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TYC calls off hunger strike, assured of EP support
Phayul[Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:36]
by Kalsang Rinchen

Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the
European Parliament, with the hunger strikers in front of the Chinese Embassy in Brussels, also seen (second from left) is TYC president Tsewang Rinzin, photo/TYC
Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, with the hunger strikers in front of the Chinese Embassy in Brussels, also seen (second from left) is TYC president Tsewang Rinzin, photo/TYC
Dharamsala, 21 March: The Tibetan Youth Congress yesterday called off the “Indefinite Fast for Tibet” in Brussels, home to the European Parliament, that was entering its twelfth day without food.

Tsewang Rinzin, the president of the largest pro independence group of the exile Tibetan community told phayul that the decision to call off the fast that began on March 10 was made after his organization was assured continued support from the European parliament.

A letter from the office of the president of the European parliament said, “He (EP president) is very concerned about the hunger strike and hopes that these young people will end the hunger strike as soon as possible to avoid any damage to their health or worse. The European Parliament will continue to pay very close attention to all the developments in relation to Tibet and the Tibetan people, as indicated in the recent resolution”.

Denis Ducarme, member of Belgian Parliament, with the hunger strikers at the calling off event, photo/TYC
Denis Ducarme, member of Belgian Parliament, with the hunger strikers at the calling off event, photo/TYC
At a modest function to call of the fast, Denis Ducarme, member of Belgian Parliament said, “the documents I have in my hand is what we will propose to the Parliament next week and we are hopeful that this will be passed as resolutions to safeguard human rights of the Tibetan people”.

The event was attended, among others, by around 70 Tibetans.

“We will also urge the Belgian government to seriously take up the issue of Tibet with the Chinese government”, added Ducarne, who offered fruit juice and traditional Tibetan scarves to the Tibetan hunger strikes to officially break the fast.

Earlier on Wednesday, the hunger strikers were visited by Edward McMillan Scott (England), Vice-President of the European Parliament, who urged the three Tibetans to end their strike.

He said that no more lives should be lost due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

“We don't want to add more illness and death to the deaths caused by the regime, the most tyrannous in world's history”, said McMillan.

“Tibet should be completely free and independent. I encourage your courage in having made your political point to the European institutions and the regime, and request you to stop the fast”, he said.

TYC President in his closing remarks said, “Considering the recent European Parliament resolutions on Tibet, the letter from the Office of the President of the European Parliament and the visit by the Vice-President of the European Parliament and their assurances, this campaign has run its course and achieved its objective substantially”.

“Though we are calling off this campaign but our struggle must and will continue until we regain our Independence”, he affirmed.

The closing rally ended with a loud protest at the site of the hunger strike in front of the Chinese Embassy.

There will be a felicitation ceremony tomorrow for the three Tibetan patriots organized by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Belgium in Antwerp.


Based on a report sent from Brussels by TYC
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