slice of life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 April, 2005, 12:00am

The New China News Agency was the first to break the news that the Dalai Lama had entered India following the crushing of the previous week's revolt in Lhasa.

The report said the ruler of Tibet and others had arrived in India on March 31. Indian border authorities had left Tawang, in Assam, to meet him and foreign correspondents in India were also trying to reach him.

A day later, he was reported to have been granted political asylum in India, where he was being treated as an honoured guest.

A statement from the prime minister, Mr Nehru, confirmed the 23-year-old Tibetan leader crossed the border into India on March 31 and that he was in good health.

He was accompanied by 80 Tibetans who trekked with him through the mountainous border region ahead of Chinese troops.

The Chinese were reported to have dropped paratroops and sent up jet fighters in a bid to prevent the Dalai Lama crossing into India.

The Australian minister for external affairs, Richard Casey, said Tibet was the subject of 'pretty intensive international discussion by the free world. It is most grievous and tragic'.

The British foreign secretary, Selwyn Lloyd, said he thought the Chinese action in Tibet would give 'considerably more ammunition' to those who opposed China's admission to the UN. He told the House of Commons he would await information from first-hand witnesses in Tibet before deciding on any particular course of action.

China bitterly attacked Britain's press for opposing the crushing of the Tibetan revolt.

It accused the newspapers of a smear campaign and of attempting to damage China's relations with other Asian nations.

A British government spokesman hinted that Britain was ready to impose higher tariffs on cheap shoes from Hong Kong and Italy.

Sir David Eccles, president of the Board of Trade, gave the hint at a news conference when he said: 'I have told the footwear industry that if they apply for additional tariffs, the Board of Trade will look at their application with care.'

The very next day, Sir David stated that Hong Kong was a member of the British Commonwealth and that therefore its products enjoyed duty-free entry into Britain.

Hong Kong entered the jet age when BOAC's new 'fast pure-jet' service to the Far East opened with the arrival of the first Comet 4 jetliner at Kai Tak. With New Zealand-born Captain K. Jenner, 38, at the controls, the sleek blue and silver jetliner touched down after completing the journey from London in a flying time of about 25 1/2 hours.

Two boys, who stole $2,200 from a neighbour and bought about $1,400 worth of toys were remanded for one week in police custody pending a report from a social welfare officer.

Their father reported them to the police.

The prosecuting officer's desk at South Kowloon Court was covered with space guns, motor boats, tanks, footballs, binoculars and many other toys.

The brothers, aged 12 and 10, admitted breaking open an old suitcase in a neighbour's house and stealing the $2,200.

They bought about $400 worth of toys for themselves and spent another $1,000 on toys for their friends.

The Tsim Sha Tsui railway station and bus termini in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island were packed as thousands waited for transport to outlying cemeteries for Ching Ming observances.

People began assembling for the trains at the Kowloon Ferry concourse before 5am. The queue waiting for transport to Wo Hop Shek Cemetery near Fanling crossroads extended as far as Rosary Church, Chatham Road.

The tunnel under Connaught Road opened and made getting to and from the Star Ferry much easier for pedestrians.