August 8, 2008 / 10:17 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 3-Tibetans in India, Nepal protest "blood" Olympics

(Updates with new protest)

By Bappa Majumdar

NEW DELHI, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Police detained hundreds of angry Tibetan refugees who tried to storm Chinese consular offices in the capitals of India and Nepal shortly before the Olympic Games opened in Beijing on Friday.

In New Delhi, nearly 3,000 Tibetans shouting anti-China slogans braved heavy rains to protest near India’s parliament against the Olympics being staged by China.

“China is not the right place to hold Olympics, it is a blood Olympics, it is a shame Olympics,” shouted Kalsang Tsering, a Tibetan protester.

But a small Chinese immigrant community in the eastern city of Kolkata celebrated the Olympics with a dragon dance and feasts. Many in the city’s Chinatown watched the opening on special giant screens.

“We are having a grand feast for 1,200 people after the opening ceremony,” said Chen Khir Kui, a Chinese businessman.

In Kathmandu, Nepali police detained more than 1,300 Tibetan refugees who tried to storm a Chinese consular office.

More than 100 protesters were also detained in New Delhi after they tried to enter the Chinese embassy.

They were stopped by armed policemen after they broke through a barricade and were bundled into waiting vans and taken away.

The protests came as thousands of performers readied in Beijing for the opening of the Games before an estimated global audience of 1 billion.

In India’s capital, angry Tibetan exiles and monks scuffled with police as they were stopped from getting close to the parliament building.

“Stop the Olympics, China is no place to stage it,” Jampa Lobsang, a Tibetan monk dressed in maroon robes, said as hundreds of protesters dressed in yellow and green “Free Tibet” t-shirts stamped on posters of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Thousands cheered as a few hundred Myanmar pro-democracy supporters joined them waving Tibetan flags while the police put up barricades.

Dozens of old women, wearing yellow “Save Tibet” caps, joined young protesters and held banners reading “People of the world listen to the cry” and “Olympics winner is Chinese brutality.”

India has been a centre of regular Tibetan protests for months and exiles have even scaled the walls of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi at least twice since last August.

In Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India, more than 3,000 Tibetan monks and protesters snaked through the hill station’s narrow roads shouting anti-China slogans.

“We will continue to struggle, we are not going to stay silent, we will voice our opinion to free Tibet from the Chinese clutches,” said Lobsang Yeshi, a senior Tibetan leader.

Protesters in Kathmandu were quickly overpowered by hundreds of riot police who hauled them into iron-meshed blue vans and open trucks and took them to detention centres.

“Stop killing in Tibet,” some protesters shouted, with red and blue ribbons emblazoned with “Free Tibet” around their heads.

Later, more than 500 Tibetans carrying candles marched through a major street in the outskirts of Kathmandu. (Additional reporting by Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu, Sunil Kataria and Abhishek Madhukar in Dharamsala; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Jerry Norton) For the latest Reuters news on India see: http://in.reuters.com for blogs see blogs.reuters.com/in/.)

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