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300 Minnesota Tibetans joining D.C. protest against Chinese repression

About 300 Minnesota Tibetans are expected to join a Wednesday protest against Chinese repression to be held outside the Chinese Consulate in Washington.

The Minnesota Tibetans are scheduled to board buses early Tuesday morning at the Tibetan Community Hall in St. Paul to head for the protest, which supporters hope will draw thousands of Tibetans and their supporters.

Protestors hope to influence world leaders, including Chinese President Hu Jintao,  who are meeting in France for the G20 summit beginning Thursday.

“With Hu Jintao joining other world leaders at this summit, here’s the moment for him to receive a strong message – both from his peers and public – that the situation in Tibet is a crisis and Beijing’s reaction is only ratcheting up the tensions,’’ said Jigme Ugen, president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota, in a statement. “We call on President Obama and leaders of the world to hold Hu Jintao accountable for his repressive and brutal policies. We call for a global intervention to pressure the Chinese regime to lift the repressive constraints applied to Tibetan monasteries and for international delegations to be granted a fact-finding visit into Tibet.’’

Ten Tibetan monks and a Tibetan nun have set themselves on fire recent in efforts to draw international attention to what they say is “systematic repression’’ from China.

The first Tibetan immigrant is believed to have arrived in Minnesota in the 1980s. With a population of about 3,500 now, it is believed that Minnesota has the second-highest Tibetan population in the country.

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