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Tibet Uprising Anniversary Marked by Global Protests, Prayers


Tibetans and their supporters have held protests and prayers around the world to mark the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Hundreds of pro-Tibet activists in Australia's capital, Canberra, marched from Parliament House to the Chinese embassy to demand more freedom for Tibet. Police arrested four people who broke through fencing around a designated protest site.

Several Australian lawmakers joined the march, including a ruling party member, Michael Danby, who said he ignored a letter from the Chinese ambassador asking him not to take part.

In Nepal, hundreds of Tibetans held a mass prayer at a monastery near the capital, Kathmandu. Some shouted pro-Tibet slogans and scuffled with Nepalese police who were deployed at the site to prevent anti-China protests.

Nepal's government said it also banned protests around the Chinese embassy to try to preserve friendly relations with Beijing. Nepal is home to thousands of Tibetan exiles, many of whom held daily anti-China protests last year that often led to violent confrontations with police.

Taiwan's main opposition party organized a pro-Tibet rally in the southern city of Kaohsiung, where it controls the local government. The Democratic Progressive Party declared Tuesday "Tibet Day" to support what it regards as Tibet's struggle for freedom from Beijing.

Pro-Tibet activists also held a candlelight vigil in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, in memory of Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces. Taiwan's Beijing-friendly government made no public comment on the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising.

In other events marking the occasion, Buddhist monks in Japan prayed for peace in Tibet, while Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursik hoisted a Tibetan flag outside his office. The Czech Republic holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

U.S. lawmakers are scheduled to vote this week on a nonbinding resolution that calls for a multilateral effort to bring about a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.

On Monday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told lawmakers gathered for a commemoration of the uprising that the human rights situation in Tibet deteriorated over the past year.

China's foreign ministry urged U.S. lawmakers Tuesday not to pass the resolution, saying it opposes any country interfering in its internal affairs.

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

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