‘Zhu's Men Try to Gag Tibetans in Bombay’
by Prafulla Marpakwar
(Indian Express. January 15, 2002)
Zhu's Men Want Ban...
Wherever he goes, Tibet haunts Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.
So members of the Chinese delegation wanted a written assurance from
the State Government that there would not be a single protest in
the city when he is in Bombay on January 15 and 16. The government
has pleaded helplessness while Tibetan protesters are redying their
banners and posters for the big day.
Already, Zhu Rongji has been greeted in New Delhi by Tibetan
protesters stripped to their waists 'Tibet Is Mine' scribbled on
their bare chests and white shorts.
At a high-level meeting convened by the General Administration Dept
(GAD) to discuss security measures, officials from the Counsulate
of China insisted that the Vilasrao Deshmukh Government ensure that
there were no demonstrations of any kind during Zhu's brief stay.
Chinese Foreign Office spokesperson Zhang Quiye told the Indian
Express 'It is natural for the host government to guarantee the
safety of the delegation and bring about a successful reception'.
Zhu, besides visiting the Prince of Wales Museum, will address a
meeting convened by the CII in the city. 'In fact, they wanted an
assurance in writing. We made it clear that it will not be possible
to give blanket assurance since India is a democratic country. We
also explained to them that even during Indian Prime Minister's
visit, the metropolis witnessed demonstrations. However, we will
ensure that the law and order will be maintained and his programme
in the city will not be affected,' a senior GAD official said.
During Zhu Rongji's visit, the Maharashtra Tibetan Refugee
Association and the Friends of Tibet (INDIA) are planning massive
'More than 1,000 Tibetans and concerned Indians will hold a 24-hour
sit in at Azad Maidan on January 15 to protest China's approach
towards Tibet,' Tenzin Tsundue, General Secretary, Friends of Tibet
Tsundue said Tibetans from 22 towns in Maharashtra will reach on
January 15 and will be on hunger strike till the entire delegation
leaves on January 16. 'We feel that under the leadership of Zhu
Rongji, Tibet was reeling under unpreceedented oppression. We will
continue our fight we achieve our goal,' he added.