By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala: August 11: Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) president, Mr Kelsang Phuntsok Godrukpa today formally released a statement stating reasons for calling off the indefinite Hunger Strike, which was discontinued on Thursday in New Delhi.
The statement also announced the end of the first phase of the much hyped TYC led “People’s Movement”.
The indefinite Hunger Strike with a five set of demands pressed against the Chinese Government began on July 8 2007. It was, however, discontinued Thursday with TYC declining to give out specific details of its decision.
The decision to end the hunger strike came following a strong appeal from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Indian lawmakers. However, no specific statement was released by TYC for its decision to end the hunger strike then.
The Indefinite Hunger Strike staged by fourteen Tibetans began on July 8 and had been going on for 33 days when it was discontinued on Thursday morning at 10:00.
The statement released by TYC from New Delhi this morning states that it was discontinued “in compliance with the message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama to call off the strike”.
It furthers stated that it was decided to end “following a visit by Indian Parliamentarians, including former Indian Defence Minister Shri George Fernandez, assuring to raise the issue vociferously in the Indian Parliament session” which already began yesterday.
On the morning of August 9, the hunger strikers were offered juice by Shri George Fernandez to formally mark the end of the fast.
In addition, TYC’s statement says, “Kalon Tenpa Tsering, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, persuaded the hunger strikers and the organizers to give a definite response and immediately comply with the message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama”.
The statement also said, “… taking into consideration the fact that we have moved forward in bringing together an unprecedented mass people's gathering in Delhi and thereby bringing about a new sense of hope, vigour and vitality in the hearts and minds of Tibetan people across the world towards our movement, the TYC is calling off the hunger strike”.
With the end of Hunger Strike, TYC has mentioned that it concluded its first phase of the People's Movement, but has not specified about what could be the next step. Although the hunger strike has stopped now, TYC has said that it was “definitely not the end” of their protest.
The statement says that the TYC would continue the struggle and lead more such people's movements in the future. “It will continue until we regain our freedom and independence for Tibet” Mr Kelsang has stated in his statement.
Earlier when the Hunger Strike was launched in the Indian Capital, TYC had said that they were seeking a direct response from the Chinese Government to their set of demands, which mostly insist on China to furnish concrete and clear proof that Tibetans are enjoying their rights and freedoms inside Tibet.
Following a massive call for a Tibetan “People’s Movement” by the Youth Congress, Tibetans around the world showed overwhelming response to the call. An estimated 20, 000 Tibetans actually congregated into the Indian Capital to take part in, what almost appeared to be an indeterminate movement at the end.
Huge donation amount were poured into the campaign by restless Tibetans eager to see a massive Tibetan movement.
Now, there seem to be much outcry among the participants saying the mass gathering actually did not make much difference the way it was initially speculated by the organizing leaders. Other than a huge rally on August 8 in New Delhi, which too did not last long, a section of Tibetans are silently blaming the organizing leaders for having no concrete plans to act upon.
One of the participants of the campaign in Delhi earlier told Phayul that he was outraged by inaction and lack of clear-cut action plan from the organizing leaders despite overwhelming support and response shown by Tibetan masses.
However, in today’s statement, TYC has described the massive support shown by Tibetans resulting in the single largest protest gathering in Delhi against China is itself the biggest achievement of the movement.
Tibetan Youth Congress is the largest Tibetan non-governmental organisation in the exile Tibetan community and is committed to restore Tibet’s lost independence.
TYC is expected to hold the General Body Meeting by the end of August 2007. As the current Central Executive Committee’s (CENTREX) 3-year term ends later this month, the new members will be elected during the body meeting.CLICK HERE
for Tibetan Youth Congess' statement released today