By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Oct 17: Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue was arrested outside Taj Exotica hotel, the venue of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s bilateral talks on Saturday.
“Tsundue jumped between the black cars (convoy) and protested before he was arrested by the police. The police brought Tsundue to the Sadda Vasco Jail around 11 pm,” a Tibetan protester who was confined in the same jail as Tsundue told Tibet Express after his release.
Though all Tibetan protesters held at Sadda Vasco Jail were released at around 6 pm on Sunday, Tsundue continues to be held at the jail to prevent him from staging further protests and disrupting the meeting, the same source further added.
“The Tibetan stood overnight in a field to attract the attention of dignitaries attending the BRICS summit by attempting to jump between their convoy. He has a past record of disrupting meetings, that the protester was immediately arrested under Section 151 CrPC” The Times of India quoted Colva PI Braz Menezes as saying in its report, Oct 16.
Here is an excerpt from the activist’s statement (Why I am protesting today) circulating widely on social media, “China has been exploiting billions of dollars worth of natural resources out of Tibet for free while brutally suppressing Tibetans, and flooded Tibet with millions of Chinese migrant workers. I protest because Xi Jinping continues to run the dictatorship in China.”
Tsundue caught media attention in January 2002 when he climbed the scaffolding outside the hotel where Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji was staying in Mumbai. He displayed a banner with the words “Free Tibet: China, Get Out” and a Tibetan flag while shouting pro-Tibetan slogans.
He repeated a similar protest in April 2005 when the then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the south Indian city of Bangalore. From the balcony of a 200-foot-high tower at the Indian Institute of Science, he unfurled a red banner that read “Free Tibet” while shouting “Wen Jiabao, you cannot silence us”.