Why Tibetans protesting against Chinese President's visit: Explained

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Tibetans protesting against China
Scores of pro-Tibet activists staged protests on Wednesday outside the Chinese Embassy in Delhi to protest against Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India. Ten Tibetan activists were detained outside the Chinese Embassy for holding protests.

What are demands of Tibetans?

  • Tibetans are demanding independence of Tibet and its political separation from People's Republic of China.
  • As per the Tibetan independence movement, the Tibetan diaspora in countries like India, US and Europe are fighting for the cause.
  • The campaigners argue that Tibetans are mistreated and denied certain human rights by the Chinese Government.
  • The Tibetan describe Chinese rule over Tibet as, "calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities".

What is the conflict between China and Tibet?

  • For last 1500 years, Tibet is having a complex relationship with its large and powerful neighbour, China.
  • Tibet has been occupied and ruled over by China and the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) since 1951. 
  • The Chinese Army defeated the small Tibetan Army in 1949 and imposed a 'Seventeen-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet' on the Tibetan Government in May 1951.
  • But, as it was signed under duress, the agreement was termed void under international law.
  • Though, Tibet was forced to accept the terms of the Agreement, still maintained some level of autonomy, including religious freedom. 
  • But in 1950s, relations between Tibetan Buddhism and Communist China.
  • Following increased Chinese negativity towards Buddhism and developments of disappearing lamas, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. 
  • After imprisonment of the Panchen Lama for a dissenting report, China no longer abide by its earlier promises and was free to enforce its policies. 
  • According to reports, China destructed many Tibetan religious symbols, including temples and monasteries. 
  • Religious leaders and others were forced into reeducation and were maltreated. 
  • The tension between Tibet and China esclated in late 1980s until violence climaxed in early 1989 with the deaths of many protesting Tibetans by police fire. 
  • In 1990s and 2000s, the Chinese Communist Party introduce some development plans in the area and also campaigned for removal of images of Dalai Lama from public places.

What is legal status of Tibet?

  • China claims that Tibet is its integral part.
  • While, Tibetan Government-in-Exile says that Tibet is an independent State under unlawful occupation.
  • In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and established a Government in exile at Dharamsala.
  • This Government claims sovereignty over various ethnically or historically Tibetan areas now governed by China.

Self-immolation protests by Tibetans in China

  • Since 27 February 2009, nearly 125 self-immolations have taken place in China.
  • On 27 February 2009, a young monk from Kirti Monastery, set himself on fire in Ngawa City, Sichuan.
  • In 2011, several incidents of self-immolations by Tibetans in Chinese-occupied Tibet, India and Nepal, were reported.
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