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Tibetan Exiles in India Set Off on New March གསར་འགྱུར་གསན་ན།


Dozens of Tibetan exiles in India have set off on a new march to their riot-hit homeland in China.

The trek Saturday came after Indian authorities arrested 100 people Thursday, who were attempting a similar march. A court ordered those marchers detained for two weeks after they said they would not stop using India as a base for protesting Chinese rule in Tibet.

Tibetan exiles and their supporters worldwide are staging rallies in solidarity with this week's demonstrations in Lhasa, and world leaders are urging China to use restraint after reports of violence against protesters in the Tibetan capital.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, is calling on both sides to refrain from violence.

Taiwan officials said today the crackdown in Tibet proved Beijing would use force to resolve cross-strait disputes.

In Australia, police used batons and pepper spray today against protesters outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney. Four protesters were arrested.

Activists on Friday also gathered in cities in the United States, Britain, India and Nepal.

New York City police detained six protesters outside the Chinese consulate and the United Nations, where Tibetan exiles called for U.N. action to stop the bloodshed in their homeland.

Protesters also rallied outside China's embassies in Washington and London.

Tibetans in Nepal and India held candlelight vigils Friday, after clashes between police and protesters near the Chinese embassies in New Delhi and Kathmandu.

New York-based Human Rights Watch Friday called on Chinese authorities to stop violent attacks on demonstrators in Tibet. The rights group is asking the United Nations for an independent investigation of China's actions.

Tibet's government-in-exile, based in India, is asking all members of the international community to appeal for an end to repressive measures by China.

The Dalai Lama said the demonstrations in Lhasa represent long-standing resentment of Chinese rule, and he has counseled Beijing to address protests with dialogue, not force.

A U.N. spokesman says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also has urged everyone involved in the protests to avoid confrontation and violence.

U.N. human-rights chief Louise Arbour appealed to Beijing to allow Tibetans to practice their right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Officials in Washington say the U.S. ambassador to China, Clark Randt, called on government officials to exercise restraint during a meeting Friday in Beijing.

The White House has called on Beijing to respect Tibetan culture, and reiterated the U.S. government's call for dialogue between China and the Dalai Lama.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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