TYC members march to UN office, hunger strikers pledge to continue despite failing health
DHARAMSALA, Sep 30: Around 500 Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) members and Tibetan supporters on Sep 28 gathered in the Indian capital for a “Peace March” followed by a protest in front of the United Nations office.
The protesters carrying Tibetan national flags, placards and banners marched from Khan Market in South Delhi to the UN office urging the world body to utilize its mechanisms to address the issue of Tibet.
The peace march was held in part to commemorate the anniversary of protests against Chinese rule on Sep 27, 1987 in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa that resulted in a number of Tibetans being beaten, arrested and sentenced to lengthy jail terms. Though the anniversary fell on Sep 27, since it was Sunday and all the offices remain closed including the UN office, TYC, the largest pro-independence group in exile decided to commemorate the anniversary on Monday.
“This peace march will put pressure on the UN to stand up for Tibet and respond to our demands. The Tibetan issue cannot be ignored. UN, governments and leaders of the world have a responsibility to stand up and speak strongly for those oppressed,” TYC President Tenzing Jigme in a statement released by the organization.
Member of Tibetan parliament-in-exile, Karma Yeshi, TYC President Tenzin Jigme along with three executive members of TYC, who have been on an “indefinite hunger strike”, met with the representatives of the United Nations who assured them that their memorandum and demands will be forwarded to the UN headquarters in New York.
With a set of five demands to the UN, TYC has initiated an “Indefinite Hunger Strike” for Tibet at Jantar Mantar in Delhi beginning Sep 10 to raise awareness about the critical situation inside Tibet, pay respect to the self-immolations for Tibet and show solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
The three hunger strikers are TYC Executive members: Vice President Tamdin Hrichoe, Information & International Relations Secretary Tsewang Dolma and Finance Secretary Tenzin Wangchuk.
“The health of the three hunger strikers are deteriorating day by day but their spirit is high and their will to continue until a response from the UN is given is firm,” TYC said in a statement.
“We are willing to die for Tibet,” the statement quoted Tamdin Hrichoe, one of the participants of the hunger strike as saying.
TYC demands to the United Nations are as follows:
- Urge the United Nations to raise the issue of Tibet at its General Assembly and Human Rights Council Session
2. Urge China to address the demands of the Self Immolations in Tibet
3. Urge China to give evidence that the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima is alive
4. Send a fact-finding UN delegation to assess the current critical situation in Tibet
5. Urge China to release all political prisoners