Tibetans stage a protest march to register their anger as the Beijing Olympics conclude

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Dharamsala, August 24 : Tibetans-in-exile staged a protest march in Dharamsala on Sunday to register their anger against China's 'occupation' of their homeland as the two-week long 29th Beijing Olympics conclude.

Chanting prayers and patriotic songs with some of protestors wearing black dresses and also having black ribbons on their heads to express their anguish at the 'occupation' of Tibet, the protestors marched through the streets of Dharmsala.

Earlier, Adhe Tapontsang (Ama Adhe), a former political prisoner who spent 27 years in Chinese 'labour camps' since her arrest in 1958, was the chief guest at the function organised to attract the world's attention towards their cause.

Tenzin Cheodon, member of Students for Free Tibet, said that end of Beijing Olympics was not the end of the Tibetans' struggle for freedom of their motherland but their struggle would continue.

"This is last day for Beijing Olympics and the Tibetans in Dharamsala and all over the world will be protesting against the China's illegal occupation of Tibet. This is not the end of the protest, these protests will continue and the Tibetans and the supporters of Tibet will keep on fighting Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet," said Cheodon.

China has controlled Tibet since People's Liberation Army troops marched into the region in 1950 and Beijing considers Tibet as an integral part of its territory.

Critics accuse China of repressing Tibetans' religious aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

China has accused followers of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, of stirring riots and protests in Tibetan regions in March in a bid to upstage Olympic preparations. The Dalai Lama has denied the claim and said he upheld China's right to host the Games.

But groups campaigning for an independent Tibet said the Beijing Olympics should be used as an opportunity to voice criticism of Chinese policy.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule.

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