NEW YORK — A 2,000-person strong demonstration marched on U.N. headquarters in New York on Saturday to mark the anniversary of Tibet’s failed revolt against Chinese rule. The demonstration denouncing the treatment of Tibetans began at the Brooklyn Bridge before heading uptown to the United Nations headquarters. Lhamo Tso, wife of the detained Tibetan documentary maker Dhondup Wangchen, addressed the crowd, as she blamed Chinese rule for a wave of self-immolations by protesters in her homeland. Then the march wrapped up with a candlelight vigil at Union Square. “We want the freedom of Tibet and the return of Dalai Lama,” said Sonam Gyatso, vice president of the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey.
Tibet’s government-in-exile in India earlier Saturday blamed China’s “hard-line” leaders for a string of Tibetan self-immolations as it marked the anniversary. In the past year, more than 20 Tibetans, most of them monks, have set themselves ablaze to protest Beijing’s rule, sparking international condemnation of what critics call religious and cultural repression. Gyatso slammed China over the self-immolations, saying: “They cannot tolerate Chinese repression.” China blames the Dalai Lama of inciting the self-immolations in a bid to split Tibet from the rest of the nation.