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Ready to depart, the "return march" of the Tibetan exiles
Asia News[Thursday, March 06, 2008 13:14]
by Nirmala Carvalho

They want to cross - without permission - the border between India and China, in connection with the Olympics, to denounce before the world the repressive Chinese occupation. One of the organisers recounts the details.

New Delhi, March 05: Hundreds of Tibetans are ready for the imminent "return march" from India to Tibet, to protest against the Beijing Olympics. One of the organisers reveals the details to AsiaNews. The unknown factor is what the border police will do.

Tenzin Choeying, president of the group Students for a Free Tibet, explains that the symbolic march will depart "the morning of March 10 [the anniversary of the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959] from Mcloedganj, Dharamshala [headquarters of the exiled Tibetan government], with at least 100 persons from various parts of India, and many monks and nuns. The monks will lead the march, and we will carry the national flag of Tibet and other banners on the struggle for a free Tibet and on the violations of human rights, as well as calling for dialogue between the Chinese government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama".

The march is organised by five Tibetan groups in exile, which have not asked for permission from the Indian government, nor from the Tibetan government in exile, nor from the Dalai Lama, "because we are refugees, and all refugees have the right to return to their own country, as sanctioned by the charter of human rights. No one can stop us. We want to show the world, and China, that even after 50 years Tibetans want to return to their motherland and to live in a free and independent Tibet, governed by Tibetans".

"We want to cross the border in August, in conjunction with the Olympics in Beijing. We base ourselves on the principles of non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi. We want to attract international attention to our situation" and "to remind the Chinese leaders that the Tibetan question must be resolved".

"China", he continues, "wants to use the Olympics to legitimise its occupation of Tibet. It will hold parades with Tibetan costumes together with those of other occupied countries, like Mongolia and Xingjiang, to demonstrate Chinese unity. But we want to participate as an independent nation. China also wants to use the games to cover up its violations of human rights. But we want to steal the show and expose the true repressive face of the Chinese regime". "We want to combat China's control over Tibet and mark the beginning of the end of its domination".

Tenzin does not speak of what he thinks the Chinese border police will do. He may be convinced that, with the eyes of the world on them, they will have to let the marchers through.
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