By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, July 22: A group of Tibetan non-governmental organisations based in Dharamsala today announced to spearhead a new round of “Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement
” campaigns to take Tibetan freedom struggle to a new height as Beijing prepares to showcase 2008 Olympics as China’s “Coming out party”.
The committee members of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement (TPUM) said they would organise “numerous actions” in Dharamsala, administrative centre of Tibetan exiles in India, and other international venues like UN and IOC Offices in Geneva and New York, European Union in Brussels and Strasbourg.
The group said the actions would be organised in a more vigorous manner both during and after the Beijing Olympics, but declined to give more specific details.
“We have Tibetans and supporters all over the world who will actively take part in our campaign activities” Dr. B. Tsering, president of Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), said at a press conference here today. “Accordingly we will arrange and organise effective campaigns at relevant places,” she added.
The group, in their press statement, said they believed in the “fierce urgency of now” to exploit various channels and means to convey the demands and the aspirations of the Tibetan people and raise Tibet issue at strategic international levels by putting pressure on relevant international bodies.
Describing 2008 as a “critical point” for Tibetan freedom struggle, the committee members of the TPUM today emphasised on the need of “more consolidated campaigns” and urged fellow Tibetans and supporters worldwide to show “even greater unity” for Tibet’s cause.
Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement (TPUM) was formally launched on January 4, initially by Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet, India. The group described its formation as a “global movement of Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet taking control of our political destiny by engaging in direct action to end China’s illegal and brutal occupation of our country”.
Tibetan Youth Congress later withdrew from the group to carry out its own set of actions under the campaign banner “Tibetan People’s Mass Movement
“We are today at the crossroad of historic moment in the Tibetan People’s struggle for freedom, truth and justice,” B. Tsering, said reading out reading out TPUM’s press statement.
“We will also support Tibetan Youth Congress in their campaigns, if need be,” B. Tsering said, reacting to a media question. “They have our solidarity since what we are doing is for the Tibetan people’s cause,” she added.
“Our unity in action and focus in purpose during the following months will not only define the long and strategic preparations that we have made for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but more importantly to realise the true political aspirations of our brothers and sisters who made great sacrifices,” she noted referring to enduring resistance shown by Tibetans inside Tibet against China’s rule.
She said the “ongoing popular uprisings in Tibet which began on March 10 in Lhasa and the spontaneous spread to all part of Tibet” had effectively demonstrated Tibetan people’s “deep-rooted resentments against the Chinese colonial policies, and also the united face of the Tibetan people as a cohesive force in resisting Chinese communist regime”.
Protests in Tibet against Chinese rule erupted in March, and China was condemned internationally for its ensuing security crackdown that Tibetan exiles said left more than 200 people dead and hundreds more either injured or arrested.
“The uprising in Tibet further endorsed the non-violent fabric of the Tibetan struggle and brought to the forefront the appalling human rights situation inside Tibet at a time when China prepares itself for international spotlight,” Tsering said.
Among other demands TPUM calls on China “To remove all obstacles to the unconditional return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and his rightful place as leader of the Tibetan people, and “Begin dismantling the colonial occupation of Tibet” and release of all political prisoners in Tibet.
“Furthermore, TPUM will launch an all out-struggle on a war-front scale against draconian designs of spearheading a second cultural revolution in Tibet after the Olympics as declared by Zhang Qingli, the communist party Secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region,” Tsering said.
According to Gu-Chu-Sum president Ven. Ngawang Woebar, as a result of China’s military crackdown on Tibetan demonstrators after widespread protests since March and violent repressions taking place in Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, a cultural revolution-like tragedy is already taking place inside Tibet.