`People of the world, stand up for Tibet`

Indian police have taken hundreds of Tibetans into custody since Monday`s self-immolation of Jamphel Yeshi.

Updated: Mar 29, 2012, 12:53 PM IST

New Delhi: The Tibetan who burned himself alive on the eve of a visit by China`s President left behind a letter that urged the world to stand up for his homeland, activists said, while Indian authorities detained more Tibetans on Thursday in the Indian capital.

Police have taken hundreds of Tibetans into custody since Monday`s self-immolation of Jamphel Yeshi, 27, and have effectively closed off New Delhi`s Tibetan neighbourhoods, fearing embarrassing protests during the visit by China`s President Hu Jintao. At least three more Tibetans were taken away by police on Wednesday, activists said. Police confirmed there had been additional people detained, but refused to say how many.

The Tibetans are expected to be released after Hu leaves New Delhi on Friday. He is in the city for the BRICS summit with India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

In the letter, Yeshi urged his fellow Tibetans to fight for their rights.

"At a time when we are making our final move toward our goal: If you have money, it is the time to spend it; If you are educated it is the time to produce results; If you have control over your life, I think the day has come to sacrifice your life," wrote Yeshi, who died of his burns on Wednesday.

The letter was released by activists and translated on the website Burning Tibet. The letter`s authenticity could not be independently confirmed.

"The fact that Tibetan people are setting themselves on fire in this 21st century is to let the world know about their suffering," the letter stated. "People of the world, stand up for Tibet."

Hundreds of police are manning barricades along roads throughout the city, some carrying blankets soaked in water to quickly smother the flames of any protesters who try to set themselves alight.

About 30 people have set themselves on fire over the past year in ethnic Tibetan areas of China in protest Beijing`s heavy-handed rule in the region.

Beijing has blamed the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India for decades, for inciting the self-immolations, and has called the protesters` actions a form of terrorism.

Bureau Report