Dalai Lama appeals Tibetans to stop protest at Rangpo

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Gangtok, Mar 26 (UNI) His Holiness Dalai Lama today appealed all the 400 odd Tibetans at Rangpo on West Bengal-Sikkim border to withdraw their protests and not commit any violence.

A senior representative of the government-in-exile at Dharamshala arrived at Rangpo carrying the spiritual guru's message urging the protestors to withdraw the strike, that entered its second day today.

The Tibetans were on strike demanding entry to Sikkim and Nathu La border intending to participate in the protests against the Chinese authorities in Tibet.

Meetings are still going on between the Dharamshala envoys and the Tibetan protesters at Rangpo, sources said.

Earlier today, one Tibetan protestor tried to immolate himself but was thwarted by volunteers.

The protestor, who hails from Shillong, was taken to the Teesta Primary health centre where he has been taking rest under the 'watchful eyes' so that he does not repeat the act.

'' Some of our members spotted him when he was trying to set himself ablaze, but we managed to foil this attempt at the right time,'' said Zimba Pencho, the president of the Tibetan youth club, from Rangpo.

The Tibetans, who reached Rangpo on Monday after four days of marching, continued their fast for the third day today. Their entry is still being denied by the Sikkim administration and the police, they alleged.

Sikkim police said the situation was under control and their entry was still being denied at the border.

However, the embargo for tourists to Nathu La border will be lifted tomorrow. This famous tourist point had been put off limits for the tourists by the state government since March 21 in the backdrop of the Tibetan marchers.

UNI BG PP/src1950

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