(From left to right) Dorjee Gyalpo, Shingza Rinpoche and Yeshi Tenzing, the three Tibetans on indefinite fast infront of the UN headquarters in New York, February 22, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, February 23: Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile launched an indefinite fast in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York on February 22, the first day of Losar – Tibetan New Year.
Three Tibetans, including a high reincarnate lama are taking part in the ‘Indefinite Fast for Tibet’ to show solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and to “amplify their call for freedom.”
His Eminence 11th Shingza Rinpoche, 32, a well known political and literary activist, Dorjee Gyalpo, 59, a Tibetan-American, and Yeshi Tenzing, 39, a long-time TYC activist are the three Tibetans undertaking the indefinite fast.
The three are directly appealing the United Nations to immediately send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet, put pressure on China – to stop the undeclared martial law in Tibet, to allow international media inside Tibet, to release all political prisoners including Gedun Choekyi Nyima and Tulku Tenzin Delek, and to stop the “patriotic re-education” campaign in Tibet.
“We also appeal world leaders and governments to intervene and engage directly with the Chinese leadership to stop the ongoing genocide in Tibet,” the Tibetans said.
Since Tapey’s self-immolation protest in 2009, 23 Tibetans have torched their bodies demanding the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet.
Launching the fast in front of the UN building, TYC said these “fearless acts” of self-immolation were a constant reminder to the Chinese government and the world that “Tibetans are demanding independence.”
“The world cannot continue the blunders of remaining blindly dependent on the Chinese government’s misrepresentation of the Tibetan independence movement shamelessly framed as ethnic conflict or simply reduced as a struggle for religious freedom,” TYC said.
“So long as China continues to illegally occupy Tibet, the indefinable oppression of the Tibetan people will only continue; and so will continue Tibetan’s demand for independence with the will and the resistance only growing stronger.”
The fiery wave of self-immolation has witnessed a dramatic escalation in recent weeks with as much as three Tibetans torching their bodies last week alone.
TYC noted that the “sacrifices of these patriots” were proof of China’s “failing efforts to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.”
“China must wake up to the reality that it can never dream of conquering the undying will of the Tibetan people who stand united and resolute to ultimately bring down the brutal communist Chinese regime,” TYC said.
The three Tibetans sitting on the indefinite fast called on the United Nations and world leaders to “heed to the demands of the Tibetans suffering in Tibet.”
“If you do not take immediate actions to help douse the burning flames inside Tibet, you become accountable to every growing casualty within the Tibetan population,” the release said.
The Tibetan leadership in exile and rights groups have expressed fear of more self-immolations and bloodshed as many parts of Tibet continue to remain under an undeclared martial law with Chinese security personnel gunning down unarmed Tibetan protesters in recent weeks.