Tibetan Protestor infront of United Nations New York City

NEW YORK (AP) — Dozens of Tibetans, young and old, held a noisy protest against Chinese rule outside the United Nations on Friday while President Bush was speaking elsewhere in Manhattan. Three demonstrators tried unsuccessfully to enter the U.N. and six were arrested, officials said.

The protesters carried placards and Tibetan flags, bearing dragons and a yellow sun with red and blue rays, and shouted “Free Tibet!” “No freedom, no peace, no Olympics!” and “Wake up United Nations!”

The spontaneous protest was a smaller, more peaceful version of one in Katmandu, Nepal, where police scuffled on Friday with about 1,000 protesters, including dozens of Buddhist monks. About 12 monks were injured.

The demonstrations were held in support of monks in Tibet, where flaring violence resulted in burned shops and vehicles, and gunshots fired in the streets of the capital, Lhasa. A radio report said two people had been killed.

Psurbu Tsering of the Tibetan Association said its members had received phone calls from Tibet claiming 70 people had been killed by Chinese authorities, a thousand people had been arrested, and all the monasteries had been locked up. The claims could not be verified.

According to U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe, guards thwarted three demonstrators as they “tried to force entry” into the compound through a staff entrance gate on First Avenue near 42nd Street. A U.N. staff member saw at least one man wrestled to the ground.

The six arrests were for disorderly conduct, according to New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne.

About 70 demonstrators had gathered in a traffic island, some sitting and some standing, and were quickly surrounded by police.

After about a half hour, an empty bus and police van arrived; officers took out plastic handcuffs in apparent anticipation of arrests. Instead, they persuaded the protesters to move to Ralph Bunche Park, across from the U.N. on First Avenue.

There, the protest grew to more than 100, and the chanting and shouting continued, including, “Stop the killing!” and “We want China out of Tibet now!”

“Emotions were high; Tibetans were getting killed. At least we can raise our voice,” said Tenzin Kalden of the Tibetan Youth Congress. “All the Tibetans, big or small, young or old, they have one pain in their heart, which is the illegal occupation of China, and we need to kick China out of Tibet.”

He said “empty words” from the United Nations cannot solve the issue of Tibet.

“United Nations has to lead and has to act against the Communist regime of China,” Kalden said. “The United Nations is here for that purpose only.”

Asked what the U.N. can do since China is a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, the U.N.’s most powerful organ, Kalden conceded: “That’s a really, really big question mark.”

(TM & Copyright 2008 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO & EYE Logo TM & Copyright 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. In the interest of timeliness, this story is fed directly from the newswire and may contain occasional typographical errors.)

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