‘Tibetans Call For Boycott’
by Mid-Day Correspondent
(Mid-Day | March 10, 2003)
The Friends of Tibet (India) will commemorate the 44th anniversary
of the Tibetan National Uprising Day today by exhorting Indians to
boycott Chinese goods, which have recently flooded the country.
The organisation is holding an exhibition of rare photographs at
Churchgate station from 7 am to 10 pm today to highlight atrocities
against Tibetans committed by the Chinese army.
Tibetan National Uprising Day marks the 1959 revolt against the
Chinese occupation of Tibet. An estimated 10,000 Tibetans are
reported to have been killed by the Chinese Army in Lhasa when
they gathered in the streets of the Tibetan capital to demonstrate
against the occupation of their country.
Following this massacre and more such incidents all over Tibet,
the Dalai Lama, spiritual head of the Tibetans, fled the country
and came to India.
The organisation plans to distribute one lakh pamphlets in Mumbai
and elsewhere asking Indians not to buy Chinese products, according
to its spokesperson Aspi Mistry.
The pamphlets read: "Protect the Indian industry and help end
oppression in Tibet. Please say 'No' to Made in China."
Tenzin Tsundue, general secretary of the organisation, said the
import of cheap Chinese goods is also destroying small Indian
industries. Tsundue said that many cheap Chinese goods are made in
forced labour camps. "Others are made by the Chinese military or
by a workforce that has been disenfranchised. By buying a 'Made in
China' product, you are funding and empowering a brutal regime,"
In January 2002, Tsundue, a writer-activist, had climbed the
scaffolding to the 14th floor of the Oberoi Towers and unfurled a
banner demanding that Tibet be freed. At that time, Chinese Premier
Zhu Rongji was addressing a conference in the hotel.
The activists will also hold a rally at Marine Drive, opposite Hindu
Gymkhana, from 5 to 8 pm today. They will unfurl a 100-metre-long
banner along the seafront.