.

The activists were protesting a recent Chinese order that Beijing must approve all of Tibet's spiritual leaders, known as Lamas. For centuries, the search for the reincarnation of lamas -- including Tibet's spiritual head, the Dalai Lama -- has been carried out by select Tibetan monks.

The new order, which came into force last month, states that all future incarnations of living Buddhas related to Tibetan Buddhism must get Chinese government approval.

"This order is an attempt to undermine the influence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," said Dorjee Bhondup, a leader of the Tibetan Youth Congress who was at the protest.

Many of the protesters were being held at a nearby police station, he said.

Descending from a bus, the activists ran through the embassy's main gate that was guarded by private guards only. About six of the protesters scaled an inner wall and entered the main embassy compound where they chained themselves to a flag post and waved the Tibetan flag.

After 15 minutes, Indian police arrived and detained the protesters.

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