India distresed at Lhasa developments

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) India today expressed distress at the situation and violence in Lhasa and hoped that all those involved would work to remove the causes of such trouble through dialogue and non-violence.

It also asserted that Tibetan refugees, ''who are our Guests in India,'' are expected to refrain from political and those activities that affect India's relations with other friendly countries.

''We are distressed by reports of the unsettled situation and violence in Lhasa, and by the deaths of innocent people,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in response to a question.

All those in India, whether Indian citizens or foreigners, were subject to the law of the land regarding the crossing of borders, marches or demonstrations.

''Like our other guests, Tibetan refugees, while they are in India, are expected to refrain from political activities and those activities that affect our relations with other friendly countries,'' the spokesman said.

At least ten people have died and scores wounded in protests in Lhasa since Monday against the Chinese crackdown of Tibetan demonstrators celebrating the anniversary of Tibetan rebellion against the Chinese rule in 1959.

Many countries have expressed concern at the esclating violence and called for restraint.

The spokesman said India also hoped that all those involved would work to improve the situation and remove the causes of such trouble in Tibet, which is an autonomous region of China, through dialogue and non-violent means.

New Delhi had, on Thursday, announced its decision not to permit Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India.

''Any person, whether an Indian national or a foreigner, is required to possess valid travel documents to cross the international border. Without possessing such travel documents, it is illegal to attempt to cross the international border,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman had said on Thursday.

He said the Government of India had the responsibility to maintain public order and any activity causing disruption, would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of India.

The protests which began as part of a coordinated day of rallies in India, Nepal and some other places, are the worst during the past two decades.

Tibetans living in exile in India attempted to march to the border but were stopped by the Indian authorities. Several Tibetans were also arrested as they tried to barge into the Chinese embassy here.

Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, who is living in exile in Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) issued a statement yesterday calling on both sides to avoid violence.

He also urged China to address the Tibetan grievances through dialogue.


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