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BRICS leaders gather in India amid protests

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
updated 9:49 AM EDT, Wed March 28, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Protests in Indian among the Tibetan community against Chinese President Hu Jintao
  • Hu arriving in New Delhi for Thursdays BRICS summit of fast growing emerging economies
  • A Tibetan demonstrator who set himself ablaze in protest against Beijing died Wednesday
  • Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will meet on economic issues

(CNN) -- The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- collectively known as the fast-growing BRICS economies -- began arriving Wednesday in New Delhi amid protests from Tibetan groups against the arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

A Tibetan demonstrator who set himself ablaze in protest against Beijing died of his injuries Wednesday, officials at New Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital said. Janphel Yeshi, 27, set himself on fire Monday and was hospitalized with burns to 90% of his body.

Self-immolation has become a common form of protest for Tibetans who accuse Beijing of repression. More than 30 of them took place in the last year in China, Tibetan advocacy groups say.

Authorities in New Delhi banned protest gatherings around the city's key government and embassy district where the BRICS summit will be held. Police were also dispatched to Tibetan communities where protests had flared up, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told CNN.

BRICS gear up for a summit in New Delhi
Brazil tackles poverty

On Tuesday, police cordoned off some communities and a number of arrests were made, according to Indo-Asian News Service

Many ethnic Tibetans fled Tibet for India with the Dalai Lama in 1959 after a failed uprising.

The BRICS summit on Thursday is expected to focus on greater economic cooperation among the five nations, including the creation of a development bank to fund projects and trade in the developing world -- a move viewed as a way to present an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

President Barack Obama nominated an American to lead the World Bank, despite calls from BRICS for the U.S. to break with tradition and nominate a bank chief from the developing world.

BRIC was created as an acronym by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill to describe the world's fastest growing markets. Goldman Sachs predicts the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China collectively could be larger than the G7 by 2027.

This is the fourth summit of the BRICS heads of states. South Africa was asked to join last year, although many economists -- including O'Neill, who coined the term -- question whether South Africa has the global economic importance of the other four emerging economies.

CNN's Harmeet Shah Singh contributed to this report

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