By Tendar Tsering
A Tibetan monk takes part in a candle light vigil held in solidarity with the ongoing wave of self-immolation and protests inside Tibet in the Tibetan exile headquarters of Dharamshala on February 15, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, February 16: Without disclosing the details, the largest pro-independence group in exile, the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) announced that a major campaign will be shortly launched in solidarity with the Tibetans in Tibet.
Speaking at a candle light vigil yesterday evening in Dharamshala, Dhondup Lhadar, Vice-President, TYC, urged Tibetans in exile to wake up from their “long slumber” and prepare to take part and support the upcoming TYC campaigns targeted at the Tibetan new year, which falls on February 22.
"We need ideas, we need human resource, and we need money at this critical time," Lhadar said.
"It is high time we respond to the clear call for freedom that Tibetans are making at the cost of their lives and wellbeing.”
TYC has laid out a series of activities, beginning from the 29th day of the last month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, corresponding to February 20 up till the third day of the Tibetan new year.
The planned activities, apart from candle light vigils and prayer sessions, also include a flag burning protest, slated to be observed across India and the world by the 80 odd regional chapters of the organisation.
"Some say that burning of the Chinese flag might hurt the sentiments of the Chinese people,” Lhadar said while announcing the campaigns. “But TYC will never respect the red flag of China under which millions of our brethrens were killed and millions more are suffering”.
“Do the Chinese care for our sentiments or apologise to us even after two million Tibetans have lost their lives under the Chinese regime?”
Speaking exclusively to Phayul earlier today, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Penpa Tsering objected the burning of Chinese flags, reasoning that Beijing will misuse the protest to emotionally provoke the common Chinese masses against the Tibetan people.
"In the past, when a mob of Tibetans in Tibet pulled down a Chinese flag from a government office building and started walking on it, the Chinese government run 'CCTV' broadcast that news clip for days in China," Tsering said. "They (Chinese leaders) left no effort in a creating a bad image of the Tibetans in front of the Chinese people on that pretence."
However, the speaker urged Tibetan NGOs to organise and initiate campaigns in the coming weeks.
Affirming that the exile Tibetan leadership doesn't discourage any individual or organisation form carrying out activities, Tsering said the call of the time was for Tibetans to be united in activism and not to debate.
"We look forward to a lot of activities under the leadership of different organiations, and we urge Tibetans and supporters to participate in these activities," the Speaker added.