|By Phurbu Thinley
An Indian lady signs the petitions demanding release of Tibetans arrested in Tibet
Dharamsala, August 28: Tibetan People’s Movement jointly led by four leading NGOs today organised a day-long signature campaign demanding unconditional release of O'dho, Apha Bhomo, Rongye Adak, Lothok and Adruk Lopo, who were recently arrested by Chinese authorities on separate occasions for their outspoken protest against Chinese wrongdoings in Tibet.
The signature campaign was followed by Candle Light Vigil later in the evening.
The four organisations; Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), Gu-Chu-Sum: Movement of Ex-Political Prisoners (GCSM), Students for a Free Tibet, India (SFT) and National Democratic Party of Tibet (NDPT), recently teamed up for a major Tibetan People’s Movement to mar the one year countdown to the 2008 Olympic Games in China.
On August 4, the groups organised a huge sporting event in Delhi demanding inclusion of “Team Tibet” in the 2008 Games in Beijing. The event faced tight restriction from Indian Government towards the last moment, but enjoyed wide media attention.
An estimated 700 Tibetans and western supporters participated in the candle light vigil here today that finally culled up at the central courtyard of Tsuglag-Khang for a concluding gathering. Spotting pro-Tibetan banners, Tibetan National Flags and placards, and reciting Buddhist prayers for world peace and well being of all beings, the procession beginning from main McLeod Ganj square rallied the two main streets before moving down the main temple road.
Hundreds of Tibetans, including monks and nuns and, western supporters took part in the Tuesday evening candle light vigil in Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama led Tibetan Government-in-Exile, demanding immediate and unconditional release of Tibetans recently arrested by Chinese authorities inside Tibet (Photo: TWA)
Hundreds of candles flickered in the monsoon air as Adak’s nephew; Ven. Tseten talked about the five political prisoners at the courtyard. At the background, recently acquired pictures of the prisoners and the dramatic happenings this month in Lithang, where Rongye Adak was arrested were repeatedly projected on a screen.
Earlier in the day, the organising groups were collecting signatures for two set of petitions, one addressed to the President of the International Olympics Committee, Mr. Jacques Rogge and another to the Director of the United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Ms. Carolyn Hannan.
The organisers said that they would use the signature campaign to appeal international organisations to use their influence to facilitate unconditional and immediate release of the five Tibetans arrested by Chinese authorities.
While four are reportedly under detention in Tibet, Prosecutors in Sichuan province's Lithang region on Monday indicted Rongye Adak
on the charge of "provocation to subvert state power," the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy reported. China often uses vaguely defined subversion laws to punish government critics, sometimes with long prison sentences. Related articles
► Dalai Lama Supporter Charged in China
► Chinese authorities transfer Adruk Lopoe to unknown location, arrest another Tibetan nomad
► China arrest two Tibetan women for expressing support for Trulku Tenzin Delek in Lithang