|By Phurbu Thinley
Official banner of the Tibetan Peoples Uprising Movement. Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul.com
Dharamsala, January 25: Five leading Tibetan organizations calling on exile Tibetans to take a protest march to Tibet ahead of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games today released a two-page registration-cum-declaration form to formally start registering people taking part in it.
The organisers said registration process had begun with the release of the form at the press conference here today and would go on till February 10, 2008.
The two-page form asks individuals for their personal details, information of family members and immediate kin, and to approve minimum declarations laid down in it to be part of the "Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement
The declaration requires a volunteering individual, once approved by the organising committee, to uphold firm commitments to be part of the indefinite “non-violent peaceful movement” and abide by certain rules and regulations set forth in it.
The form made public from today is part of the procedure in their comprehensive planning of the return march to their long once peaceful homeland occupied by Communist China in 1949 using brute force.
The march to Tibet is part of “The Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement”, which the organisers described it as “a new coordinated Tibetan resistance effort in lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics”, was launched earlier on January 4 in Delhi. The five groups also said the movement would be “an initiative by exile Tibetans to strengthen Tibetan resistance by taking the struggle home” and hoped to steer “a unified movement to bring about an end to Chinese rule”.
The march will commence from Dharmsala, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, on March 10, 2008, the day Tibetans would be observing the 49th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule. They then plan to march through India to Tibet’s border with determination to walk to Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.
Besides, exile Tibetans and their supporters are also planning a series of global “non-violent direct actions and mass protests” to disrupt the symbolic relay of the Olympic torch as it is carried around the world and during the 2008 Beijing Games.
Organisers today reiterated their call on exile Tibetans worldwide to engage in more protests ahead of the Beijing Olympics and, to join and support the return march to Tibet.
The organisers accused China’s leadership of “using the Beijing Olympics as a platform to gain international acceptance and to legitimize its illegal rule in Tibet” and alleged that “after almost five decades of oppression and cultural assimilation, the situation inside Chinese occupied Tibet is getting worse”.
The Groups’ July 4 statement
says that the launch of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement is in the spirit of the “1959 (Tibetan National) Uprising” and “in memory of the courageous Tibetans who sacrificed their lives for Tibet’s independence and continue to resists China’s brutal occupation”.
Organisers today said the “return march to Tibet” would cover some 4000 kms to reach Tibet’s border and would last no less than seven months, but refused to divulge further specific details on the route and day-to-day strategies. The group also said at least 100 Tibetan marchers would depart from Dharamsala on March 10 and expect several more Tibetans and supporters would join them on the way as the momentum builds up.
“The confidence of the movement entirely rests on the sacrifice and determination of the Tibetan people,” the General Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress Mr Dhondup Lhadar said responding to a media question. “Both the organisers and those taking part in it must remain firmly resolved to face challenges and go to any length,” he adds.
When asked about the likely response from Tibetan inside Tibet, Mr Ngawang Woebar, president of the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet (Ex-political Prisoners’ Association) said, “Their determination to sacrifice for the freedom of Tibet is unquestionable and even more resolute than us”.
“It is the exile Tibetan people’s effort and inspiration that will make a big difference to Tibetans inside Tibet who have fearlessly shown constant resistance against oppressive Communist Chinese rule,” he said.