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Tibetans storm into Chinese embassy in Delhi

Dozens of Tibetan activists break through the gates of the embassy and paint "Free Tibet" on its building walls.
Reuters | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 10, 2007 06:51 PM IST

About two dozen Tibetan activists living in exile in India broke through the gates of the Chinese embassy on Wednesday and painted "Free Tibet" on the building walls before being arrested by police, witnesses said.

The demonstrators were collared by security guards, dragged and pushed out of the building after the rare entry by Tibetan activists into the Chinese embassy. Usually protesters are stopped by police outside the high security compound.

The protest in New Delhi came a day after China accused Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of supporting "evil cults" like Falun Gong and Japan's Aum Shinrikyo, in its latest invective against the exiled Nobel Peace prize winner.

Dressed in robes and their faces smeared with colours of the Tibetan flag, slogan-shouting activists painted "Free Tibet" and "Quit China" with red paint on the brass nameplate of the embassy gate and also on its white walls.

One activist strapped himself with an iron chain to the embassy gate while another tied himself to a flag-pole in the building's front yard on which the Chinese flag was hoisted.

"This protest was against the new Chinese law which bars any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation for himself or recognising a 'living Buddha'," said Dhondup Dorjee, vice-president of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

"China is now attacking our religion. The new law also attempts to weaken the authority of legitimate Tibetan religious leaders including the Dalai Lama," he added.

China's State Administration of Religious Affairs framed new regulations in August banning reincarnations of "living Buddhas" that fail to seek government approval, effectively ending a centuries-old Tibetan practice.

Hundreds of Tibetan exiles live in New Delhi with their base in the northern hill district of Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama fled his predominantly Buddhist homeland in 1959 with thousands of others after a failed uprising against Communist rule.

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