By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, July 29: Tibetans in Dharamsala today held a candle light vigil to call on Tibetan exiles to gear up for major protest demonstrations against Beijing’s hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games next month.
The candle light vigil, organized by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC) of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, here this evening is aimed at urging Tibetans in India, Nepal and elsewhere around the world to come together once again in large numbers in the Indian capital of New Delhi to hold massive mass demonstrations.
Mass demonstrations, beginning August 7, are planned to be carried out all through the Games.
The youth body will begin registering names of people for its mass demonstrations from tomorrow.
The Tibetan Youth Congress yesterday launched an 'Indefinite Fast for Tibet- without Food and Water' at Jantar Mantar as part of what it calls “second phase” of the “Tibetan People's Mass Movement” to protest against the Beijing Olympics saying “No Olympics in China until Tibet is Independent”.
Six Tibetans, namely Shitser Nyima, 37, Sonam Dakpa (Sodak), 31 and Tenpa Darge, 25 from Sera Je Tehor Monastery in South India, Tsering, 23, from Drepung Loseling in Mungod, and Jangchup Sangpo, 28, and Wangdue Phuntsok, 31, from Dharamsala have volunteered to go on without food and water until China gives in to their demands.
The indefinite fast for Tibet is part of a series of campaigns TYC plans to carry out before and during the Games in China to bring spotlight to Tibetan freedom struggle and expose Beijing’s wrongdoings in Tibet and China.
First such protests were held in August last year in New Delhi, where some 25,000 or more converged in Delhi to highlight the issue of Tibet and to protest against China’s hosting of the Olympics.
Tibetans allege China is using the games to showcase its power on one hand and suppress Tibetans and other dissidents on the other.
TYC Vice President Mr Topla, who was present at the candle light rally to address the crowd, said “It is time for us to stand up for our freedom struggle,” adding “We have resolutely opposed and stood against the Beijing Olympics since 2001 when China was granted the right to host it”.
“We expect as many Tibetans as possible to take part in the mass demonstrations in New Delhi,” Topla told Phayul. The demonstrations will go on from August 7 till August 24, when the games would be over,” he said.
The Dharamsala RTYC president Mr Samten Lhundup said his chapter would also carry out series of campaigns during and after the Games’ period.
“I want to urge on behalf of Dharamsala Regional Tibetan Youth Congress to Tibetan exiles to show their solidarity to Tibetan People’s Mass Movement by taking part in it,” Samten told Phayul. “We are clear that so long Chinese Communist regime is in power, there is no way to prove that China deserves to hold the Games,” he said. “Recent anti-China demonstrations by Tibetans in Tibet are clear indication of the ongoing repression there by Chinese Communist Government,” Samten points out.
Tibetan Youth Congress, which claims over 30,000 registered members worldwide, is the largest Tibetan organisation in exile. It struggles to restore Tibet’s independence, a stand opposed to the “middle-way approach” seeking “real and meaningful autonomy” for Tibet as advocated by the exiled Tibetan Leader the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-exile.